Village Board Reduces Hours for Trick or Treating
Despite incurring wrath of some parents, Trustee Alex Olejniczak believes change is in "the best interest of the community."
Sorry, kids, but Halloween just got an hour shorter. The Oak Lawn Village Board voted 3-1 on Tuesday to end trick or treating at 7 p.m.
Trustee Alex Olejniczak (Dist. 2) said he was acting on the concerns of “multitudes of people, many of them seniors” when he asked the board to consider reducing the hours for trick or treating and “not one person as I was quoted as saying” in Patch.
“As a trustee, when someone brings a concern to me I investigate it to see if it’s valid and something I should bring up [with the village board],” Olejniczak said.
Before the village board voted, a father stood up and asked trustees to reconsider shortening the hours for trick-or-treating.
“Parents like me who have 9-to-5 jobs and don’t exactly work around the corner, with the time change happening there is no way I could go trick or treating with my kids without trying to race home and get in costume and go out with them for 20 minutes,” he said. “In my opinion the way the ordinance is now is fine. I think it’s a really good middle ground.”
He asked the village board that if the ordinance were to change, to consider doing it next year “so people like me can made arrangements at work to switch schedules or use vacation days.”
“I don’t think it’s fair,” he added.
Trustee Carol Quinlan (Dist. 5) supported keeping the hours as they are now that allow trick or treating until 8 p.m.
“It’s a valid point that parents who are working and get home later to have that opportunity to take their children out,” Quinlan said. “That’s ultimately what we want—parents to take their children out on Halloween.”
Quinlan cast the dissenting vote. Trustees who supported cutting back trick or treating hours, in addition to Olejniczak, were Bob Streit (Dist. 3) and Tom Duhig (Dist. 4). Trustee Tom Phelan did not attend Tuesday’s board meeting because of a family emergency.
“I get the constructive criticism,” Olejniczak said. “I’ve gotten the wrath of a lot of parents that are concerned about this. I still believe that reducing the hours to 7 or 7:30 p.m. is in the best interest of the community.”
READ MORE Oak Lawn Village Board stories: