"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."- Margaret Mead

Posts in category Village Stories

Has Lemon Tree broken the agreement with the Village

Good Morning Everyone!

Watch with interest last Tuesday Council Meeting and the dialogue of the Council with Mr. Black. 

It is obvious that the Lemon Tree has broken the agreement with the Village by “closing their operation” completely and not offering any service to their customers (?).

When the Village heard the cry for a Downtown Grocery Store years ago, the definition of a grocery store was different than what the Lemon Tree has offered its Downers Grove Neighbors. 

I could talk on for a page of two but will put my feeling in just a few words!

Mr Black and his partners should find a different business and open it someplace else other than Downers Grove. 

His business cannot compete with the current providers of groceries in our immediate area, just block away to the north, South, East and west.  A convenience market on the side a restaurant will not make it in our downtown area.  Has anyone heard of Peapod and similar on line delivery services and places like Cuputo’s will deliver to your place for parties, etc  

Please put Lemon Tree out of its misery!  Its competitors WILL!

Bill Wrobel

Interested Citizen of Downers Grove

Public Property Trash Concerns

Good Afternoon everyone!

A recent visit to the DG Library and parking my car opposite the Pine Cone Cottage revealed a site and storage of a Trash Container that I had not observed before and I thought it timely to share with you. 

I have already shared with you the abuse of the recycled container by overfilling waiting for collection by the realestate/realestate tenants.  It is obvious that they have no concern for the appearance of the 

Village Parking Lot, Downtown Downers Grove and the North Entrance to the DG Public Library.

Their overflowing recycle bin is available for all to see. 

I call your attention to the fact that Pine Cone Cottage, the Library, and other merchants store their containers on their property. only a few Business use the Village Parking Lot for their Container Storage.

Last week, November 3rd, I submitted a few E Mails establishing the abuses of the site used in the Village Parking lot with suggestions and views of Organized Trash Container Storage in St. Charles with various suggestions as to how to proceed with reorganizing the Container Storage as it exists in the Village Parking Lot. 

I am requesting that the Village Manager organize a meeting at his convenience with the addressee’s of this email to discuss this issue and to develop a plan of action moving forward. 

I will be available, Thursday and Friday of this week, November 12 and 13.  Will not be available November 16th to November 20th inclusive. 

We have made progress since last December and this spring.  The Village must insist upon Container sizes, frequency of pick up, and Common Trash Hauler for all concerned Businesses since one or two businesses/tenants ignore the requests and the appearance of the Village Downtown and Village Parking lot which is most often mistaken for the DG Library Parking Lot since their is no signage indicating otherwise.

I am trying to resolve this problem with the instituting of the Downtown Recycling Program.  The time is right to institute these changes.

Manager Fieldman your facilitating this effort is greatly appreciated. 

Bill Wrobel – Downers Grove Watch








CATOE Presents Theatre Organ Concerts in Downers Grove


Residents weigh in on $4.5M Downers Grove Park District land buy

DOWNERS GROVE – The Downers Grove Park District held a public hearing May 21 about potentially issuing $4.5 million in bonds to purchase 14.8 acres of land.


The district has agreed to pay $304,054 per acre for the property, located at the intersection of Ogden and Walnut avenues, directly north of the Walnut Avenue sports field.

It will close on the property this summer, and plans to pay for the land by issuing the bonds.

The land will remain undeveloped for now, but the district plans to convert it into sports fields.

The district published its notice of intent May 13 to issue $4.5 million in limited tax park bonds. Its Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the decision to buy the property April 16.

During its meeting May 21, board Vice President Bob Gelwicks said if the bonds are issued, the district would not raise taxes to repay them.

“In terms of a debt to the taxpayers of the community … in order to pay off this debt, we will use operating funds to do that,” he said.

Downers Grove resident Gordon Goodman said he is in favor of acquiring the land. He said using the operating funds to pay off the debt is an “excellent way in which to finance this acquisition.”

“We know that when money and land become available at the same time, it’s a very good thing for the community,” Goodman said.

Downers Grove resident Frank Falesch said he didn’t think the purchase was necessary.

“It looks like you’ve got plenty of land,” he said. “I just can’t see why you need more land.”

Bill Wrobel, of Downers Grove, asked if the district asked the Alter Group, which owns the property, if it would donate the land to the district.

Commissioner Damienne Souter said they asked for both full or partial donation, but the Alter Group did not want to donate.

Downers Grove resident Laurel Bowen asked for up-to-date documents related to discussion of the property, and said the appraisal used to set the price for the district deal dated back to 1997 and showed the land to have wetlands on it.

Read More

Edwards House move clears crucial hurdle


DOWNERS GROVE – The next step toward saving the historic Edwards House has been made, as a space can be prepared where the house can be moved.

On Wednesday, the Downers Grove Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously approved a height variance that would allow John Tillotson to change his house at 743 Maple Ave. into an accessory structure.

Tillotson has previously said the variance would make it possible to move the Edwards House from its existing location at 942 Maple Ave. to his property.

The Edwards House is in jeopardy because a condominium developer has plans to build a structure at the historic home’s current site. Community members have come together in an effort to save the house, a process that has been ongoing several months.

Read More

Downers Grove Watch Calls For Loftus Resignation From Library Board

Meet Dan Loftus, Appointed Downers Grove Library Trustee and proclaimed President of the rogue organization Downers Grove Community Advocates.


Mr. Loftus was an integral part of an election campaign that sought to secure a power grab of the Downers Grove Village Council that had been in the works for years.  The final push to complete the process was to install Commissioner Geoff Neustadt at the helm as Mayor where they could rubber stamp projects and policies that included a $52 million dollar municipal building plan and the demolition of historic homes to make way for in-town condominiums. The act of indifference to Village residents and taxpayers was a clear indication of the political aspirations of a few, at the expense of the many, with absolute control.

As president of the “Advocates”, an organization claiming impartiality, he preemptively placed signs in his yard for his chosen candidate, as did other advocate members, long before their “endorsement” interview process began and then criticized the incumbent Mayor for not participating. This disregard for honest process was purposeful with the intention of promoting a chosen slate, one that was thankfully voted down unanimously by Downers Grove residents.

In his final plea to voters, Mr. Loftus formed a letter denouncing the opposition as “political, divisive, condescending and exclusionary”, yet, the Advocates endorsement process, led by Mr. Loftus as President,  is depicted by those adjectives discernibly in his letter.

To that end we question Mr. Loftus’ role in representing Village residents as a Library Trustee, in public service, and the conflict of interest it portends with his direct involvement and offensive activity within the Advocates organization.

Dan Loftus should resign from the library board.

Downers Grove Voters Transform Village Council


The Downers Grove Watch would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Martin Tully on his successful reelection bid for Mayor and welcome three new commissioners Bill White, Gina Vattimo, and William Waldack to the Village Council.

We look forward to your cooperation and collaboration on the many issues that face the Village going forward and are quite confident that this cohesive group is up to the task.

Downers Grove Watch Places Ad in Suburban Life Newspaper

The Downers Grove Watch placed an advertisement in the West Suburban Life newspaper to draw awareness to the group.


A Question of Ethics – Neustadt


In the recent LWV Forum, Geoff Neustadt, candidate for Mayor of Downers Grove, made a talking point about the Village’s ethics ordinance, saying that he was proud to have been one of those who voted to adopt it.

Paragraph 6 of Exhibit 2 to the Official Village Policy Regarding Ethical Standards, adopted in October 2007, clearly states that: “Elected officials or their agents may not knowingly approach any Village employee to seek their signature on a nominating petition.”

LGM_Ethical_Standards Paragraph 6

In filing his nominating papers to run for Mayor, Mr. Neustadt appears to have violated that ordinance.

One of the nominating petitions that he filed to get himself on the ballot was not only signed by one of Downers Grove’s current police officers but was circulated by that same police officer for others to sign before he himself signed it, and then had his signature notarized (by Commissioner Becky Rheintgen) as a petition circulator. A copy of the petition, signed and circulated by Andrew Blaylock, appears below. Officer Blaylock is someone unquestionably known to Mr. Neustadt as an employee of the Village.


One could argue whether Mr. Neustadt “knowingly” knew of the nominating petition, but considering the notary, we suspect the candidate would have been privy when the petitions are scrutinized before submission.

The Downers Grove Watch expects strict adherence to Village ordinances as they relate to the campaigns of those running for office.

League of Women Voters Candidates Forum 03-11-2015

Mayoral and Commissioner Candidates For Council 2015 Question and Answer Forum