With little more than a year until the next municipal election, another candidate is declaring his early intentions to run for the Oak Lawn Village Board.
Paul Vail, a newly appointed village-planning commissioner, announced that he is running for the fifth district trustee seat currently held by Carol Quinlan.
Quinlan, who is serving her second term on the village board, has not announced if she is running again in 2015.
Last September, Patrick McGowan announced his candidacy for the third district seat currently held by Oak Lawn’s longest serving member on the village board, Tr. Bob Streit.
Vail, 36, is an executive project manager overseeing a team of project construction managers. He says no one has asked him to run with a slate. Vail got involved in the plan commission because he thought his construction background could help steer the village through the 111th Street and Cicero Avenue development.
“I’ve given this a lot of thought and I don’t want to play games,” Vail said. “I want everyone to know. I want to put it out there and give people ample time to get to know me. I want to have an open dialogue with people whether we agree or disagree. I’m open to all opinions.”
Vail was born and raised in Oak Lawn, attended public grammar schools and is a Mt. Carmel High School graduate. He holds a bachelor’s in secondary education from DePaul University, and a master’s in project management from the Keller Graduate School of Management at DeVry University.
In addition to serving on the plan commission, he chairs the village’s corridor studies subcommittee. Vail also belongs to the Building Owners Management Association of Chicago, the Oak Lawn Lions Club and St. Linus Men’s Club.
He’s the divorced father of six-year-old son, Lucas, and says he is on good terms with his son’s mother. As a young homeowner, Vail thinks it’s time that the torch is passed to the next generation of Oak Lawn residents.
“I have a lot of friends and family my age in Oak Lawn,” Vail said. “I think it’s time for my generation of new homeowners to get involved in the politics of the town and have a voice.”
Vail doesn’t have a gripe with Dist. 5's current leadership, but is cognizant of the notorious allegiances and grudges among Oak Lawn Village Board members.
“I’m not going to say anything is lacking. I’m not going to mudsling,” Vail said. “I want to make a clear point that it’s not my intention to throw anybody under the bus or to be dirty or ugly in that regard.”
He’s also prepared for the slings and arrows that he knows will come flying his way once the 2015 campaign season gets underway.
“I known people take sides. I’m just here as a viable option to invigorate excitement into the village and see if we can’t do things better,” Vail said.
Vail’s name does not appear on the so-called “Phelan hit list.”