Elmhurst mayor to governor: We're ready to reopen

  • Steve Morley

    Steve Morley

Updated 5/19/2020 5:37 PM

Elmhurst Mayor Steve Morley on Tuesday continued to press Gov. J.B. Pritzker to separate Elmhurst and the rest of DuPage County from the Northeast region of the Restore Illinois plan and to allow those communities to reopen for business.

In a follow-up letter to one he wrote May 11, Morley said he believes "a flexible plan that allows for input will be more successful than one that is dictated to us."


"Many small business owners are currently faced with two choices: go out of business, lose their life's work and the ability to provide for their families, or defy their government and open their business in an effort to survive," he wrote. "Our residents and business owners should not have to make this choice."

Instead, he urged Pritzker to consider creating a plan that "allows for safely opening our communities sooner."

Morley said Illinois has 102 counties and each has local governments that have successfully met the needs of their communities.

"We need to rely on this infrastructure and trust that a safe, science-based and logical plan can be implemented at this local level. I believe that residents and small business owners will respond better to an open dialogue versus threats from their elected officials/government."

In a phone interview Tuesday, Morley said he believes most Elmhurst retailers could "open up safely tomorrow" and most of its restaurants could be ready to open shortly thereafter.

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He said the governor's staff acknowledged receipt of his first letter, but he has had no direct dialogue with Pritzker.

"I'm not tying to thumb my nose at the governor," Morley said, but rather is urging him to take "a more surgical" look at reopening the state that would drill down to the county level and provide a more detailed approach and increased sensitivity to dealing with retailers and restaurants.

Morley's comments and letter reflect a growing push among officials representing DuPage, Kane and McHenry counties to remove their areas from the Northeast region, which also includes Cook, Grundy, Lake, Kankakee, Kendall and Will counties.

On Monday, Cook County towns such as Palatine, Arlington Heights and Hoffman Estates passed resolutions calling on Pritzker to alter the Restore Illinois plan in an effort to help businesses.

The Naperville Park District this week is expected to seek authority "through emergency court action" to make reopening decisions "that are in the best interest of our community."

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