Phelan's Fiery Farewell: 'I'm Not Going Away By A Long Shot'

Oak Lawn Trustee Tom Phelan explains why he's not running for third term in the sixth district. Says he will devote time to exposing "crime" at Village Hall.


By Trustee Tom Phelan, Dist. 6

Editor's Note: The commentary below originally appeared in Trustee Tom Phelan's (Dist.6) "Neighborhood Updates" newsletter of Dec. 21. It appears on Oak Lawn Patch with Trustee Phelan's permission.

First off, a sincere and heartfelt “Thank You” to the many people who have emailed and called in the last 24 hours offering words of thanks and support for my 8 years of service as Trustee in Oak Lawn. A local media outlet ran a story about a new group of candidates running for office in Oak Lawn in next April’s elections, and noted that I decided not to seek a 3rd term as 6th District Trustee.

And because so many people have asked why, and because the reasons are important, I want everyone to know exactly why I decided not to run:

  1. Because I 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.
  2. Because Mike Carberry has agreed to run for 6th District Trustee

Mike Carberry for 6th District Trustee

When I moved into Oak Lawn’s 6th District 12 years ago Mike Carberry (and his wife Michelle) were some of the few people I knew beyond my family, and I have known them for more than 30 years.  Mike grew up in this neighborhood in a large family and is now raising his own family here.  He has coached hundreds of neighborhood kids over the last 15 years and their parents will tell you how profound an impact he has had on them.  And that’s just what makes him a great person.

What will make him a great Trustee are his honesty, integrity, and his experience.  As a former owner of an electrical contracting company Mike understands how to run a business and balance a budget; how to control spending and eliminate waste; and how important it is to recruit and retain quality people to make your organization successful.  Mike also brings important governmental experience as the former State Representative in the 36th District and as the current Deputy Director of Facilities Management for Cook County.

Mike Carberry has my full support for Trustee in Oak Lawn’s 6th District, and I hope that he will get your full support as well - for the good of our neighborhood, and the good of Oak Lawn.

“It’s Time” for Change in Oak Lawn Mayor’s Office"

For the past 2+ years I have been devoting 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.

And in those 2+ years I have been attacked, slandered and vilified. And so have others on the Village Board and in the Village Administration who worked with me to expose all the wrong-doing. Wrong-doing that not only continues to this day, but has intensified. Our Village has been hijacked by people motivated by greed and self-service, by people who work for special interests like lawyers and hospitals and family-related businesses instead of working for you, the Oak Lawn taxpayers. 

And every time these schemes and secret meetings and back-room deals were exposed by me or others, we would be accused of “playing politics” or of resorting to “personal attacks."

Let there be no mistaking what all the “fighting” 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.

Put another way, despite all the attacks and slander and lies being hurled at me and others by those responsible for all of the wrong-doing, I am not motivated by personal grudges or vendettas. Nor am I motivated by “politics” which I frankly despise and won’t miss one bit.

I am motivated by my love of Oak Lawn, and my refusal to let it be dragged down by phonies, frauds, and pretenders. And 100 percent of my efforts and focus in the coming months will be on exposing them and working to prevent them from damaging this Village any further. 

And by not running for Trustee I hope to prove to all of Oak Lawn that it is not “political”.

Strong words, maybe, but backed up 100 percent by facts. 

And for those who have doubt, or who aren’t sure, PLEASE take the time to do 2 things:

  1. Watch our last Village Board meeting on December 11th, which is playing on TV now (Comcast Channel 4; AT&T U-Verse Channel 99).  If you haven’t watched these meetings before, or haven’t for a while, this is what has been passing for “governing” in Oak Lawn for the last several months
  2. Visit www.OakLawnFirst.net.  This is a website of 5 candidates running for office in Oak Lawn who I truly believe will restore the honesty and integrity that has been obliterated by the current board majority.  Please read about these people, and then read the “Get the Facts” next to the picture of Mike Carberry.  What you will read is 100-percent true. And sadly, there is a lot more of that than people know.

I want to close by again thanking everyone for the emails, calls and kind words.  And for all the support, suggestions, and criticisms for the last 8 years, all of which are important if you want your elected officials to truly represent you. 

But I also want to be clear in saying that I am not “going away”, not by a long shot.  There is too much riding on these upcoming elections, and too much at stake for your family and mine. The Village of Oak Lawn has a $100 million budget, and that $100 million belongs to you, the Oak Lawn taxpayers.  You need people in charge who understand how important it is to manage your money wisely. To make sound decisions that may not always be popular with everyone. And to actually live by the oath they take when elected: to serve honestly and honorably.

Oak Lawn Patch welcomes all commentary from residents and candidates running for local offices in the upcoming April 2013 election. For more information about opportunities for blogging and op-eds, please contact the editor Lorraine Swanson at lorraine.swanson@patch.com.

andy skoundrianos December 29, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Funny all this anger and conspiracy theories about a person who is not even on the ballot!! You guys have to find a new whipping boy maybe Col. Mustard in the library with a candle stick??
Get A Clue December 30, 2012 at 05:03 PM
I like Andy at a Board meeting with his Mouth taped shut!
andy skoundrianos December 30, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Boy that's a constructive thought, Clue How long did it take you to come up with that brilliant solution. The truth is hard to get around isn't it??
guuara January 03, 2013 at 07:37 PM
Nationwide people are indeed tired of hate and intolerance
guuara January 03, 2013 at 08:01 PM
A idiot is not good grammar or nice. A woman marries that for the money. So she can work a mindless job close to home.


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