BY MADELINE WILSON —
There are two seats on the village board up for election on April 5. There are three candidates for the two seats: Tammy Bockhorst, incumbent village trustee, Dillon Grimes and Allison Rozek.
Bockhorst has lived in Shorewood for nine years. She has a son in sixth grade at Lake Bluff, and a daughter in tenth grade at the high school. Bockhorst works as a Spanish and Latin American politics teacher at the college level and as a technology consultant. She cofounded the defunct Shorewood Conservation Committee and was the leader on the committee’s initiative to provide residents with reusable grocery bags. She also served as the Lake Bluff PTO president.
Currently, Bockhorst is on the Community Development Authority, is the chair of the Shorewood Marketing Leadership Committee and the Shorewood Public Art Committee liaison.
In her first term as trustee, Bockhorst was the chair of the Business Community Relations Committee and the co-chair of the Village Bi-board Commission in which the school board and village board collaborate. She also served on the Budget and Finance Committee and the Public Works Committee.
“I have a lot of knowledge, wisdom, passion and I’ve achieved a lot in those leadership roles and serving on other committee roles,” Bockhorst said.
The Shorewood Bee Ordinance, which allows residents to keep bees in Shorewood, is a project Bockhorst worked on in her first term as village trustee and would like to continue working on should she be elected to a second term.
“I worked with council members from across the country on our bee ordinance so you can now keep bees in Shorewood, but not everyone will be able to keep them in their yard so I’d like to see opportunities for those who would like to have a space,” Bockhorst said.
Additionally, Bockhorst worked on the creation of the Shorewood Farmer’s Market and the Bublr Bikeshare program.
“We need to continue to bring innovative ordinances and innovative, attractive options to Shorewood, like we have, such as the farmer’s market that I worked on and the bike shares, that will help give us not only attention from other communities so people will want to move and continue to create businesses,” Bockhorst said.
If reelected, Bockhorst wants to work to manage local tax rates without cutting services.
“It is important that we stay strong going forward, that we are creative and look for creative solutions so that we don’t become one of those communities that raises taxes or cuts services,” Bockhorst said.
Tax incremental financing, an incentive for development, is something Bockhorst only supports if it is necessary.
“Tax incremental financing is the last line of defense in the redevelopment or development projects … The preference is for a developer to come in if they’re going to redevelop an area and do it outright, …but I will say if it had not been for tax incremental financing, we would not have the redevelopment in certain areas in Shorewood including our central district. We would be stuck with an aging grocery store,” Bockhorst said.
According to Bockhorst, the business district has been strong during her term.
“I have been a trustee for three years and we have seen substantial growth in our business community. We have a long range financial plan which we won an award from Public Policy Forum and this plan helps us guide our financial decisions in this village,” Bockhorst said. “Sincerely, I have been working very hard successfully to ensure that our business district is strong and in my second term, I’ll continue.”
Bockhorst says the development of the Metro Market has helped the business district. In addition to larger developments like Metro Market, she wants to attract small businesses with loans and grants.
“We have the Metro Market, which brought 350 union jobs to Shorewood plus a handful of management jobs. That brings more shoppers to our town. That helps the business district in general to have something like that in our village. I’m also in the Community Development Authority, which is where we look to improve the housing and commercial stock in our village. Through that we offer a variety of small business loans and grants to attract and keep the small mom and pops in Shorewood,” Bockhorst said. “It is important to have a diverse range of businesses.”
A community task force made up of residents is currently working to provide information and options for the reconstruction of Wilson Drive. Bockhorst does not want to take a position on Wilson Drive until the task force provides recommendations.
“At this point, no information and options have been presented. We don’t have facts or data to weigh and there are no developers who have given us anything either … I believe the responsible thing to do as a trustee or a candidate for trustee is to wait to evaluate the information and data that is presented to us,” Bockhorst said.
Although her position on possible development on Wilson Drive will not be formed until the task force gives recommendations, at this point, Bockhorst thinks Wilson Drive should be narrowed to increase green space, make the road safer to cross and make the re-pavement less expensive.
“I’d like to see the western curb brought 20 feet to the east which would increase green space and make the park more accessible because it is safer to cross and also save the tax payers money … I take an environmental sustainable approach, a pedestrian friendly approach, saving the tax payers money approach and a community focused approach,” Bockhorst said.
One thing Bockhorst wants to accomplish if she is reelected to the Village Board is to start an intergenerational community center. She says Wilson Drive could be a possible place for this center.
“I would love to have an intergenerational community center. I would also like it to be an international community center. We have a very intergenerational, international population in Shorewood and I’d like to see more integration of that,” Bockhorst said. “It is great that we have so many commercial gathering spaces in town but I’d like to see a public gathering space where teens who do not have a lot of activities after school can go and again maybe some of the seniors would be there and would help set up a collaborative homework or tutoring.”
Bockhorst would like the village board to increase collaborations, including working with high school students and seniors.
“We have a lot of very high caliber and skilled, passionate people in this village and tapping into the high school student population and the older generation, that kind of fusion is where we can really get a lot of things done,” Bockhorst said.
She would also like to collaborate in other areas across the village.
“I’d like to increase our partnership amongst the schools, businesses, police and fire, senior center, etcetera, so we can continue to provide real world opportunities,” Bockhorst said.
Bockhorst worked on the board’s transgender resolution, in opposition of Assembly Bill (AB) 469, which would limit transgender students’ access to the bathroom of the gender they identify with. She wants to continue to lobby in Madison to get favorable legislation for Shorewood.
“We need to change some of the laws in Madison so that we can get some of the financial relief as well as get some of the legislative relief that is needed,” Bockhorst said.
Overall, Bockhorst wants to bring experience and determination to the village for a second term.
“I have the experience, the determination and the track record of bringing community focused initiatives to Shorewood and I can only get stronger in my second term,” Bockhorst said.