Zach Mottl brings pro-growth message to Burr Ridge mayor's race
One of Zach Mottl’s top priorities as mayor of Burr Ridge would be to ensure that the village avoids the property tax death spiral afflicting many other local communities in Illinois.
“The Village’s reserves at 80 percent of the budget are sound,” Mottl, who has served as village trustee since 2017, told the DuPage Policy Journal. “Some people like the idea of saving it for two to three years when we could very well face a deficit. That’s fine, but that’s a one-time fix. It’s also smart to invest now and grow our revenue base rather than have homeowners pay to get us out of trouble in the future.”
Along those lines, a feasibility study is in the works to bring an indoor sports facility, a hotel, and a basketball hall of fame to the area surrounding Village Center. Mottl, running as an independent candidate, said that prospective investors have already shown a high degree of interest in the study, which is expected to be completed in a few months.
“The new business this [sports center] will bring to the hotels, restaurants, shops and other businesses to the area will mean an additional seven figures of revenue for the Village,” he said. “Through this project alone we will solve our future budget needs without having to burden our residents with higher taxes.”
The project would also include garage parking for those visiting the sports center and extra parking for Pace, the suburban bus service that has grown in popularity over the past few years.
Long-term economic development plans include annexing unincorporated land around Burr Ridge—to further expand the revenue base without raising taxes—and even the building of a train station for convenient travel to downtown Chicago.
“Property values are sure to rise when a trip to downtown is just a walk from home to the train station,” Mottl said.
Mottl has been in the news in the past year for leading the fight against the proposed Hinsdale D86 referendum. He has called the borrowing plan needlessly costly, wasteful and inappropriate given the inequity in academic and extracurricular student offerings by Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South High Schools. In November, the voters rejected a proposed $166 million referendum. A $140 million is back on the April ballot.
Regarding his time as a Village Trustee, Mottl said he has fought for fiscal responsibility by eliminating waste, and fought to reduce regressive taxes, which are especially burdensome on older citizens and others on fixed incomes.
Mottl, 40, is the fourth-generation family member to operate Atlas Tool & Die Works, Inc. in Lyons.
“I’m a businessman who grows things for a living,” Mottl said. “I create jobs, employing nearly 80 people and manufacturing opportunities for our talented workforce. I want to use these skills to help grow Burr Ridge into the future.”
Mottl filed to run for mayor on Dec. 17, 2018.
"I didn't make any sort of flashy announcement," he said. "I want this to be about the people of Burr Ridge."
His fundraising group, Zax Pac, will hold its first fundraiser on Feb. 27 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the County Wine Merchant in Burr Ridge.
The election is April 2. Mottl would serve the remaining two years on Mayor Mickey Straub's term. Straub stepped down in November.