Meet the Candidate: Michelle Nelson

Longtime Flossmoor resident shares why she deserves your vote in this Q&A with The Voyager.


Evan Walker, Social Media Editor

On April 6, 2021, Flossmoor residents will go to the polling booth or vote by mail to choose the new mayor of Flossmoor, following the retirement of current Flossmoor Mayor Paul Braun. 

At this point, Flossmoor zoning board of appeals member Michelle Nelson, a seventeen-year resident of Flossmoor, appears to be the clear frontrunner in the election. Recently, I had the opportunity to get to know Nelson and her plans if she were elected mayor and give Flossmoor residents more information on the candidate. 

What compelled you to run for Mayor?

“There are so many opportunities for Flossmoor to grow and improve, from bringing in business to vacant areas along Vollmer Road, Kedzie Avenue, Governors Highway, and Flossmoor Road, to creating internship and education experiences for students, improving community policing, making our roads safer, and broadcasting the successes of our residents. The Mayor sets the tone for the direction of the Village. We need new energy to accomplish these goals and more. I’m running for Mayor because I want to address these growth areas and make Flossmoor more inclusive, forward-thinking, and shine like the “gem” that it is.”

What makes you think you’re a good candidate?

“I earned a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois. One-third of the Village’s $29 million budget is spent on infrastructure and maintenance, which are areas of expertise for me. Currently, there is not an engineer on our Village Board. My background will add a unique viewpoint that will save the Village money. For example, there are federal grants for road paving that we can obtain and we can save money on road paving by bidding the work in February rather than May (which is when we currently bid the work). Additionally, I have built good relationships with our State government representatives, local business associations and chambers of commerce, nearby mayors, business owners, and realtors. Having support from area decision-makers and leaders is critical to accomplish my goal to grow the economy. Last, I have wonderful relationships with neighbors across Flossmoor. All decisions I make as Mayor will occur with consideration of multiple viewpoints.”

How would you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process in our town?

“Our residents are extremely impressive. I will invite residents to serve on a newly created Economic Development Commission that will carefully curate new stores and restaurants to open for business in Flossmoor. I will bring together representatives from the 21 different Flossmoor neighborhoods two times each year to share their ideas for how the Village government can better serve the people. I will solicit representation for a “Silver Commission” to address the needs of the senior section of the community (65 years of age and older), which is anticipated to grow by 30% in the next 15 years. Last, I will rely on current volunteer committees such as the Community Relations Commission to improve our events and create neighborhood recognition awards.”

What do you hope to achieve in the future if you win the election?

“In 2024 Flossmoor turns 100 years old. I want to start our next 100 years with a strong local economy, fantastic events that bring people together, improved services for residents, infrastructure that supports our daily lives, and increased home values. The election is April 6, 2021. Many of my goals are long term and will take several years to fully implement. It will be important to get to work immediately!”

“What do you plan to accomplish in the first 12 months?”

“Forming an Economic Development Commission, that would identify businesses who would be a good fit for our community, and meet with those businesses and invite them to establish roots here, inviting residents to meet with Village officials in an informal setting in order to make our village more welcoming, beautiful, and connected, and improving marketing and communication through community partners such as business associations, chambers of commerce, realtors, and media.” Were just a few highlights from her list of thirteen policies and items she plans to pursue in her first year in office. 

What do you believe makes Flossmoor great?

“I love the diversity of our residents, tree-lined streets, historic homes, friendly local business owners, access to the train, beautiful library, support of the arts, youth programs, green initiatives, Hidden Gem Half Marathon, and great public schools…but most of all, I love the people of Flossmoor. Residents who dedicate their time and talents to build our community are what makes Flossmoor great!”

Although Flossmoor residents still have over half a year left before they head to the polls, Nelson is frequently attending neighborhood meet and greets hosted by her own supporters in their backyards in an effort to be able to reach other voters who may be unfamiliar with her and her policies. 

Nelson also recently launched her own website to give the community more accessibility to her and to get a grasp of her vision for Flossmoor. On the website, voters can find posting information about meet and greets and publicity events featuring the candidate.

With both the 2020 and the 2021 election on the horizon, check out the Cook County website in order to register to vote and find a local polling place.