The Rewind: Oak Lawn’s Top Stories, Jan. 23-Jan. 28
Offensive ties, f-bombs, crazy village politics, an exciting free offer and other news that made the cutting-room floor.
The Whole World’s Talking About the Webb Boys
Patch heard all sorts of colorful language while carousing the village's various drinking establishments during last Sunday’s big game between the Packers and Bears. Never have we heard so many creative uses of the f-word.
Oak Lawn made global headlines the next day when John Stone, a salesman at Webb Chevrolet, got fired after he refused five requests to take off his Green Bay Packers tie. Webb GM Jerry Roberts told the Southtown Star that it was because the dealership spent $20,000 per month advertising with the Bears on WBBM radio.
Stone was offered a new gig at Chevrolet of Homewood. He also admitted to being stunned by his 15 minutes of fame after his story went viral around the globe faster than a H1N1 pandemic.
To demonstrate the far reach of the this story, Patch received an e-mail from Myrna Jurcev, chair of Oak Lawn Tax Watch, who is vacationing in Maui.
“Who would believe our little village of Oak Lawn, Illinois makes the Maui Newspaper… I sure hope salesman, John Stone, stays selling vehicles in Oak Lawn for the sales tax dollars, lots of dealers to choose from … Where do you see that in car sales...at Shirey Cadillac.”
Not Your Grandfather's Victory Bonds
Just moments after the Oak Lawn Village Electoral Board approved a motion to dismiss the challenge lobbied against his nominating petitions on Jan. 20, Dan Sodaro raced over to the Ridgeland Dist. 122 school board meeting.
Sodaro is president of the Dist. 122 school board. He’s also challenging Trustee Bob Streit for village board trustee. Should he win the 3rd District village trustee seat, Sodaro says he will resign from the school board.
The school board approved the sale of two sets of bonds for the purpose of capital improvement projects, plugging the expected budget deficit and restructuring debt obligations.
Meanwhile, at Oak Lawn-Hometown Dist. 123, school board members began talks on closing its own $2.2 million budget deficit and asked that parents that join in the discussion, who all declined commenting during the public comments portion of the Jan. 25 school board meeting.
As Not Seen on TV
Patch brought the riveting last minute—literally—when it taped the village electoral board’s reading of its final decision to dismiss the petition challenge against village board trustee candidate Dan Sodaro.
Channel 4 viewers were denied the opportunity to watch the electoral board hearings on public access television when Mayor Dave Heilmann, after 38 minutes of haggling, ordered the village's TV camera to be shut off.
The decision was based on concerns expressed by Sodaro’s attorney, Keri-Lyn Krafthefer, that segments of the hearing may be edited out of context to further a political candidate’s campaign for village board trustee.
Knowing how our local politicians are sticklers for rules, Patch greatly doubts that this would have happened.
Krafthefer also requested to review any non-village video segment of the electoral board hearing before it went up on the Internet. Oops, sorry.
Andrew Skoundrianos, the Oak Lawn-resident and objector, also expressed his concern per the video outtake included here. He says he will appeal.
Duhig Drops the F-Bomb
Trustee Tom Duhig (Dist. 4) dropped the f-bomb during Tuesday’s village board meeting—the “fraudulent petition” f-bomb that is, which made Patch regret shutting off its roving camera too soon. (We won’t make the same mistake next time.)
The Oak Lawn Tax Watch referendum petition to abandon the village’s current form of government ended on a whimper Jan. 18 when it was withdrawn in Cook County Circuit Court amid allegations of fraud.
As Duhig attempted to delve into a “timeline analysis” of select village board members' CSI investigation into the alleged fraudulent petitions, Mayor Dave Heilmann tied to shut Duhig down, stating that it wasn’t a matter of “government business.”
After some helpful chiming in by Bob Streit, Duhig was able to finish his trustee report and revealed that the petition had been turned over to “the proper authorities.”
An anonymous tipster also told Patch that “handwriting analysis experts” had been hired to examine the signatures on the petition. We hope that village elected officials took advantage of the many available forensic handwriting experts’ offers of free 15-minute consultations and $350-hourly specials.
The petition is currently being reviewed by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
Yarmouth Selectmen Select Another
The selectmen of the Yarmouth, MA, town council selected a local for its town administrator position. As reported by Patch on Jan. 17, Oak Lawn's village manager, Larry Deetjen, was one of four finalists for town administrator. Cape Cod Times reports that Deetjen did appear for an interview last week before the Yarmouth search committee.
Who Wants to See the Referendum Petition?
C’mon, we know you all want to. Oak Lawn Patch will be at Starbucks at 5135 W. 95th St. (by the Metra station) from 7 to 10 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31 for anyone who wants to come see the referendum petition. (Warning: it’s 132 pages.) Decide for yourself if fraud occurred or look for your name. The first five people to show up will receive a free Patch water bottle, and you can never have too many water bottles.