Streit: 'I Am Speaking To The Item Under Discussion'

Oak Lawn Village Board passes term limits referendum question after heated exchange. Watch the trailer before it appears on Ch. 4.

Highlights of the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting from Dec. 10, 2013.
Highlights of the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting from Dec. 10, 2013.

Oak Lawn’s longest serving trustee exchanged sharp words with the mayor before a vote on placing a term limits referendum on the March 18, 2014 ballot.

The binding referendum will let Oak Lawn voters decide whether to limit the consecutive number of terms that a person can serve in any elected office with the village to three terms.

If passed, the clock would start clicking with the April 2015 election, and is applicable only prospectively, to persons elected to the offices of village president, clerk and trustee, and at each election held thereafter.

Current trustees, such as Bob Streit (Dist 3), now in his fifth term in office, and Alex Olejniczak (Dist. 2) and Carol Quinlan (Dist. 5), both with multiple terms under their belts, would all be eligible to serve three more consecutive terms as village trustee after April 2015.

In addition, an elected village official that has maxed out his or her term limits in a specific office, could run for and serve in another elected village office for three consecutive terms.

Before the vote was taken, Streit argued that there are already term limits in place, when voters decide whether to retain an elected official every four years.

“This is one of those questions that before you put it on the ballot, everybody knows the answer to it,” Streit said, a village trustee since 1991. “When the voters are asked if they want term limits, they do. It’s the lack of confidence they have in elected officials, especially in Washington and Springfield.”

Streit suggested that if the village board was really serious about getting the public’s input, they should be asking questions about “significant issues of public policy.”

“We just made all kinds of important decisions tonight, some that would greatly affect many people,” he began. “I think one question might be should we outsource our emergency telecommunicators.”

Mayor Sandra Bury warned Streit to stay on topic.

“Please keep your comments to the item under discussion,” she said.

“This is the item. I am speaking to the item under discussion,” Streit said. “Please don’t interrupt me, mayor.”

“I’m controlling the meeting,” Bury said.

“Of course you are, “ Streit responded.

Streit continued to suggest more ideas for referendums (or is referenda), such as whether the village should hire more police officers, inducing the mayor to slam down the gavel.

“I’m sorry, I’m going to continue,” Streit said.”You are out of order, mayor.”


Trustees voted 4-2 to place the term limits question on the March 2014 ballot.

Quinlan said that originally she was going to support the resolution. She changed her mind when her motion to remove two paragraphs referring to “promoting diversity in office holders” and “urgency in forming and implementing policies” died on the table.

Other board notes: The village board also passed the 2014 budget by a vote of 4-2, with Streit and Quinlan in the minority.

The budget reduces the village’s cut of the tax levy to 12 percent, without raising residents’ property taxes.

Larry Murray December 11, 2013 at 09:15 AM
I love seeing Alex' adorable face peeking over the veranda
Dave T December 11, 2013 at 10:50 AM
Thanks for getting rid of the Pumpkin Fest and eliminating 3 summer concerts. BTW in case you haven't noticed you need to hire more police officers, not cut it down even more. The sooner I can get out of Oak Lawn the better.
Honestly IPO December 11, 2013 at 10:50 AM
Those of us that pay attention already know who votes with who and on what issues. So that being said wouldn't it have been a NON story to let Steit finish his statement and then take the vote? The taped segment doesn't show either person in a good light.
john artis December 11, 2013 at 10:57 AM
Mr Streit = Village idiot
Bob December 11, 2013 at 12:16 PM
John likes to call a trustee an idiot needs to look no further than a mirror to know what one looks like. Getting called an idiot by a man who gets off on 20 people losing their jobs at christmas time just shows what kind of person he is.
Dana Pyzik December 11, 2013 at 12:34 PM
I have to agree with the Trustee on this one. As a voter, I would much rather have input on questions of policy. If I want to limit someone's time in office, I can just vote for someone else. That is, if the political machine allows another choice. How many times has someone wanted to run and been thrown off the ballot for one reason or another? Plus, limiting terms doesn't mean we'll have quality candidates to choose from on the ballot.
Judie December 11, 2013 at 12:59 PM
I agree with Dana
john artis December 11, 2013 at 02:25 PM
Bob Streit is a hypocrite more than an idiot, Bob I was wrong on that.He ran a non union roofing business, voted to fire firefighters in the past, voted to outsource village programs in the past, oh yeah I remember that doesn't fit in with the pro worker pro union Bob we see now blovating at village board meetings is that because he is on the outside looking in ?? Political opportunist??? Not Trustee Streit !!
Vivian Braider December 11, 2013 at 03:26 PM
Right "John"! I much more prefer his foolish former friend to his right who was 100% against insurance for trustees until he was 100% for insurance for himself before he was again against it! OR, perhaps we all remember the time that same student of Falo was against term limits until he was for it, until he runs again. The trifecta of course may be when he was for the firemen but then turned against the firemen. He even blabbered away against Ron STancik when he was running for office accusing Stancik of blaming the employees for budgetary issues. Of course, he's now doing the same thing. At least you know where he is: blowing in the wind!
Mark December 11, 2013 at 04:18 PM
I am surprised O'l Andy hasn't chimed in yet. He normally has something to say. "Oh where, Oh where, has our little Andy gone, Oh where, Oh where, can he be???"
andy skoundrianos December 11, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Mark if you can't say anything nice about someone then you know the rest, Bob knows Exactly how I feel about him I have said it right to him personally, Bob will have been in office almost a quarter of a century in 2015 time to ride away in the sunset... PS You guys have to get some better names " Mark" is kind of blah if you ask me EOM, Joe Wilson,Grunty, Vivian are much bettter ,although still fake.
Mark December 11, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Talk about not saying something nice to someone, you may have written the book on that one pal! You seem to have all the answers all the time, why arn't you part of that village board?
Luther December 11, 2013 at 07:04 PM
john,why do you care so much about what Streit does? I thought you were from the 2nd. dist. So you're with his foolish former friend to his right.
Luther December 11, 2013 at 07:08 PM
andy, they are pseudonyms. Or peoples real names. Man your life is loaded with fake stuff. Are you sure you are you?
andy skoundrianos December 11, 2013 at 08:11 PM
Luther people who live in glass houses should not cast stones Different names same ole narrative with all of you real or not
Luther December 11, 2013 at 08:32 PM
Yeah,andy you are right. It is the same old song.....you're just singing for a different band.
andy skoundrianos December 11, 2013 at 09:14 PM
you would know " luther "
Joe Skibinski December 12, 2013 at 11:36 AM
It is a sad commentary on the part of those who serve that those who elect them don't feel comfortable keeping them around for long. This ordinance has the potential of throwing out some very good, credible career elected officials who strive to do their best every day at serving the community. In the same vein as Trustee Streit's remarks. On the other hand, this ordinance will protect the innocent taxpayer from those predatory career politicians who seek to only to serve themselves and their pals at our expense. The rub is in determining who is who.
JB18 December 12, 2013 at 12:51 PM
“promoting diversity in office holders”...had to comment when I saw this language in the referendum. Always so PC its sickening. I don't care if you are black, white, green, blue, man, woman, alien...pick the person who is most qualified and can do the job right. But if a white person, who is more qualified than a black or latino person, is snubbed because the color wheel on the board is a little too one color, that's ridiculous and always will be ridiculous. Didn't know we now treat life like tee-ball, everyone wins and juice boxes available after the game.
OakLawnGuy December 12, 2013 at 01:26 PM
"Diversity promotion" is too close to "quota" to be workable as part of any ordinance or law. If the people who run the Village was to promote diversity (which is kind of an uphill battle in OL), they have several other avenues by which to do so.
andy skoundrianos December 12, 2013 at 02:16 PM
That term does not always have to have a racial stigma to it. It could mean term limits opens the process to allow people from different walks of life in to public service that may not want to participate thinking the process is rigged. Stay at home parents , tradesmen,teachers,business people instead of the usual suspects of Lawyers at the local and state levels who become politicians not that all of them are bad mind you.
OakLawnGuy December 12, 2013 at 02:46 PM
It could, but let's face it, in practical terms it does not. (In political terms it stands for less than zero.) Besides, the courts have been clogged with too many suits related to diversity and all that it entails for it to be a bonafide guideline. See, for example, U of I. It's a slippery slope.
Judy Royer December 12, 2013 at 04:22 PM
The Fathers of this country would agree with term limits, we have too many politicians in this country who are robbing us blind! 3 Terms is perfect. What I want to see is a politician not getting rich off our money and we should start that in Oak Lawn. I'd like to see the good ones stay in but sadly those are few and far between.
Luther December 12, 2013 at 05:56 PM
I’m not sure term limits is the answer to ridding us of bad office holders. That is what elections are supposed to be for. Maybe the place to start reform is to make it harder for incumbents to knock challengers off the ballot. Then we should get more diverse and better choices. The number of unopposed races is alarming. Especially at the local level we should be making it easier to become engaged in how government is run. Also we the voters have to start paying more attention, it is us after all that hired theses mopes to begin with.
Larry Murray December 12, 2013 at 06:51 PM
I see one big problem, and I'm sure many also see it in the posts here and in other articles. It's the fact that voters are unaware of how the weak mayor system works. In other words, a village manager is the real power in decision. The mayor acts more or less as a figure head and tie breaking vote. However, many of those decisios made by the village manager do have to come to a vote by the board. And of course attending meetings regularly will guarantee you additional education in how the village president, board and manager work. And as much as many of us butt heads with Andy, he DOES attend meetings and he does pay attention. Excelsior Andy! However, Luther my man, you bring up an excellent point. "Maybe the place to start is to make it harder for incumbents to knock challengers off the ballot." That's the problem as well. Just to get on the ballot you will need signatures. You will need to go door to door. Signatures will need to be verified, all t's crossed, all i's dotted. Because while you're walking down the street knocking on the door you also need to look back over your shoulder and look for the goons squeezed into a late model Toyota slowly following while you do. Because once THAT is all complete, you'll find out that the idiots squeezed in the car with the Taco Bell wrappers piled on the dash board have gone running back to your would-be opponents office to report what they've seen. Then a phone call to some low low low level Cook County operative, then another, then another, then another, then months later your ballot fight has turned into a money fight and...well as Paul Harvey used to say..... BUT.....the funny part? The really really funny part? One of the guys doing the little dirty work for the incumbent? One the minions? He got the shaft! The old political minor player trustee gave Our Hero the boot! So what did he do after getting kicked to the curb? Well what would YOU do? Find the closest bully who will keep the club house door open for you. As long as you stick around to sweep the floor after the Big Boys finish biznizz.... Well why not? He's got nothing but time on his hands..... Excelsior Andy! Excelsior!!!
OakLawnGuy December 12, 2013 at 09:20 PM
25% of 65% of the Village actually cast a vote. That's about 17% of the population. 60% of them voted for the present Mayor. So about 10% of your fellow citizens decided who would lead (as a figurehead) your Village. And as to the Village Mgr form of government - yep, that's where the power lies. And if the Mgr has the Board majority, he's in like flynn. That's what you're looking at here. For all those gnashing your teeth and declaring "I won't forget this", well, don't forget, and then get off your ass and vote when the time comes. We'll see what the turnout is in the 2015 Trustee elections.
andy skoundrianos December 12, 2013 at 09:44 PM
"Larry"you got about half the story right I left Bob when he went off the deep end and guess what " Larry " that's a pretty big club these days , hence the fake toy and food drive and begging people to be volunteers for his fading political career. But your already know that since you run his campaign, write his speeches, post fake propaganda stories etc. Excelsior
andy skoundrianos December 12, 2013 at 09:50 PM
OLG last trustee election in 2011 had a 14% turnout hence the need for term limits because no one cares anymore that is sad but it is a fact .When you use the term " all those " remember it's actually the same 4 people who still can't believe Heilmann lost. They do have some cool names though!!
OakLawnGuy December 13, 2013 at 09:41 AM
Yeah, I hear it a lot. Everyone threatens to "remember" what Obama/Boehner/Bury/Emanuel/whoever are doing, then 2 years down the roads it's back to "whatever, my vote doesn't make a difference". I have no objection to term limits, but they only really work when people exercise their right.
gina December 13, 2013 at 10:55 PM
Who is running against Streit? He has been a trustee since 1991? Time for a change


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