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Bank Traffic Sparks Discussion

Oak Lawn Trustee Claims ‘Hit List’ Is Targeted Against Some Members

The second board meeting of the newly elected Oak Lawn Village Board contained a little something for everyone’s interests.

There were Girl Scout awards, an Eagle Scout award, police department appointments and promotions, conflicts between board members Ñ new and returning Ñ along with supposedly cohesive new Board members against each other. Rounding out the evening, was the removal in handcuffs of the often outspoken Andy Skoundrianos.

Village Clerk Jane Quinlan officiated at the swearing in of newly appointed Police Chief Michael Murray. {{more}} Other police department promotions were Sergeant Dennis Keenan and Lieutenant Ross Finnelly. New police officers sworn in were Luke Sevening, Scott Petersen, Daniel Stone and Matthew Harland.

Stewart Licursi, a 2013 graduate of Oak Lawn Community High School, received an Eagle Scout recognition award for his work in supplying the food pantry at Pilgrim Faith Church in Oak Lawn. The award, according to Licursi, requires that he develop and implement a plan of his own to benefit others. Due to his efforts and help from family and friends, he was able to secure enough food to stock the pantry for two to three months.

Licursi will be attending Northern Illinois University in the fall.

Trustee Bob Streit (3rd) presented awards to Girl Scout Troop 60627 for their efforts to clean the debris around the Village Green. Each Girl Scout brought a trash bag and collected litter from around the Gazebo. Streit acknowledged their hard work, saying, ÒThey made it look real nice.”

Members of Girl Scout Troop 6027 are Tamia Brown, Lily Butler, Abby Cody, Anna Enderle, Reya Graham, Olivia Jeziorczak, Sara Jordan, Isabella Kaleta, Samantha Marrufo, Elise Oldham, Jessica Paschke, Lorelei Paschke, Neila Pirkl, Mia Segura, Emily Stefanisin and Mackenzie Tamer.

Laura Paschke is the troop leader, and Helen Gesell is the unit manager.

In the Village Trustee’s report, Tim Desmond (1st) called for Òless talk, more action” at the village meetings. Desmond advanced an idea to help the village’s high school graduates get some business experience.

ÒThere are 500 businesses in Oak Lawn,” said Desmond. ÒIf we could get 1 percent of those businesses to hire our high school graduates and offer apprenticeships to students in school now, that would create new careers and give 17- 18-year-olds the skills they need to go anywhere in the world.”

Alex Olejniczak (2nd) expressed disappointment and concern that ComEd is not willing to pay the $10,000 to $20,000 in damages caused by the failure of their system and an energy surge that occurred two months ago.

Olejniczak said there were about 65 residents affected.

He requested that Village Attorney Paul O’Grady bring some documentation from Springfield to the next Board meeting, saying that ComEd is not willing to pay for damages.

Terry Vorderer (4th) said he had a positive meeting with Advocate Christ Hospital representatives on Tuesday. There will be a new left turn signal on northbound Kostner Avenue in the near future.

Mike Carberry (6th) suggested a discussion at a future board meeting to provide bus service for seniors on Sundays to their local churches. Carberry also stated that he will not accept a pension for a part-time position and requested a vote at the next Board meeting to eliminate pensions.

Carberry announced that the annual carnival at St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish is June 6-9.

Village Manager Larry Deetjen reminded everyone about the open house for the new Senior Center. The open house was held Thursday at the former McGugan School, 5220 W. 105th St.

There was discussion and approval given for the planning, development and rezoning with consolidation of three lots into one lot at 5300 W. 95th St. The space will become the new Oak Lawn Bank and Trust. The petitioner for the project is Beverly Bank and Trust Co.

The project will take approximately eight months to complete. Entrance to the building will be at the east end on Raymond Avenue.

There will be a temporary bank trailer at the site until the three-story project is completed.

Trustee Carol Quinlan (5th) raised the question of parking and traffic being an issue with the new building. Olejniczak and Streit also expressed concerns about traffic flow in the area.

Streit asked Deetjen if the land was sold to the bank for the purpose of balancing the Oak Lawn Village budget. Deetjen answered, ÒNo.”

Olejniczak asked Deetjen, ÒThen was the sale of the land ultimately used to balance the budget? If we didn’t have the money from the bank, would we be able to balance the budget?”

Deetjen’s lengthy answer concluded with, ÒThe money was included in the 2013 budget. That is correct.”

In Mayor Sandra Bury’s report, she requested that the investigation of matters pertaining to The House of Brides at 95th Street and 55th Avenue be removed from the agenda and continued in executive session due to a possible litigation issue.

Bury then announced her choices for committee assignments. Finance and Quality Control would be committees with all six trustees contributing. All other committees were to be led by and included newly elected board members.

O’Grady asked that each committee be voted on independent of each other.

The Finance committee was voted on first. When Bury asked if there were any objections, Quinlan said, ÒAbsolutely. I’m just looking at the ‘hit list’ that we are all so aware of that former Trustee (Thomas) Phelan put together based on the group discussion everybody knows about, and it’s exactly the same list.”

Quinlan continued to explain that the Òhit list” was the result of a meeting at Palermo’s Restaurant between Phelan, Bury, Carberry, Desmond and Olejniczak.

According to Quinlan, Vorderer was not invited to the meeting because of possible criticism of the committee assignments.

Bury denied a secret meeting and asked Quinlan to provide proof of this meeting. Quinlan responded, ÒDid you not receive a copy of this list that went out? It’s exactly what Tom Phelan put together as a summary of your discussion.”

Tempers flared, with Streit also accusing Bury of secret meetings. When Bury pressed him to provide proof, Streit said he did have proof but did not provide any documentation at the meeting. Bury again denied there was a secret meeting.

Streit went on to say, ÒSo transparency and ethics was just a campaign slogan.”

Skoundrianos then began shouting back at Streit and Quinlan, who called him out of order. Two police officers came to handcuff and remove Skoundrianos from the room. He has in the past refused to leave after an outburst, but was physically removed at this meeting.

Carberry and Bury both called the incident Òunfortunate.”

When approval of Carberry for Police Chair/Liaison was sought, Vorderer did not vote to approve. His stated reason was, ÒI am disappointed. I feel I am in a unique position to represent the police department. I have 30 to 40 years of experience. I think I can do a better job. I do feel this should have been my appointment.”

Vorderer, Quinlan and Streit voted against the Carberry appointment. The tie breaking vote was cast by Bury in favor Carberry for Police chair.

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