Reporting Bernie Tafoya
NEW LENOX, Ill. (CBS) – The mayor of southwest suburban New Lenox has had enough with high gas prices in his town, and he wants to do something about it.
WBBM’s Bernie Tafoya reports New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann has called for residents to boycott the gas stations in the village.
It’s the second time Baldermann has called for a gas station boycott. He made the same plea in April 2012.
Baldermann said gas prices in the village average about $3.50, higher than surrounding suburbs.
“I spoke with the gas station owners, and I asked why that was the case, and they said they only looked within the village’s borders for their competition, and that our people were willing to pay it,” he said.
According to GasBuddy.com, stations in surrounding Joliet, Orland Park, and Homer Glen mostly have lower prices than New Lenox; though prices are generally higher in Mokena.
“Our local gas stations are consistently 20, 25 cents higher per gallon than the neighboring communities,” Baldermann said.
He said gas stations only understand when drivers stay away.
“We have to do something. The residents have got to send a message. It’s a free market, and we respect that it’s a free market, but that doesn’t mean that I want our residents being taken advantage of, just because of our location,” he said.
Baldermann claimed gas stations in the village have been taking advantage of being near I-80 and I-355.
“In order to get to a gas station out of our town, you have to drive away from those highways and tollways, and so it’s more convenient, and I just think that the gas station owners will jack up the prices, and our people have no choice,” he said.
Baldermann said he’s willing to pay for picket signs for anyone who wants to protest at New Lenox gas stations.