One of the enjoyable parts of this job is having the opportunity to get to know some of the other Mayors in the Chicago suburban area, like my neighbor Nandia, pictured above. The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus provides a forum through which the 273 chief elected municipal officials of Chicago and the collar counties meet quarterly. We work together as local governments to develop consensus and act on common public policy issues and multi-jurisdictional challenges. This past weekend was the annual Gala event, held this year at the Shedd Aquarium. I had not been to the Shedd since chaperoning a field trip when my kids were in grade school, almost 20 years ago! The One World Aquatic Show was great, but even more interesting was mingling with my peers and meeting new faces. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and Governor Bruce Rauner were also in attendance. My dinner table companions were from Suburban Cook County and DuPage County. What did they want to talk about? The Route 53 extension was top of their minds when learning I hailed from Long Grove. The evening was festive and the conversation was polite, and boy, did I get an earful!