Trustee Wants To Know Who’s in Bed with Who in Village Government — Literally

An Oak Lawn trustee says term "domestic partner" is too vague in revamped ethics ordinance; he also suggests providing a form requiring village officials to list their sexual relationships.

Oak Lawn Tr. Bob Streit during his remarks on the conflict-on-interest amendment to the village's existing ethics ordinances during Tuesday's village board meeting.
Oak Lawn Tr. Bob Streit during his remarks on the conflict-on-interest amendment to the village's existing ethics ordinances during Tuesday's village board meeting.

An Oak Lawn trustee wants elected and appointed village officials to disclose their sexual relationships as part of a revamped ethics code.

Trustee Bob Streit’s request came before a vote to add a section prohibiting village officials and employees from using their positions to influence government decisions in which they have a distinguishable financial interest.

The measure also bars elected officials from participating in discussions or voting on matters during village board meetings in which they, their spouses or “domestic partners” have derived or expect to derive income or compensation for a period of one year.

Prior to being elected last April, Mayor Sandra Bury ran on a platform of ethics reform in the Village of Oak Lawn. Streit, in suggesting the sexual relationship disclosure, said the term “domestic partner” is too vague.

“I don’t think we can seriously think that this is a finished product,” Streit said during Tuesday’s village board meeting. “I have several suggestions to tighten up the ethical issues and the loopholes that don’t go far enough to protect the taxpayer.”

Streit said the ordinance exempted Bury’s relationships “because she’s not married.” He recommended eliminating the loopholes affecting the mayor and trustees by further clarifying the definition of “domestic partner” in the ordinance.

“I know that everyone here is married except for the mayor, but I would think the term [domestic partner] should be defined to include anyone who has a sexual or cohabitation relationship with any official,” Streit said. “We live in a new world and ‘domestic partner’ may not describe all of the relationships that all officials have today.”

The trustee opined that he didn’t think the ordinance went far enough if it didn't include those sexual relationships that “any party may have with another person.”

“Perhaps we can include a form that requires all of of us to list such relationships,” he said. “I can’t believe that any elected or appointed official could argue that such disclosures are necessary unless that person has something to hide.”

He added that the ordinance was a good start but it should apply to everyone, “including attorneys, advisors, handlers, drivers and even the mayor.”

“In any case,” Streit said, “these are just suggestions that we should discuss if you are truly interested in providing transparency and good government during your tenure. I would offer the above suggestions as amendments to the ordinance.”

In addition to strengthening the definition of domestic partner, Streit said the ordinance created other potential problems and conflicts, mentioning the mayor’s optometry practice.

Streit said that under the amended ethics ordinance, that the mayor would be required to disclose relationships with her patients wishing to do business with the village.

Adding that other than an exam fee, federal privacy laws prevented her from revealing patients’ identities, a trust she held sacred.

“That would be for the [village] attorney to decide,” Bury said. “When you start talking about personal relationships and why you’re targeting me with this type of language, I would really like an explanation.”

The mayor countered with a suggestion to include language for extra-marital affairs.

“Why you’re not including language with respect to other potential relationships people may have, I think it’s vulgar what you’re implying and not saying. I would want an apology.”

“Why, what was I saying?” Streit asked. “Your relationships are ruled by the ordinance. I think they should be included.”

Oak Lawn trustees, one who was seen rolling his eyes during Streit's speech, voted 6-0 to amend the ethics code.

Streit voted yes as a start “but I want to see these amendments.”

Honestly IPO October 11, 2013 at 09:16 AM
Dee Dee I would have never thought I would agree with Andy. I do not care who is sleeping with who. I also have a home in O.L.. In fact I have been paying taxes for 28 yrs. I care about trying to make O.L. a desirable place to live, buy a home and raise children. As to your accusation that I have a "relationship" with Dr. Bury I have met her once, so there goes your theory up in smoke. Please try to keep your stories straight. Judy ... whom I don't know .... might have mentioned she attends meetings. My point is if she is "not a real person" how can you know where she sits?? Are you hiding your sexuality and living a lie? rude question isn't it. Its none of my business just like the preferences of one else public or private is any of yours.
Dee Dee October 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM
Jennifer, Are you Andy's alter ego. Andy is the one that was getting excited because he struck a nerve that I knew where Judy sits. Now you claim that it is your point. It can't be your point and Andy's point. Andy is a lot of things but he is no woman. Or is he?
Vivian Braider October 11, 2013 at 10:28 AM
The board should rescind this entire ordinance. Isn't there already a state law that limits whether a mayor or trustee can vote on an issue? Of course there is yet this group wants to win elections based on character assassination. It looks like at least one trustee isn't going to go down (pardon the pun) without fighting against such lunacy. It may not be a great argument but the fact is Bury started this fight by carrying Phelan's water and going after Streit. Now Bury is stuck defending herself yelling that her personal life is nobody's business. Really? I thought we cared about existing or possible conflicts that any official may have and Sandy is in the group. It is a shame that her relationships may not be fodder but you shouldn't spit into the wind or tug on Superman's cape.
Honestly IPO October 11, 2013 at 10:36 AM
Dee Dee you do know that a trait of low intelligence is when a person can not make their argument understood they revert to name calling and innuendo? Dee Dee more that one person can have the same point of view. One of my favorite features on the Patch is being able to express my points of view. It's what we all do here. Using caps just show strong emotion so people use it. You can, I can, anybody here, even Judy (who I don't know). Just to reassure you Andy and I have never met, it just so happens I agree with him on this "POINT". What Bob asked about others peoples (bed partners, we all know this was what he was referring to) is no one darn business. You have a good day now.
Barbara Stieglitz October 11, 2013 at 11:04 AM
Baaaaaa---d idea, ewe know.
christopher y October 11, 2013 at 11:39 AM
good thing im not running, would need a semi-truck to bring the list
MD October 11, 2013 at 11:43 AM
C'mon Tom make a decision here, call your team make it happen we all know you cant wait to shake the cage of your old buddy
MD October 11, 2013 at 11:48 AM
how we yearn for the days when we thought our old mayor playing pippy long stockings in a local play was strange. They should do a renditoin of this.Of course 18 or older only
andy skoundrianos October 11, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Dee Dee you take yourself too seriously, take some time to walk around the neighborhood and look at all the lovely fall colors out there right now, breathe in the fall air and just say to yourself it's going to be all right. I know your afraid your guy has lost any credibility he ever had, he picked the wrong candidate for mayor and lost all his power and is now in the minority,bitter and vindictive and lashing out but always remember to see the silver lining and stay positive!!
Brad October 11, 2013 at 03:08 PM
This whole domestic partner thing is a joke. Streit is lifting up people's skirts to get a rise out of them. He has been doing this for decades now. This ordinance seems like a good idea, but really shouldn't be necessary in the first place. Have questions on all bids are you related to or involved with a current village employee, if so what is your relationship? If they do not want to fill that part out the bid is removed from consideration.
Dan October 11, 2013 at 03:31 PM
did they take down the basketball nets yet ?
Honestly IPO October 11, 2013 at 04:18 PM
LOL sorry Dan couldn't help it. Outta left field .
Vivian Braider October 11, 2013 at 11:22 PM
Now I know how Bury was elected! Andy attacks Dee Dee and suggests a walk. Perhaps, he should use the same idea rather than getting removed from the village hall because he can't control himself. Jennifer says she understands but uses her neighbor employees as an example. The ordinance doesn't apply to you and your neighbor. The best is Judy Royer, another Bury friend, who calls a trustee nuts but asks "how dare he say that.." when the Trustee is asking for the Attorney, and the Mayor to be included in the ordinance that they proposed. Wow! Jennifer claims to know how to know if someone has low intelligence and then goes on to exhibit the same even getting mad when someone calls her Jenny. These are the Bury Voters: Blind to facts, logic and reasoning.
Chris October 11, 2013 at 11:52 PM
HOW DARE Bob Streit put the mayor on the line like this? That's discrimination - blatant discrimination. Why wasn't this on the table when Heilmann was in office? Oh, my bad, he'd have to disclose his premarital affairs. They've even changed work applications to say sex (M or F) and nationality are optional questions to answer now. Should we get everyone's age and affairs on the side to be written down and transparent? Has anyone on the dias accomplished half of what she has with her practice, her charity travels, etc? Many single women, and men, are not single because they WANT to be, but rather the older we get, the harder it is to find someone compatible. How coincidental that this issue is raised AFTER Heilmann is gone. I'd love to see him squirm out of that answer(s). This whole issue is B.S. to pick on mayor Bury. Watch it Bob - from my eyes this could be slanderous. There's a big difference between personal business and city business. When Heilmann was in office was the time to ask for "transparency" crap like this. I don't want to know who Bury sleeps with any more than I want to know how many times you have to take Viagra, Bob Streit. Some things are nobody's business.
Dee Dee October 12, 2013 at 11:38 AM
And some people are single because they are gay! Chris is right that the ordinance is crap and yet so wrong because it is Bury's ordinance. The whole ordinance is crap but it has to be applied equally to all including married officials, gay officials, sexually ambiguous officials, etc if you are going to have an ordinance. Perhaps the Bury pals think transparency means attacking your opponents but shielding yourself from the public. The bottom line is that Bury proposed an ordinance that exempted her, her political adviser, and her attorneys. How fair Is that? How transparent is that? The state has a law that everyone has to adhere to that doesn't ask who you sleep with but that didn't work for the Phelan Political attacks so they had their million dollar attorneys write this ordinance. Now they can say they are transparent. Well kind of, sort of, if you pretend ...and hope the truth doesn't come out.
Luther October 12, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Well Dee Dee, nice going by reminding everyone of the hypocricy of the new and improved board. You went and ruined the plan by all the Bury lemmings to just attack Streit, now you reintroduce facts into the mix. Nice going!
Vivian Braider October 12, 2013 at 12:02 PM
How right you are Luther. I've been laughing at this issue since I heard. The laughter that I'm talking about comes from the fact that the Mayor doesn't want to name ALL her sexual relationships. Is the number so numerous that it isn't possible? It isn't only hypocritical, it is hysterical. By the way, I'm not like Jennifer. You can call me Vivian or Vi.
john artis October 12, 2013 at 12:14 PM
Dee Dee,luther and Viv are you all the same people or did Brennan write the same posts for you too??
Vivian Braider October 12, 2013 at 12:45 PM
I don't even know Bridget Brennan. You sound just like Alex because your rants sound just like they do on TV. I can't follow your arguments and you are always all over the board. I looked at all my posts and none of them are the same as the other posts. Your posts seem to match what Alex says at meetings. Hmmmm
Honestly IPO October 12, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Oh Yes more fake people!! or was it one person impersonating everyone who doesn't agree with your point view? Vivian my name is Jennifer, not Jennie nor Jen. My preference as to my name really shouldn't bother you, but it appears to. I"ll let you in on a little secret, shhhh come closer I didn't vote for Dr. Bury. Its a secret!!! The election is long over Dr. Bury won period. I believe in working with what one has not trying to turn back time. Dr. Bury has done nothing that I am aware of that would cause me to WORK against her. Dr. Bury has a right to a private life with her family and friends. Dr. Bury just like Dave Heilmann makes the decisions about how far he/she wants to invite the public in. As long as she continues to put the village of Oak Lawn first no one else should care. As for my comment about neighbors working for O.L. its true. Ever heard of 5 people you know that connect you with a 100 more?
Honestly IPO October 12, 2013 at 02:47 PM
Vivian I did not get mad that someone called me Jenny. I asked respectfully to be called Jennifer, please reread i actually use the word" respectful". Dr. Bury won because people voted for her. Dave Heilmann lost because people didn't vote for him simple math. That darn intelligence thing again. Dave Heilmann never once walked my neighborhood Dr. Bury did. What ever she said my neighbors agreed with, hence she is now mayor. I voted for my trustee not a straight ticket. Enough off to Blackhawks game.
Vivian Braider October 12, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Dr Bury hasn't given Jennifer a reason to vote against her! Wow, I thought she may have with all the issues out there. You must not be a fireman, senior, policeman, homeowner concerned about crime, resident concerned about the circus meetings, and yet you keep talking about that darn intelligence thing. Vote whatever way you want just quit spreading silliness. Obviously, Bury beat Dave because she received more votes but dig a little deeper. Read the literature and understand that lies work for a while but then you have to do the job.
john artis October 12, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Hey Viv, get a quarter and call someone who cares. Another SORE LOSER
john artis October 12, 2013 at 10:59 PM
You would know Joey
Honestly IPO October 12, 2013 at 11:51 PM
Hawks win!!
Oak Lawn Gal October 13, 2013 at 09:29 AM
I think anyone who can effect business & financial decisions for the Village should reveal relationships that could pose a conflict of interest. It should apply to the mayor as well as trustees, the village manager etc. It's a case of undue influence. I'm not sure why people oppose this or are getting so exercised. Didn't the mayor run on a promise of "transparency"?
Luther October 13, 2013 at 11:00 AM
john, I believe there is a pot and a kettle waiting for you.
RightSaidFred October 14, 2013 at 11:16 PM
Please, can we just get back to business? This entire conversation is a conflict of intelligence.
Pepper Potts October 15, 2013 at 11:27 AM
Bob Streit is an idoit. Please ignore him and focus on what is more important; such as our local businesses and community.
anthony November 02, 2013 at 10:08 PM
So question who has the same sex partner living with her and collecting the benefits they want to now eliminate Just asking ?


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