Antioch mayor to seek re-election
By Diana Kuyper Special to the News-Sun September 19, 2012 5:18PM
Antioch Mayor Larry M. Hanson. | Special to Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 19, 2012 1:35AM
ANTIOCH — Mayor Lawrence Hanson is seeking a second term as mayor.
A village trustee for 14 years before he was elected to his first term as mayor in 2009, Hanson says he wants to continue a course of fiscal responsibility he started four years ago.
“I started my term during some of the worst fiscal times we have ever seen and we had to make some sacrifices that proved to be a success,” he said.
The life-long Antioch resident is manager of BJs Fashions for Men, a downtown business where he has worked since 1976. He also maintains a schedule of regular hours at Village Hall located just down the street from his business.
“When I am not at Village Hall, I am easy to reach at my business and I am in constant communication with citizens at any time who need a little help or have questions about the village,” he said.
He said his biggest accomplishments since starting his first term is making necessary budget cuts, reducing staffing by 30 percent and subsequently taking the village from the red and into the black financially.
“Our efforts of fiscal fitness have brought about balanced budgets and the establishment of reserve funds, exactly as promised four years ago. It took everybody’s effort and I can’t give enough credit to our staff and our Village Board.”
Hanson, 52, said he has led initiatives such as rebuilding major thoroughfares, including Main Street, Depot Street, North Avenue and Woodcreek Drive; developing Sprenger Park on the east side of the village; and building a new aqua center to replace the 50-year-old Williams Park swimming pool, all through grants and bonds and working with county and state officials.
“One of our most challenging jobs was working through the financial collapse of Neumann Homes, but the end result is two fine neighborhoods with good roads and infrastructure, ready for development when the market turns around.”
Other positives of his first administration include partnering with residents to start a Neighborhood Watch Program with the police department and bringing a more congenial working atmosphere to Village Hall and the Village Board. He believes no one on the Village Board has a personal agenda, but rather is working in the best interest of residents.
“My first four years were spent getting us solvent and now that we are stable, we just want to continue to move forward.”
Hanson said the village is starting to see signs of economic recovery as Aldi Food Store and Walgreens have started new retail developments on Route 173 and other amenities, like Tim Osmond Sports Complex, expand their facilities.
“There is no better place in Illinois to raise a family and enjoy the company of friends than Antioch,” said Hanson. “I feel blessed to live in this village and be the mayor.”