Mayor Charles R. Griffin was born and raised in East Chicago Heights Illinois which is currently the Village of Ford Heights. He is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University where he earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communications and Psychology. He also attended graduate school at EIU where he received a Master’s of Science Degree in Education with an emphasis in guidance and counseling.
In 1997 he was elected Village Trustee of the Village of Ford Heights; he was reelected to a second term in 2001 and a third term in 2005. During his tenure as a legislator he served as chairman of the finance committee, community development and public works. In 2009 Charles was elected to his first term as Mayor of the Village of Ford Heights. He was reelected to a second term as mayor in 2013.
Mayor Griffins’ vision for the Village of Ford Heights is to create a safe neighborhoods throughout the village, to improve the quality of life for residents, faith based community and business. During his first term as Mayor, he and the Village Board of Trustee focused on streets, sidewalk and beautification projects. During his second term as Mayor he has spearhead the development of the Villages’ first TIF district along U.S. route 30 and Cottage Grove Avenue.
The Village is currently negotiating with Family Dollar and other commercial entities to invest in the redevelopment on Lincoln Hwy on Cottage Grove to Deer Creek. Economic development along U.S. Route 30 Cottage Grove Avenue, Torrence Avenue and Joe Orr Road will be the primary focus for industrial, manufacturing and retail development.
Mayor Griffin is extremely aware that public safety is the most important issue for residents and business. The Village of Ford Heights vacant and abandon housing rehabilitation program is designed to eliminate blight, place properties back the tax rolls and to reduce crime village wide.
The ultimate objective is to provide safe and attractive neighborhoods for residents to enjoy increase retail business to generate additional sale tax that can be used to provide infrastructure improvements and quality public services.