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Phelan Will Not Run in April

He Will Concentrate on Changing Mayoral Office in Oak Lawn

Oak Lawn Trustee Thomas Phelan (6th) is not running for re-election in April, explaining pointedly in a community newsletter on Dec. 21 that he wants to focus on getting a new mayor elected.

Phelan, who was first elected to the Village Board in 2005, said that after eight years in office, ÒI believe that Oak Lawn would benefit most if I devoted all of my time and energy to bringing change to the mayoral office in Oak Lawn.”

He endorsed his longtime friend, Mike Carberry, who is running for the 6th District seat as an independent. Carberry will face Carol Sheahan in the April 9 election.

Sheahan is running on the Independence Party slate of candidates headed by Mayor David Heilmann. Dr. Sandra Bury, a local optometrist and community activist, is running against Heilmann as an independent.

Phelan noted in his e-mail that he has known Carberry for more than 30 years. He said that his experience balancing budgets and controlling costs as the former owner of an electrical contracting company would serve Oak Lawn well.

He also pointed to Carberry’s experience as the former state representative in the 36th District as an asset. Carberry, who is currently the deputy director of facilities management for Cook County, was chosen to replace former state Rep. James Brosnahan, who retired early, and held the seat from March 2010 until January 2011.

Phelan, a vocal opponent of Heilmann on the board in recent years, said that he has been Òdevoting considerable time and effort to exposing the lies, the fraud, and the crimes that have occurred in Oak Lawn Village government. It has been neither pleasant nor rewarding. But it has been absolutely necessary.”

In 2012, a forensic audit that Trustee Robert Streit (3rd) requested into Phelan’s management of the village’s 2011 Fall on the Green festival found only that the village board needed to establish better controls over such events.

Phelan claimed in his e-mail that he and others who have worked with him to Òexpose all the wrong-doing” have been Òattacked, slandered and vilified.” He disputed accusations that he and others were just Òplaying politics” or resorting to Òpersonal attacks.”

ÒLet there be no mistaking what all the Òfighting” in Oak Lawn has been about. It’s not political. And it’s not personal. It’s criminal. And so there isn’t a doubt in anyone’s mind about my motivations, I decided it better that I not run again for trustee, and instead focus on exposing these crimes.”

He maintained that he is Ònot motivated by personal grudges or vendettas,” or politics either, which he said ÒI frankly despise and won’t miss one bit.”

In addition to Bury and Carberry, Phelan’s allies on the board, trustees Alex Olejniczak (2nd) and Tom Duhig (4th), and Village Clerk Jane Quinlan are running as independents.

The other independent running is Tim Desmond, who is challenging incumbent Trustee Cindy Trautsch (1st). Desmond owns Jack Desmond’s Irish Pub in Chicago Ridge.

Along with Heilmann and Sheahan, the others running on the ÒIndependence Party” slate includes Melissa Moran, who is running for clerk against Quinlan; Julie Misner, running against Olejniczak in the 2nd District; and Tim Reilly, who is challenging Duhig in the 4th District.

Streit and Trustee Carol Quinlan (5th) are not up for re-election this year.

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