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10-25-2012-9-24-20-AM-9833123

Board Mourns Death of Girl

Oak Lawn Trustee Hails St. Gerald Center Groundbreaking

The Oak Lawn Village Board of Trustees meeting opened with Mayor Dave Heilmann making the announcement of the death of Oak Lawn resident Sarah Ann McElheny, 8.

Sarah had been receiving treatment for leukemia, then contracted West Nile Virus and subsequently lapsed into a coma. At the Sept. 25 Board meeting, an announcement was made about a fund-raiser for Sarah. {{more}}

Heilmann asked everyone to keep the family in their prayers.

In other announcements, residents are invited to go to the Web site http://www.Halloweensign.com to print a sign they can put in their window on Halloween. One side of the sign says Òcandy” indicating you are home with candy. The other side says Òno candy” indicating that you are home but have run out of candy.

Signs are also available at the Oak Lawn Police Station and at the Village Hall. Trustee Cynthia Trautsch (1st) will make the signs available at the Oak Lawn Senior Center.

A proclamation making November Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month was approved by the Board.

Trustee Robert Streit (3rd) requested and received a reversal of the decision by the Appeals Board to deny a side yard variation to allow two air conditioner units on the side yard of a home at 5412 W. Drury Lane.

In a similar Appeals Board decision reversal, a second driveway at 4921 W. 91st Place was also unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees.

In new business, Trautsch requested that the minutes from the Oct. 9 meeting be amended to include the conversation she had with Trustee Thomas Phelan (6th) regarding the possible loss of $700,000 rather than $2 million on a possible service fee agreement proposed by Village Manager Larry Deetjen.

Trautsch mentioned at the Oct. 9 meeting that a workshop would take place being sponsored by the Housing and Development Authority in South Holland.

Since receiving phone calls from residents who were unable to attend, the number to call is (855) 533-7411, Or residents may visit http://www.keepourhomeillinois.org. The information would be important for anyone nearing foreclosure.

Trautsch reminded everyone that trick or treat hours for this year have been expanded to 8 p.m.

Calls have been received by Trautsch regarding robberies in the area. She reminded everyone, Òif you see something, say something.”

Trustee Alex Olejniczak (2nd) thanked members of the Board, Heilmann and Cong. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd) for attending the groundbreaking ceremony for the Jonathan Collins Activity Center at St. Gerald School on Sunday. He says that St. Gerald is the only parish in Oak Lawn without an activity center.

An update on the snow shoveling program shows that 74 seniors have signed up, but there are no volunteers signed yet. To volunteer, call Officer Jim Pacetti at (708) 499-7880 or e-mail [email protected]/il.gov.

A report from the Green Team collected 200 pounds of medicines to be disposed. Household hazard waste disposal will be available at the Beverly Unitarian Church, 10224 S. Longwood Drive, Chicago, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. There is no fee for this service. Items to be collected include antifreeze, used motor oil, paint and paint thinners, batteries, insecticides, drain cleaners.

An update on the LED light program indicated about 25 percent completion. The first beta testing indicated about a 50 percent decrease in energy usage, which amounts to more than $100,000 annualized energy savings, according to Olejniczak.

The Oak Lawn High School musical ÒGrease” will run through Saturday, Oct. 27.

Streit announced the success of Pumpkin Fest at the Village Green last weekend. Also coming up is Santa on the Green on Saturday, Nov. 24.

Early Voting is in progress. Streit said he favors a Òyes” vote for the energy savings question that is on the ballot. It is estimated that each household will save approximately $300 per year with the aggregated energy bill, proponents claim.

Thomas Duhig (4th) discussed the accomplishments of Nicole Selvaggio from his district as Òsomeone you should know.” Selvaggio is a 20-year-old student at Moraine Valley Community College. She is on the tennis team at Moraine Valley and went undefeated last year and again this year, making her the No. 1 Division One tennis player in Illinois.

She is also a tennis instructor at the Oak Lawn Racquet Club. Selvaggio has been diabetic since the age of 5 and tests her blood sugar many times each day.

According to Duhig, Selvaggio’s coach says Òshe is the best individual athlete we have ever had at Moraine Valley.”

Selvaggio has a 4.0 GPA. She plans to become a high school English teacher.

Duhig attended a meeting at Hannum School to discuss increased need for police monitoring near Christ Hospital. Police Chief Bill Villanova and 911 Center representative, Kathleen Hanson were there to reassure residents living in the area. Duhig asked for any residents and especially seniors to call him at (708) 346-0004 if they have concerns.

No reports were provided by Trustees Carol Quinlan (5th) or Thomas Phelan (6th).

Village Clerk Jane Quinlan said there has been a lot of Early Voter turnout. Quinlan said, ÒAs of today, we have had 907 voters. The county is here running it for us. It’s going very well.”

Voters do not have to live in Oak Lawn to vote in the Village. Early voting ends Nov. 3.

Deetjen displayed a piece of granite to be used for the 911 Memorial by Illinois Brick. The proposed completion date will be Memorial Day, 2013.

Routine consent agenda items postponed for discussion per the request of Streit included the execution of an agreement between the Village and Public Financial Management, Inc. for advisory services pertaining to the Oak Lawn Regional Water System.

Also postponed was the endorsement of Duane Morris as Underwriter’s counsel on the water system project.

Streit took issue with the addition of a 13th alley to be paved without the approval of the Public Works Committee or the Board of Trustees.

ÒI gave a very detailed report about the 2012 capital improvement infrastructure program,” said Streit. ÒIn that report, I specifically outlined the 12 alleys that had been approved by the Public Works Committee and the Board.”

After speaking to a field engineer, Streit learned that a 13th alley would be paved. Further investigation revealed that the authorization for the alley resurfacing had been made by Olejniczak, who is not on the Public Works Committee.

ÒIt never came to the Public Works Committee” Streit said. ÒNo trustee should be able to demand Village funds be spent without approval.”

Carol Quinlan expressed concern that her district, while not having alleys, has the need for street repairs that are not being done.

ÒI have a hard time accepting that an alley is going to be done for $125-135,000 that is only used by a select few,” she said. ÒJust because we have extra money, who says it should go to alleys and not to streets?”

Quinlan says she gives a list every year of streets that need to be done in her district.

Voting on the alley paving issue was tied 3-3. The tie was broken in favor of the program by Heilmann.

In the president’s report, Heilmann addressed the possible need for extra police officers in the Village. Oak Lawn has 1.9 police officers per 1,000 residents. The national average is 1.5 to 2,000. To put one more officer on the street for a 24 hour shift, would require hiring four to five new officers, according to Heilmann.

Villanova concluded the meeting with a report on trends in the community. There were a total of 29,110 calls for service in 2002. In 2012 to date, calls have been 44,935. In 2002, the Village had 3,454 arrests. To date, the Village has had 4,577 arrests.

The uniform crime report through a monthly federal index 2001 compared with 2011 shows: homicides, 2002 – 0, 2011 – 0; and rapes, 2002 Ñ 4, 2011 – 10. In each rape case, the offender was known to the victim. Robberies, 2002 – 24, 2011 – 27. The Village is above that number for 2012. Burglaries 2002 – 137, 2011 – 137. The biggest rise is in thefts, 2002 – 634, 2011 – 1,017. Vehicle thefts in 2011 – 63. This was a decrease, according to Villanova, but no figures were given for 2002. Arson 2002 Ñ2, 2011Ñ 3. Villanova feels the significant numbers to be aware of are homicides.

Duhig asked about the personnel count differences. In 2002, there were 100 police officers. In 2012 there are 109 officers.

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