The Rundown: Trautsch Wants Announcements Trimmed from Village Board Meeting

Trustee thinks public service announcements distract village board from business.

On a Tuesday evening filled with awards and recognition of community members’ achievements, Trustee Cindy Trautsch (Dist. 1) proposed that  some of the excess public service announcements be trimmed from the regularmeetings.

“I had suggested that we move announcements to the 7 to 7:30 p.m. slot so that, we, as a board, can have our meetings and get out earlier within our time frame,” Trautsch said.

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Announcements of carnivals, 5K runs, parish smokers and fundraisers, for example, would be announced before the village board’s regular 7:30 p.m. starting time on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month.

“Move these so they don’t take away from the meeting or the meeting takes away from [community members],” Trautsch suggested. “We have business that we need to handle.”

Mayor Dave Heilmann suggested starting public service announcements 15 minutes before the village board meeting.

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“I think it would be beneficial for residents to come and use the mic and help get community announcements out,” the mayor said. “Nobody would have to wait and the board wouldn’t have to be there.”

There was no mention if the pre-board meeting announcements would be included in the taped village board meetings shown the next day on Ch. 4. Also not discussed was if the proposed reduction of public service announcements would apply to trustees’ parish announcements during their new business reports.

Implementing a change to the policy on public service announcements at village board meetings would require a vote by trustees.

The policy would not affect recognition by the village board of community members’ special achievements.

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Jimmy D April 25, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Get off your high horse Trautsch...15 minutes of announcements isn't going to disrupt or drag out meetings. Most of the time the agendas move quickly enough and you can get home. Remember...Government For the People...by the People.
OL Resident April 25, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Want to save time? How about fewer closed door sessions. This does not make you look good. What will you say when the numbers leak out in the coming months (and they will)? If you ban the people who elected you from promoting their public service/fundraisers etc, you cannot (in good conscience) use village business time to promote the Smoker at your parish....unless the village building inspector is there... then I want to know the date for that one. Just sayin.....
OakLawnGuy April 25, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Good point, OLR. Never thought about the conflict of giving trustees/clerk/Mayor time to promote interests in their respective areas while the regular folk cannot. The closed sessions are parliamentary, though. If there is business regarding legal or employment issues, they cannot discuss in a public forum. The dealings at Deja Brew or on a Florida golf course? Now THOSE I have a problem with.
OL Resident April 25, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Thanks Guy, We have a Freedom of Information Act that seems to be ignored as far as the "Lawyergate" story. I'll leave that one for everyone else to comment on. I think that if you smell something afoul; you just can't sweep it under the rug...You have to air it out. If you are a Village Board member and you want to promote your baseball parade, church spagetti dinner etc. HAVE AT IT. You earned it for your hard work. Yep, I said it. To sit at the mic and whine about the length of meetings and suggest that girl scouts promoting cookies in your neighborhood takes too much time is hypocritical. That satement was very poorly thought out. It offers no options, and would only effect the people who pay the bills. You might as well have said; "Shut up and be quiet." If you want to make OL seem "folksy" this is every bit as important as Sunday concerts, Farmers Market, or Falling down drunk on the Green. Yep, I sad that too. Village board meetings do take too long. That is going to happen when board members make bad decisions. We end up having ongoing arguments and accusations that end up in closed door sessions. If that is our fault, then we have to decide on elected officials who can conduct business openly, without the need remote locations, or law enforcement involvement. The probem is not who's back is toward the camera, but for whom the camera is in front of. Sitting 3" above the floor makes you easier to be seen AND heard. It does not make you regal.
andy skoundrianos April 25, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Way to go Trustee Trautsch!!!! These meetings are way too long New Buisness should be about VILLAGE buisness. Not about local PARISH events smokers carnivals and such. If the churches wan't an announcement have a rep sign up for public comments 3 minutes and that's it. I'm sick and tired of using these meetings as public service announcements. I know certain trustees are proud of the churches and high schools they went to and want to help them,but not everyone in Oak Lawn went to their church or High School!!! This only happens because of the televised meetings. Many residents fought long and hard to televise board meetings back in the day for the purpose to show residents what their government was doing and were finally rewarded when the new board came in 2005. Now though, Meetings have become an advertisement session, The trustee is right have a separate section for the public service announcemets and leave the board meeting to Board Agenda items!!!!
osp April 25, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Really Andy? 15 minutes of these announcements are not going to hurt anyone. I didn't go to high school or church in Oak Lawn but I do now having lived in Oak Lawn for 34 years. I like to know what is going on and I like to see events I am supporting promoted. Isn't anything that happens in the Oak Lawn, village business? Don't we want to show support for all that happens in Oak Lawn? If the meetings are too long for you--Don't Go. Just Tivo them and watch what parts you want to watch. Trustee Trausch you knew what you were getting into when you applied for the job. Quit your bellyaching and come prepared for the meetings. If you don't like it , resign. But I forgot you were not elected you were appointed.
J Rasmussen April 25, 2012 at 09:21 PM
I live in St Linus and I appreciate Trustee Phelan letting me know where he drinks alchol.
Watchful Eye April 25, 2012 at 11:31 PM
I agree with Tim, OL resident and Jimmy D. If we want the village to be about people and community, then we need to keep the announcements. What good would the announcements be if they are done ahead of time in an un-taped time slot. Up to this point, there had been no issue with it but now the brand new trustee is watching the clock at the meetings. Huerkes would have never advocated for it. "It takes a village", so they better be prepared to listen to the village!
Dave W. April 26, 2012 at 12:54 AM
OLG, since you seem to have a grasp of this more than I, WHY are employment or legal issues allowed behind closed doors? I don't disbelieve you, I'm honestly curious as to why. Our tax dollars pay for that time, that bulding, etc...what specifically makes it ethical for the taxpayers to be excluded from business that involves US. As for the unelected trustee that seems to be in a hurry, feel free to step down if two meetings a month for an extra 15-30 minutes are too much. Again, this is OUR time, you are there on OUR dollar. NOBODY else seems worried; just you, after you are lucky enough to be appointed. This only reinforces my contention that the trustees (in general) treat the town as a collection of little fiefdoms. A bunch of barons squabbling with a king over who controls what. We go from one extreme to another in this town...we replaced a board of lockstep shysters making deals to all their benefit with a bunch of backbiting dilitentes who can't be bothered with the "people's work" if it doesn't help the right friend. We the poor serfs are stuck footing the bill for their excesses and mistakes. We have too many lawyers and business owners and 'upper-class' folks running things, it seems. They don't think they should have to dirty themselves with us rabble. Maybe the rabble needs to throw them out and elect an OLG for office. Common sense might very well save us some dollars.
Scott April 26, 2012 at 04:28 AM
This is how the community communicates. This is the proper forum. I like watching the community news, awards, and events.
Scott April 26, 2012 at 04:39 AM
That's why we need to elect instead of appoint our representatives.
OakLawnGuy April 26, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Thanks, I think. I have zero legal background, I've only read that government charters contain sections that cover what comprises a closed session of a governing council's meeting, and what subjects need to be covered in that sort of session. It kinda makes sense that you'd not want to discuss ongoing legal issues or employee issues in public. I'm sure there is politickin' going on during those sessions, but there's not a lot one could do to prevent that.
Gary April 26, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Oak Lawn is a community that has many things happening in any given month. I believe that if you are at the meeting be happy that there are many good people doing good things! If you are watching on cable, record it , so you can fast forward it later. Or turn you TV off and go volunteer for one of wonderful organization that we have in our town!
Dave W. April 26, 2012 at 08:54 PM
It is meant as a compliment, OLG... I understand what you are saying, in that I realize what YOU mean in regard to my query. However, I'm not convinced at your second part...I would like somebody, ANYBODY to explain to me, give me and example, of WHAT legal issue or employee issue can't be discussed in public. If it isn't ILlegal, what is the harm? I realize it is in most if not all government charters, but that is just a self-perpetuating tactic; it is used by those with something to hide, and to prove it, they use it, claiming something to hide, but they can't tell you what, because it has to be hidden. "BUT TRUST US, we PROMISE to behave...REALLY." I'm open to the possiblity, but I need a substantive answer from someone. I don't believe otherwise; that it isn't ALL politickin' going on, because from what does make it out from behind the closed doors, it is rarely good.
Lorraine Swanson (Editor) April 27, 2012 at 09:51 AM
Leak those numbers my way.
tonydeaffromdribbledrabble May 01, 2012 at 03:24 PM
I don't understand this story. ARe we talking about announcements like awards and events sponsored by the village or ARE we talking about the inane announcements made by Trustees as "new business" for their churches? If it is the former, I agree with the Mayor that those announcements could be right before the meeting. If it is the latter, then I say stop those announcements.
Noneua May 01, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Dave W you should talk to any municipal attorney. Even contact the Village or local board attorneys through the park or your local school district attorney. They can thoroughly explain each example to you better than anyone.
Oak Lawn Gal May 04, 2012 at 05:57 AM
If ever there was a non issue this is it.


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