Flossmoor voters to make history with 1st woman as mayor

FLOSSMOOR, Ill. (WLS) -- South suburban Flossmoor voters are getting ready for a historic election before they hit the polls next week to choose their first woman as mayor.

The winner will replace incumbent Paul Braun, who's stepping down after twelve years.

The bedroom community of Flossmoor, which has a population of roughly 9,400, is about to do something it has never done in the 97 years since it was incorporated.

They will choose between two women, Lakshmi Emory and Michelle Nelson, to be the next mayor.

Nelson is a civil engineer with a background in construction management, who currently a commissioner on the zoning board of appeals.

Emory is a board-certified physician currently working in healthcare management. Both candidates are also married with children.

Both said they see infrastructure concerns as a top priority, with roads needing repairs and sewers needing improvements to deal with flooding problems.

Then there's the need for economic development.

"Only 17% of our property tax revenue comes from commercial interest, so we could stand to grow that a little bit and developing that 30 acres over at Meijer, next to Meijer will help us do that," Nelson said.

"We're a little bit landlocked in terms of where we can build, you know, new buildings or bringing new businesses so we have to become innovative and find ways to bring in businesses without brick and mortar," Emory added.

Another concern for the next mayor is helping the village recover and move forward from the pandemic. Flossmoor, with its quaint downtown, is looking to go from surviving back to thriving. Part of that is helping facilitate and promote outdoor dining as a priority.

"I would plan to continue things like that and then also supplement it with helping to make sure that they get the funds they deserve, you know, to, to keep their businesses afloat," Emory said

"During the pandemic, what I did was I interviewed over 36 local businesses and I spotlighted them on social media," Nelson said, also highlighting that it's a marketing tactic she would continue.

Nelson and Emory both said they are excited about the election, with the chance to make history on April 6.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.