THE BLADE: Dogs in Politics, Deetjen Tells Off Advocate

Daring to ask the question: "Would you let your dog run for the Oak Lawn Village Board?"

Dog Beats Village Trustees in Hypothetical Election Poll

The results of Oak Lawn Patch’s unscientific mayoral poll have been counted. Last week, .

A total of 362 votes were cast. We suspect some readers voted multiple times but there is no limit to how many times you can vote in a Patch poll. In fact, it’s encouraged.

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According to our poll, Mayor Dave Heilmann, who says he’s going to run for a third term next year, received 117 votes. The rest of our hypothetical mayoral candidates, including village board members, some-other-yet-to-be-named person, a cat and a dog received 245 votes.

Village Clerk Jane Quinlan got 98 votes, followed by some-other-yet-to-be-named-person who received 83. Trustee Bob Streit (Dist. 3) and a dog were in a tight race for third, but Trustee Streit pulled ahead winning 27-17.

Did we mention the dog was a write-in candidate?

While Patch doesn’t believe the mayor should lost sleep over our first election poll, it's possible that the four incumbent trustees—presuming they’re running—can be beaten by a dog.

Larry Deetjen: ‘The Anti-Community Leader of the Year’

After Village Manager Larry Deetjen it’s a pretty safe bet that the medical center won’t be naming him ‘Community Leader of the Year’ any time in the near future.

That honor went to Mayor Dave Heilmann, who received the prestigious honor of “Outstanding Community Leader Honoree” at Salute 2012 gala last weekend. According to a press release, the mayor was chosen for his “significant and ongoing support of the medical center.”

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There was a different kind of gala happening at village hall on Monday. Residents from Crawford Gardens filled half the room for the Planning and Development Commission public hearing on the hospital's zoning requests to expand its campus; the other side was filled by Advocate consultants.

For Debbie Fagas and her neighbors, they admited to feeling like they're being mowed down by

“When we ask about certain plans we’re told nothing is on the drawing board at the moment only to find out at a later meeting that something is on the drawing board,” Debbie said. “This is causing some discord.”

“We want to feel safe in our homes but how can you do that with hundreds of thousands of strangers in your back yard,” she continued. “The hospital is the number one user of village resources. Did I forget to mention that they pay no property taxes? We need the village to protect us.”

After commissioners’ voted 5-2 to table Advocate Christ’s nine zoning variance requests until their next meeting on May 21, with the village’s request that the medical center pay for another impact study.

Deetjen stood up and blasted Luckard and the Advocate consultants: “Let me tell you gentlemen, were you here on Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night at the Oak Lawn Advocate facility,” Deetjen asked. “You weren’t there to see the streetlights out on 93rd and Kostner were you?"

“The residents have spoke very loudly about storm water management, traffic impact on tax services, neighborhood property values, spinoff of construction on zoning in other areas,” the village manager finished to applause.

For the residents of Crawford Gardens--many of whom have lived in the neighborhood long before Christ Community Hospital was built in 1961--they found their "Community Leader of the Year."

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