Trautsch: 'We Don't Need Any More Rules'

Oak Lawn Trustee Cindy Trautsch explains why she voted no on the mayor's ordinance to add additional "Robert's Rules" to the village code.

In a turn of events that surprised some regulars in the board chamber last Tuesday, Oak Lawn Trustee Cindy Trautsch (Dist. 1) voted no to an ordinance that would have amended the how village board meetings are conducted.

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The measure was introduced by Mayor Dave Heilmann over the summer to cut down on the “unnecessary fighting” during village board meetings.

Last month, the village board voted 4-3—the mayor flexing his newfound board majority—to approve the "language" in the proposed revisions to Title I, Section 6-5, Rules and Order of the village code.

The Oak Lawn Village Board's rules of decorum are based on Robert’s Rules of Order, long considered the gold standard for running meetings effectively and fairly.

Trustees Alex Olejniczak (Dist. 2), Tom Duhig (Dist. 4) and Tom Phelan (Dist. 6) were the loud dissenters.

Among the changes the mayor wanted to introduce was a rule that gave the village board president sole authority to remove an item from the agenda deemed “obstructionist,” or a perceived attempt by other board members to use parliamentary procedure to push a political agenda.

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Trautsch, who went along with the board majority at the August 16 village board meeting, astonished many by voting no on the ordinance. It was defeated 4-2.

“We don’t need any more rules,” she said. “We’ve got ‘Roberts Rules of Order’ already. We should work with what we got. If we can’t behave ourselves we shouldn’t be in office.”

Trautsch said the mayor “has all the Robert’s Rules he needs to gavel in and out whoever he wants.”

Appointed to fill former Trustee Jerry Hurckes’ seat last year when he resigned to go back to his old job as Congressman Dan Lipinski’s chief of staff, Trautsch has maintained a mostly quiet demeanor on the Tuesday night dais.

Asked why she changed her mind, she said: “I thought about the last meeting, going back and forth with [Tom Phelan] on the length of three minutes and five minutes comments. I thought we were all in agreement about the length of time to comment. We weren’t.”

Mentioning that she was putting pajamas on a young grandchild when contacted by phone Sunday night, Trautsch said that nobody called or conferred with her to change her vote prior to last week’s village board meeting.”

“I don’t talk [to the other village board members] ahead of meetings,” she said. “I have too many other things to do.”

Trautsch neither confirmed nor denied that the mayor was upset with her after the meeting.

“Things happen,” she said. “I vote the way I think. You can’t make everybody happy all of the time. You got to do what you think is right.”

Like many in the board chamber last week who were wondering, “What the hell just happened here,” Heilmann said he wasn’t sure either. He thought village board approved the amendment when they voted on its language last month.

“Even though it wasn’t approved as an ordinance, the prior vote (August 16) on the language puts it into effect,” Heilmann said. “The lawyers are figuring out what it means. I’m not going to weigh in a legal opinion.”

The mayor said he hadn’t had a chance to talk to Trautsch since last week’s meeting.

“I didn’t know if she had a change of heart or if there was something she wanted to change,” he said. “I’m sure we’ll talk about it.”

Asked if he was mad at Trautsch after the board adjourned its executive session last week, Heilmann said: “I wasn’t mad. Not about Robert’s Rules.’”


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SmallManBigWoman September 18, 2012 at 12:46 PM
HA ha! Heilmann thinks he can control all the women on the board. Not anymore! Glad to see you standing on your own feet Trustee Trautsch! You didn't let him get away with the grab for more power! Stand tall Cynthia!
QC September 18, 2012 at 02:03 PM
UUUHHH. Isn't this the same person who was complainig about the meetings being Too Long? How she wants to get out earlier? “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" By Lorraine Swanson Email the author April 25, 2012 ---------------------------------------------------------------- The Reporter: February 10, 2011 Edition (rss) Attack on mayor lowlights OL board meeting By Bob Jaderberg The Oak Lawn Village Board’s meeting Tuesday was lowlighted by the infighting and lengthy arguments that have become the hallmark of that governing body. The third and final 17-minute bout of the evening began when Olejniczak questioned why the board was preparing to vote on the appointment of Tebo to the Planning and Development Commission when the board recently approved (Phelan's Nephew) Eric Celauro for the position. Phelan criticized Heilmann for not adequately communicating with the board and the two argued over appointment protocol Sixty-two minutes of a 135-minute-long meeting—nearly half—was spent on heated debate and often personal attacks.
District 1 canididate? September 18, 2012 at 02:27 PM
So she voted yes before she voted no? What changed? The mayor has been Trautsched!
Gene September 18, 2012 at 03:03 PM
way to go cindy it's about time that a trustee stop kissing the mayors back side. they should start doing that in the rest of the villages arund here.
daveymad September 18, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Trustee Trautsch has officially been baptized to Oak Lawn politics.. QC has attacked her for daring to oppose the dictator and his rules . Theater boy mad... unveils alter-ego QC to humiliate her. Talk to the entire unity party about how Dave treats people who disagree with him!!!
daveymad September 18, 2012 at 05:49 PM
I agree
District 1 canididate? September 18, 2012 at 08:52 PM
If you are correct, then perhaps there is hope for a candidate against trautsch
andy skoundrianos September 18, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Ms. Trautsch said it perfectly We have Roberts rules of order the mayor can use them and the gavel anytime. Those new rules the mayor tried to institute were to silence his critics not shorten meetings.
QC September 18, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Lorraine Swanson (Editor) September 18, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Dave W. September 19, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Do other trustees talk to each other outside of meetings? Before the meetings? About village concerns, or just political strategy? I actually don't care which way she voted, it is good to know that the board isn't a 'locked-in' body either way, for any 'agenda' in particular...I do wonder (not sarcastically or ironically) if she is the exception in not speaking to others...I suspect they might but if they do that it usually falls along 'faction lines'. I hope she isn't though...she already has people calling her out for wanting to leave early from a position to which she asked to be appointed...looking like the one that stays disengaged if others are more fully so will not help her. Again, I do not know who talks to whom when, except for the constant line about how some are regulars at certain pubs...
Rich September 19, 2012 at 01:06 AM
I have to believe that the well timed introduction of the Sandra Bury newsletter had something to do with her change of heart .One by one you will see the trustees { except his loyal bobble head doll } change over and alienate themselves from Heilmann over the next few months. That letter and ultimate fallout has put a fork in Dave. Why the fork you ask, because he is done !
District 666 Resident September 19, 2012 at 03:29 AM
I tried to read the bury piece myself but I haven't had enough bowel movements to get through the whole thing. It is like reading a very long and dull book. who could have written such a thing?
SmallManBigWoman September 19, 2012 at 04:13 AM
That's the mailer that my neighbor has been showing everyone. Not dull at all. Reads like a horror novel and the Oak Lawn taxpayers are the victims! Sandy tells it like it is.
monkey see monkey do September 19, 2012 at 10:37 AM
The board has been Swansoned! You go girl!
Melissa September 19, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Hmmm. Seems to me that we also need to question why a trustee would try to appoint a family member to a position in the village (2/11 article), Also, why is Tom upset that he can't secure another job in the village (paid by the OL taxpayers) for a family member...and Sandra, perhaps your campaign should address your position on business issues that are in front of the board rather than using the whole attorney overbilling issue as your only platform.
Melissa September 19, 2012 at 04:57 PM
I surely hope there are worthy opponents who are willing to become a trustee so that the Village can get a fresh start by voting out the troublesome few, including those who do not want to devote their time to the position. A majority of the Board should be replaced since they push there own personal agendas and seem to discuss village business in places that are not appropriate.
OakLawnGuy September 19, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Personally, I don't doubt that the Board devotes quite a bit of time to what the perceive as Village business. The lawyers' report, and documents released by Mr Phelan in rebuttal to Mr Streit's accusations regarding the Special Events Committee, bear this out. It's the type of business they are conducting that I object to, and whether you vote for Dr Bury or Mr Heilmann or Bozo The Clown, there will only be a certain low level of transparency in Village matters as long as some of these office holders remain.
QC?? September 19, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Who would be that majority?? The trustees who disagree with the Mayor??? C'mon Unknown Dave supporter, you will eventually run out of fake names to use.
Melissa September 19, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Too funny. I never stated that I support Dave! No fake names here as I have nothing to hide... what about you QC?? Change is good when the status quo only breeds more issues rather than good, well though out decisions that will help the Village continue to move forward. Debate is good when it does not interfere with progress. There should rarely be a contract or position given to anyone without proper vetting. Lastly, my comment for Sandra was made because I am interested to hear where she stands on the economic issues facing the Village, how she will handle the Board, how she will operate with integrity and pursue the wants and needs of the people in the Village, etc...all of which she has been silent about because she claims she is still working on this. Naturally, all of the aforementioned items and more need to be ironed out before jumping into the fire and claiming to be our savior from the current Mayor.
Melissa September 19, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Quit wasting time and the taxpayers money on something that has already been reviewed over and over and over again. Start conducting/handling the village business with more integrity and a "can do/let's achieve" attitude by bringing more solutions to the table rather than hanging on to grudges. Every board member should conduct themselves in a professional manner and stop attracting negative attention to the village that makes it look like trash. The Board should be more cohesive (with healthy and beneficial debate) while promoting a positive, business and resident friendly place to live and do business.
andy skoundrianos September 19, 2012 at 07:23 PM
The board was professional and all on the same team until 2009. What happened there?? The board began asking questions about the Mayor's handpicked law firm and the skyrocketing legal bills. The Mayor took offense and said if you not with me you are against me and went on the attack against his former party mates and the manager. It is all in the report read the e-mails,that's when all the fighting really started..
OakLawnGuy September 19, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Petulance is not exclusive to one "side" or the other. That's what bugs me the most, and it's at the root of a lot of the actions taken by those within and without the old Unity Party from day 1. Whether it was Mr Hurckes grinding away at political wheels to undermine the UP, or individual party members going against him or Mr Deetjen or each other, I'm not so sure that professionalism had been in the forefront. And that's too bad, because these folks did some good things. Their motives are being questioned now, so......we'll see what shakes out in April I guess. I will say that I echo those who wonder when Dr Bury is going to address other Village issues, and I will reiterate that as long as some of these officials, elected and otherwise, remain in office, there will not be a good level of transparency.
SmallManBigWoman September 19, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Hey Melissa? Are you our new candidate for clerk against Jane? We haven't heard a peep out of Heilmann - rumor has it that he's frantic behind the scenes to figure out a way to make this report which quacks like a duck sing like a canary? If you are Ms. Moran, what is your motivation to run against such a steady and dedicated and ETHICAL - and BELOVED clerk like Jane Quinlan?
Melissa September 20, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Wrong again...I am not a candidate however I am a concerned taxpayer in the Village. Jane may be all those great things you state however that does not mean that she doesn't need to campaign and have the taxpayers re-elect her. There should be no hard feelings if she has an opponent after all this is how our great country works...democracy. Hopefully she will continue to rise above and remain independent so she doesn't get dirty in the muddy water. I totally agree with Oak Lawn Guy!
andy skoundrianos September 20, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Then I guess Dave isn't mad that someone is running against him??


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