Mayors Meet to Promote Unified Front Group Says Organization Helped Attract Boeing

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Byline: Mike Comerford Daily Herald Business Writer

The deal to bring Boeing Co. to Chicago is the quintessential example of how regionalism works, said area mayors gathered Thursday at Elmhurst College for the quarterly meeting of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus.

Fresh from what many of the mayors view as a victory for organizations like the caucus, they agreed to hire an executive director to further future efforts such as better organizing the Chicago area's legislative representatives in a similar unified front.

About 50 area mayors gathered at the behind-closed-doors meeting, held quarterly since its inception in December 1997. Members say the 265 area towns involved want to keep the meetings low-key to promote cooperation and avoid public posturing.

"I think that Boeing, realizing that we were working together as a region, was a positive sign for them," said Oak Brook Village President Karen Bushy, after the meeting.

Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson gave a presentation at the meeting on the reasons Schaumburg lost the race to get the Seattle-based aerospace firm to relocate its headquarters to Schaumburg.

"I took kind of a light-hearted approach," said Larson, who alluded to the dinner hosted for Boeing at the Art Institute of Chicago. "I said when Mayor Daley and Gov. …