Larry Dominick honored as longest serving Town President
Larry Dominick became the Town of Cicero’s longest serving executive leader elected 16 years ago on February 22, 2005 and was honored during a meeting of the Town of Cicero Board of Trustees.
President Dominick thanked the board for their support, congratulating all of the officials who received the publics vote of confidence during last week’s election.
“We couldn’t have achieved what we have achieved in terms of services to our community without all of us working together as a team to serve our residents,” President Dominick said at the meeting.
“When I was first elected my priorities including making Cicero safer, expanding communications to ensure everyone has access to the Town’s services, strengthen and expand our services to seniors, families and to our youth. But although we have done much, my sleeves are stilled rolled up, I continue to work for our community, and we have much more to do.”
On February 26, 2021, voters re-elected President Dominick, Clerk Maria-Punzo-Arias, Supervisor Joe Virruso, Assessor Emilio Cundari, Assessor Fran Reitz, and Trustees Larry Banks, and Bob Porod. Trustees John Cava and Victor Garcia were re-elected in 2019.
“It has been an honor to serve at the town first at Public Works and then at the Cicero Police Department and as the Town’s president. We have a good group of leaders here and we have done a lot together,” Dominick said at the board meeting on Tuesday February 24, 2021.
“We give the kids a lot and a lot to the seniors. We take care of the kids and the seniors, the military and the disabled.”
“I am just grateful to be here today to be able to serve our community.”
“Thank you for all that you have done. I am only as good as the people I hire and I am grateful to everyone for all the work they have done.”
Dominick thanked Attorney Mike Del Galdo and his entire legal staff for the services they provide to the Town of Cicero representing the interests of the community’s residents.
Clerk Punzo-Arias thanks President Dominick for his leadership.
“I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate our leader, President Larry Dominick and my colleagues on the board for the re-election,” Punzo Arias said.
“Here, we like to work together as a team. We have a great Police Department and a great Fire Department. We have great leaders and great department heads. We have members of school districts here. It is all about teamwork. We ourselves can’t do it without the support of each and every one of you, without the support of our residents. And we look forward to serving you for many more years.”
Virruso recalled that one of the biggest issues in 2005 was the problem of rodents in some areas of the Town, a problem that has been eradicated, he said.
“When President Dominick was elected in 2005m one of our big problems was we had rats in the town and we worked to eradicate them,” Virruso said. “We had parks that needed repair and that’s what President Dominick has done. He has improved all the parks and added new ones.”
Dominick noted that Trustee Porod had been one of the first to encourage him to run in 2004. Porod said, “I remember in 2004 when you decided to take on the challenge and it was quite a challenge. But it was worth it. You have done so much for the community. To take care of all the residents of the Town of Cicero.”
“I want to thank President Dominick for all of the work you have done to make this community great,” Trustee Garcia said during the meeting.
“I just want to say the reason you are successful is because you care,” said Trustee Banks. “I have been here over 40 years and you have proven that you care and that means a lot to everybody.”
Cicero School District 99 Supt. Rudy Hernandez, congratulated all of the officials during the board meeting, saying, “There is a lot to celebrate in the Town of Cicero. We are grateful to the support that you have given to District 99 and to thank everyone in the room today, all of the board and cabinet.”
Overview of President Dominick’s achievements:
During the past 16 years, President Dominick has implemented his vision for the Town of Cicero including making the community safer for seniors and families, expanding the Town’s services to Senior Citizens and services to the town’s residents, adopting a safe space protection for undocumented residents, and holding the line on property taxes.
Dominick worked his way up in the early 1970s working in Cicero at an entry-level job in the Public Works Department, hauling garbage at residential homes. He eventually entered the Cicero Police Department where he rose to the rank of Deputy Police Commander.
His two decades of services with the police helped him better understand the challenges of the street gangs that plagued the city and when he was elected, he boosted up the Gang Crimes unit and implementing one of the most effective graffiti removal programs in the Chicagoland suburbs.
Before his election, Cicero recorded 65 gang related shootings and 14 gang related homicides in 2004. In the 8 years prior to 2004, the gang related shootings averaged 55 a year and 7 gang related homicides.
In 2005, Dominick brought the gang activity down reducing the number of shootings and deaths to an average of one or two a year.
“One or two a year is still too much and it is my goal to in day have no killings and to make Cicero the safest community in the country,” Dominick said.
Cicero was named one of the Nation’s Top 20 Safest Cities by the National Realtors group, HouseHunt.com, in 2011 and in 2013. That safety record has continued through this year.
A key to confronting the crime wave that plagued Cicero before his election was expanding public programs and support.
“We needed to get the community to come out and be actively involved in the community and we did that through community pride programs that included year-long festivals such as AmericanFest and Fiestas Patrias celebrations,” Dominick said.
“We also began programs to improve our parks and make them more family focused. We built the Community Center which offered programs to our youth, and several state-of-the art family parks including Cicero Community Park at 34th and Laramie and Cicero Campus Park at 18th and Laramie.”
Dominick noted the increased safety of the Town became a magnet for major businesses that relocated to the Town including Break Through Beverage (formerly Wirtz Beverage), Menards, WalMart, Sonic Restaurant, Fuller’s Car Wash, Bimbo Bakery (formerly Clover Hill Bakery), Chipolte, New Providence Bank, Hoots Restaurant, CubeSmart Storage, Bridgepoint Industrial Centers, and Amazon that also brought with them thousands of new job opportunities for residents.
The Wirtz family agreed to build a state-of-the-art regulation ice rink which is popular during winter months and in the summer as a roller rink.
The needs of seniors was also a top priority, Dominick said and he not only expanded senior services including shoveling snow, mowing laws, home repair, and transportation services, but directed the opening of the Town’s Senior Center where seniors can gather and participate in many educational and social programs.
“The seniors worked all their lives for us and I felt it was the least we could do to help them. They earned it and we appreciate all of their efforts,” Dominick said.
Recently, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas released a detailed study of property taxation during the past two decades and cited Cicero has having the lowest property increases tax increases of nearly all of the county’s villages and municipalities.
Additionally, President Dominick launched the first ever jobs program for disabled citizens. And President Dominick passed the “Safe Space Resolution” that extends equal protections to every Cicero resident regardless of citizenship status. Cicero offers basis health services to residents through the Town’s Health Center. And the President hosts educational and reading programs every year to the town’s students.