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Mayor Says Nice Things About One-Time Political Foe Jerry Hurckes

Oak Lawn Mayor Dave Heilmann hopes to fill the vacancy left by the Dist. 1 trustee 'sooner rather than later.' Hurckes resigned from the village board on Wednesday.

Mayor Dave Heilmann seemed somewhat at a loss for words when contacted Wednesday afternoon for his reaction to his former adversary’s resignation from the Oak Lawn Village Board.

Heilmann and Trustee Jerry Hurckes once opposed each other in a bitterly fought campaign for village mayor in 2009. Words were exchanged and mud was slung.

Hurckes, who recently took back his old job as chief of staff for Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-IL), cited time demands.

“I had to make a decision of what to do in my life,” Hurckes told Patch.

Heilmann said Hurckes’ resignation was not unexpected. The trustee asked to stay on through the end of August because of upcoming votes on the village board next week.

“We all have to decide what’s best for our careers and family. I respect his decision,” Heilmann said. “I do know that he worked his heart out for residents in Dist. 1 and I think that was the reason why they always returned him to office.”

With a new realignment on the village board—Heilmann claims he is being attacked by his former allies who are suing him for leftover monies in the Unity Party’s campaign fund—the politically astute Hurckes kept out of such village board squabbles as the to change Oak Lawn’s form of government.

Hurckes ran unopposed for the Dist. 1 seat in the April consolidated election, “which means that residents wanted him to continue serving. No one challenged him for the position and that’s significant,” Heilmann said.

The mayor has seemed to form an alliance with his one-time foe. The long-running feud often exploded at epic proportions during village board meetings.

“We never had a conversation about forming an alliance,” the mayor said. “You agree on some things and disagree on others, but there was no ‘let’s get together and do X, Y and Z.’”

Heilmann said much of the feud between him and Hurckes was overblown by the media.

“I remember when we met with the (Southtown) editorial board,” the mayor recalled. “They mentioned a number of articles of all the fights between he and I and there were really very few.”

Heilmann, who as mayor gets to appoint someone to finish out the rest of Hurckes’ term on the village board through 2013, said he hasn’t given the process a lot of thought.

“Even though there was discussion, this is still fairly new,” he said. “I want to start the process sooner rather than later.

"I will certainly ask for his opinion."

Jimmy D August 04, 2011 at 01:13 PM
"Heilmann, who as mayor gets to appoint someone to finish out the rest of Hurckes’ term on the village board through 2013, said he hasn’t given the process a lot of thought." *************************************** With consent of the Board. Don't expect this to be a slam dunk!!
Terry Vorderer August 04, 2011 at 06:50 PM
I worked for Oak Lawn Police Department for 34 years. During those years I saw many part time politicans serve as Village Trustee. Jerry Hurckes was one of the best hard-working trustees. He was always there for any consituent who needed help. I got calls in the middle of the night as the Uniform Division Chief from Jerry Hurckes asking if the police could help a resident in need. I was most impressed in his dedication to his District. Thank you, Jerry, for all you have done for our Village. You have far more statemanship in you than those who wish to discredit you. I was proud to run on your ticket in 2009.
annie tiques August 05, 2011 at 02:31 AM
I don't get it? Heilmann runs against Hurckes, wins the election, runs around with his beer drinking cronies waving brooms for sweep, allows people to make jokes about Hurckes at the post election party, publicly allows his bulldogs to rip into this guy ..... And now has good things to say? A man with many hats you are Davey Boy. That's why your bulldogs are no longer leashed. You. Are. A. Hypocrite. ! ! ! ! ! !
loser09 August 05, 2011 at 03:43 AM
Didn't you and your entire ticket lose??? Just askin
OakLawnGuy August 05, 2011 at 12:40 PM
And, in politics, this is different how?
QC August 05, 2011 at 08:11 PM
The Unscrupulous Party is still at it. grow up!
QC August 05, 2011 at 08:15 PM
Don't throw stones kneeling down boy!

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