One might call Margaret “Peg” Price a trailblazer, but she simply did what she thought was right.
Naperville’s First Female Mayor
That dedication drove Price to become the first woman elected as mayor in Naperville, a position she held from 1983 to 1991. She also served terms as a city councilwoman on either side of her time as mayor.
Among her many accomplishments as a dedicated city servant, Price advocated for the construction of the Naperville Municipal Center in Downtown Naperville.
“That was a pretty controversial topic at the time,” said Peggy Frank, a friend of Price who served as executive director of Naper Settlement. “And she really felt that having the epicenter of city functions in the center of our town would really help with residential access as well as the flow of city employees into the downtown.”
Price also instituted the State of the City address, during which the mayor recounts the events of the past year and looks ahead to the coming year. That tradition continues to this day with current mayor Steve Chirico.
In a statement, Chirico said, “Although Mayor Price may have seen Naperville grow by leaps and bounds under her watch, she never lost sight of what mattered to her: seeing her city be a place where families came first, and people looked out for each other.”
Remembered in the Community
Those who served with Price and after her will remember her as a generous volunteer, strong leader, and a dedicated public servant.
“She just loved this community and she was opinionated and she had very strong opinions on where this community should go and how it should continue to move forward and she wasn’t afraid to share those,” said Naperville Communications Manager Linda LaCloche. “She really was an icon and a leader.”
“You know Peg is a hard worker. A blunt speaker, I might say, she’d let you know what she thought. But that was good,” said Carolyn LeSage, who served on city council with Price. “She did a lot for Naperville. Again, the first and only woman mayor of Naperville. That’s a big deal.”
A Friend and Mentor
Frank will also remember Price as a friend and mentor.
“I was choosing to have a child as a single parent,” Frank recalled. “And I really wanted Peg as mayor of the city to understand my motivation and her response was amazing. She just got up from her chair, immediately gave me this giant hug, and was so excited.”
Price died Sunday in her home at St. Patrick’s Residence. She was 87 years old.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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