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Bellwood Mayor Frank Pasquale

PasqualeThis month, we highlight the distinguished career of Frank A. Pasquale, mayor of Bellwood.

The three-term mayor was elected in 2001, after serving as a Memorial Park District Commissioner for 20 years and as a village trustee for six. When Frank ran for re-election in April, he let it be known it was because many of his goals for Bellwood have yet to be met. Those who truly know Frank know that he will always have new and improved goals for his adopted town. Frank is known as doer, an elected official who accomplished tasks and then tackles the next challenge.

Both of Mayor Pasquale’s parents came from Abruzzo. He and his wife, Vivian, moved to Bellwood from Chicago in 1963. Frank saw a diamond in the rough in Bellwood due to its close proximity to the City of Chicago and O’Hare Airport, which made it a perfect place to live and raise a family.

Bellwood’s location prompted the mayor to believe the best is yet to come for this village of less than 20,000 residents. Like the rest of the nation, the recent economic downturn hit the near western suburbs hard, but to the mayor’s credit, no services were cut or workers laid off in Bellwood. He also submitted a balanced budget for the last two years as well as lowered Bellwood taxes. Those who have followed Mayor Pasquale’s political career are not surprised by his leadership, talent and of his success in Bellwood.

Before his posts in government, Mayor Pasquale spent the majority of his adult life as an educator, serving as a director of guidance and counseling at St. Joseph High School in Westchester, St. Patrick High School in Chicago and an instructor at Wright College in Chicago. He also worked at Chicago State University as a part-time consultant in the corrections program and as an instructor. He has always been highly respected and successful in each of these stages in his professional career.

Mayor Pasquale earned a bachelor of science in secondary education, a master’s in guidance and counseling and a doctorate of education in behavioral science. His passion for learning has been instrumental in making GED classes available to Bellwood residents through Triton College and bachelor’s and master’s degree programs available through Benedictine University.

Mayor Pasquale is comfortable being compared to the stereotypical small town mayor. “I love having the reputation of someone that residents can simply pick up their phones and call about a problem.” He has an open-door policy and views himself as not a politician, but a friend.

Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico says, “Frank exemplifies a leader that not only has the best interest of his municipality and at heart, but just as importantly, he works tirelessly for the region.”

An example of his leadership skills as well as his tenacity, his strong will and motivation “to get things done” can be seen in one of the most vital government projects in Proviso Township, the 25th Avenue grade/ bridge separation. As the current chairman of the West Cook Railroad Relocation and Development Authority, Mayor Pasquale never gave up on the hope of securing funding to build a bridge over the Union Pacific railroad tracks on the border of Bellwood and Melrose Park. Almost everyone in the western suburbs has experienced the delays caused by the at-grade crossing. The constant delays due to the hundreds of freight and commuter trains that travel that line daily has stalled economic development along that 25th Avenue for decades. His determination and hard work paid off when the project received full funding. The projected completion in the fall of 2016 of the bridge will see daily commuter traffic increase from 21,000 to 55,000 autos. This significant increase will make 25th Avenue desirable to developers and retail users that currently overlook 25th Avenue as a retail road. Revitalizing 25th Avenue will benefit all the municipalities along that route, not only Melrose Park and Bellwood. Obviously, Mayor Pasquale gets things done.

Frank has also served as the chairman of the Addison Creek Restoration Commission. That political body’s sole (consisting of seven towns along Addison Creek) mission is the reduction of flooding that has caused residents and municipalities millions of dollars in personal and real property damage. While the entire county suffers from severe flooding, the leadership and effort by the commission has led to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to invest $150 million in addressing the issues along Addison Creek. That figure represents 25 percent of the district’s entire budget for such issues, while the seven towns are only a tiny fraction of the districts overall jurisdiction. Frank has been one of the truly active and dedicated members of the commission who worked to get this accomplished.

Once completed, the project will greatly reduce flooding in the region, which will eliminate the need for flood insurance for some residents and increase property values. These are but two extraordinary accomplishments by this driven, talented leader from out ethic community.

Mayor Pasquale and his wife have two adult children, Maria and Frank Jr.


About Leonard F. Amari

Leonard F. Amari is a founding, co-managing partner of Amari & Locallo, a law firm that focuses exclusively on real estate tax assessment issues. He is a J.D. recipient from The John Marshall Law School, with honors. Amari has been a John Marshall trustee since 2000 and was elected president of the board in 2007. He is past president of the Illinois State Bar Association, a member of the Chicago Bar Association’s State and Local Taxation Committee, and a member and past president of the Justinian Society of Lawyers. He has received numerous honors from many organizations recognizing his service.