Nicole Gooden: The Economy Is What We Make It

Last week, I invited all the candidates for Maywood to submit a statement of rebuttal to Mayor Yarbrough’s State of the Village Address he gave in front of the Maywood Chamber of Commerce and on which I reported uncritically. The following is a statement submitted by Nicole Gooden, independent candidate for Mayor:

The economy is what we make it.  2008 has caused a lot of hardships for businesses, families and for governmental structure.  However, we are in 2013 and there are plenty of opportunities for Maywood to prosper as many other neighboring communities are prospering.

Crime is a result of poor conditions.  Everyone in the Village is not poor but the availability of resources are lacking.  When there is no productive outlet for children and teens to pursue, the end results are often violence or destructive behavior.  The mayor claims a decrease in homicides and shootings; however, this is real life we can do better.  One death is far too many.  Even assuming homicides are down 46% and shootings are down 20%.  The numbers are still too high and; it is a deterrent for new businesses and new residents.  I have met a lot of parents in this community who have lost children in our community to either gun violence or prison. Quality programs and activities along with a visible police force will decrease crime.

Fiscal responsibility is important for the Village of Maywood.  Our fiscal issues are due to years, in particular the past 8 years, of mismanagement and assuming that balancing a budget can be done on the backs of taxpayers. We have to be a community that is more than fast food, salons, barbershops, churches and liquor stores.  We need a sit down restaurant.  Business diversity is needed in Maywood to expand our tax base and to allow the small and large businesses the opportunity to benefit each other.  It is impossible to do this if you have several vacant lots on 5th Ave; and a concentration of similar businesses only a half block apart.  Infrastructure development has taken place in Maywood, but not enough for the Mayor’s 8 years in office.  The people in Maywood want all of the alleys and streets fixed, not just the main streets in the Village.  Image is everything and our appearance needs vast improvements.  There shouldn’t be a significant difference between North Maywood and the rest of Maywood.  We are one community and we all should be well groomed on every block. While several ordinances are in place, they are rarely enforced which speaks to the image of the village.  Code enforcement has a responsibility to the community to make sure homes and businesses are in compliance. Some of us know too well that these ordinances are sometimes used to harass residents or a business owner. This is unacceptable.  Overnight parking is a very big issue and speaks to the efficiency of government.  Why is the phone for Maywood Parking disregarded and rarely answered?  Residents are advised to drive to the police station to lodge a complaint with the Police Commander.  Why not just have someone man the phones during these hours to facilitate a service to the community?

I recommend Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market for the previous Maywood Market location. We have to be a competitive Village and offer the same quality amenities that neighboring Villages offer or better.

The housing crisis is prevalent across the nation.  But we can help our families by introducing them to resources to reinvest in their future in Maywood.  We just have to become more resident friendly.  In addition, Maywood has a harsh stigma attached to it that says we are hard to do business with.  Get rid of the politics; and put the people, children and businesses first.

In response to thoughts of me working for the incumbent Henderson Yarbrough, I am a child of God and my calling is to be a public servant for the residents of Maywood; nothing more and nothing less.

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