COVID-19

September 23, 2020 Update from the Mayor

MAYOR-Coronavirus

Yesterday marked a tragic milestone in our country as more than 200,000 people have now perished in the United States from COVID, by far the highest in the world.  On Tuesday, Illinois public health officials reported 1,531 new cases of COVID and 30 more deaths.  In Hickory Hills there are now 309 confirmed cases (cumulative) of COVID with 7 COVID related deaths.  Several people asked for the race/ethnicity breakdown of these deaths.  According to public health records, 6 of the deceased were white and 1 person was of Asian descent.   For those of you who have grown tired of me writing about these statistics let me just say that I do not look forward to reporting this disheartening information either.  However, I feel it is important to keep everyone apprised of public health and scientific data since the virus remains with us and certainly does not distinguish one person from the next.  Please continue to follow the public health guidelines of wearing a mask in public whenever you cannot socially distance, think twice about spending time in large groups of people and wash your hands regularly.

Update from Police Chief Charles Hobart 

The year of 2020 has been unique in so many ways.  However, one way that 2020 has remained pretty consistent to recent years is the level of crime in our wonderful City.  Overall, the number of major crimes have remained pretty low for the past few years.  I have been a policeman here for just over 26 years and Hickory Hills has done nothing but improve.  Back then, when we had a single lane in each direction on 87th  Street and a farm at 94th Street and Kean Ave., we seemed busier as a department.    So why does it feel like we are in the middle of a crime wave at times lately.  Well, I think, the age of easy communication and all of these social media apps, lends itself to people hearing more things, both accurate and inaccurate, than we did in the old days.  For instance, several months ago, there was a completely false report of looting at a local Walgreens that spread on social media.  The person posted online and alleged that he was at the store and was witnessing the looting.  There was no such looting.  Years ago, we had land based telephone lines and you had to take your photo film to be developed.  I was hired in 1994, our crime stats for that year showed we had 55 burglaries and 34 motor vehicle thefts.  In 2019, our last full year, we had 24 burglaries and 7 motor vehicle thefts.  I would like to take credit for the reduction in crime since I started but the reality is, people may actually have felt safer in 1994 because they didn’t know about all of the events.  So, please rest assured, Hickory Hills is as safe as ever and there is no crime wave happening.

Now I know some of you reading this crave more local information.  Personally, I don’t have any social media accounts and I still read an old fashioned newspaper every morning.  Each of us is different and I understand that.  So here is a little bit of information on one recent event, which is a rare event indeed.  We had a shooting at 95th  Street and 88th Ave. We believe the victim and offender knew each other, had a standing feud and they just happened to drive across the border into Hickory Hills and catch a red light.  If the traffic signal is green, the shooting would not have occurred within our City.  We did not notify the public after the incident since we did not want the publicity to jeopardize identification of the offender and because we strongly believed that the general public was not at risk since from the outset of the investigation we believed the two knew each other.

Further, there are still some transient criminals that are going town to town stealing items from unlocked cars.  Earlier in the year, we placed lawn signs around town to remind everyone to keep their car doors locked since these crimes are almost always situations where the thief strikes unlocked cars in the driveway.  Over the last month, we have had a couple cars rummaged through and items taken.  So please be diligent, lock those cars up at night and take their thieving opportunity away.  Hopefully the criminals learn that Hickory Hills is locked up tight or even better, they change career paths.

If you want to know about something you heard or saw, just call me or stop in at the police station and we can chat, I will always make time for a resident or business owner.

Chief Charles Hobart

ComEd Offers Customers Financial Assistance 

Due to the economic impact caused by the pandemic, ComEd is suspending disconnects until March of next year for low-income customers.

Customers who are challenged in paying their outstanding balances and energy bills should contact ComEd’s customer care team as soon as possible at 1-800-EDISON-1 (1-800-334- 7661), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to take advantage of assistance options. Information on each of these options is available at ComEd.com/Support. ComEd worked with the Illinois Attorney General’s office, the staff of the Illinois Commerce Commission and a broad group of stakeholders in June to offer the following customer assistance options that are available for a limited time:

  • Bill Assistance for Eligible Low-Income Customers. To help customers who are past due on their ComEd accounts, ComEd provides additional bill assistance – up to $500 – for eligible, low-income households earning 200 percent or less of the federal poverty level.
  • More Flexible Payment Arrangements. For a limited time, ComEd offers payment plans of up to 18 installment payments with a 10% down payment for eligible residential customers. Low-income residential customers and those facing financial hardship can spread amounts they owe over 24 installment payments with no down payment.

Halloween 

I regret to inform that our City’s Children’s Halloween Party and the Chamber of Commerce Trunk or Treat Events are cancelled due to the pandemic.  Our City will continue to follow local public health directives and guidelines to determine if trick or treating in some form can be done in a safe manner.

Register to Vote Online and Request Absentee Ballot 

The website below is an easy way to check your voter information, polling location, etc.

https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/service/your-voter-information

If you or someone else wishes to register, an easy way to do so it via the link below.  Online registration ends 10/18/20

https://ova.elections.il.gov/

Request Absentee Ballot

Mail Ballot applications for the November 3, 2020 Presidential Election are still being accepted.   Any registered suburban Cook County voter with a driver’s license, state ID or social security number on file may request a mail ballot using an online or paper application.  Ballots must be postmarked by Election Day (November 3) in order to be counted.

https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/agency/vote-mail

No Stigma Here

Wait, what?

Enjoy this gorgeous weather!

Mayor Mike