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Streit campaigns on constituent services but opponent says change is needed

By Dermot Connolly

Paul Mallo said it is time for new leadership in the Oak Lawn 3rd District, and he believes that is not occurring now under incumbent Trustee Robert Streit.

Streit strongly disagrees with that assessment and responds that he is the person to provide the leadership the district needs for the future.

The 3rd District trustee race is the only contested showdown in the Tuesday, April 2 municipal election. Trustees Tim Desmond (1st) and William “Bud” Stalker (5th) are running unopposed.

“I am focusing on keeping the tax levy down and opposing tax increases where I can,” said Streit, 63, who has been in office since 1991, making him the longest-serving member of the Village Board. “I am running on my record, and focusing on constituent services.”

Streit 2

Streit

The lifelong Oak Lawn resident, a member of St. Germaine Parish, ran unsuccessfully against Mayor Sandra Bury two years ago. He has three children.

Streit has owned Sealtite Roofing for over 30 years, and is president and managing member of Illinois Energy Aggregation. He belongs to the Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce and holds a bachelor degree in business administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“I’ve been to a lot of the Village Board meetings, or watched them. I think Oak Lawn has a lot of good things going on. I see it as an up and coming community, with a lot of new families moving in. I think it is just time for someone else to represent the 3rd District,” said Mallo, explaining why he decided to run.

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Mallo

“I want to provide a choice for voters,” he added, noting that Streit has been trustee for the 25 years he has lived in Oak Lawn.

Since 2001, Mallo, 48, has been a volunteer and officer with the Oak Lawn Baseball and Softball League, which is headquartered in the 3rd District. He is vice president of a metal finishing company in Chicago where he has worked for 26 years. He has a degree in management from Elmhurst College.

He and his wife, Pam, are members of St. Linus Parish and have three sons, ages 23, 20, and 11. Mallo is also a longtime volunteer with the South West Special Recreation Association, which provides recreation opportunities for people with disabilities.

Mallo said that since starting as a coach for his oldest son’s team at Oak Lawn Baseball, which is headquartered in the 3rd District, he has served as league vice president and president of boy’s baseball, and currently is treasurer.

“Working with Oak Lawn Baseball, and being a parent of boys within a wide age range, I’ve met and worked with hundreds of Oak Lawn residents over the years, including many from the 3rd District,” said Mallo. “And I’ve noticed a recent influx of young and energetic families coming into Oak Lawn, which is a great sign for our future. I don’t think I’ve had any real communication with (Streit) in all the time I have lived in his district. As trustee, I want to make sure that I am accessible to residents. The communication has kind of failed.

“I’m not even elected yet and people are asking me to help them get things done,” he said.

“I’ve been walking the streets and knocking on doors during the campaign. I am excited about that. I want to assure the residents that their services will continue if I am elected,” said Mallo.

Streit disputed the contention that there is a lack of communication with district residents.

“I have a fully staffed constituent service office that I pay for myself. I am the only one in the village to have that,” he added.

The service office is located at his business office at 9711 Southwest Highway.

“He is telling people that he is going to do what I am already doing,” said Streit.

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