By Kevin Beese
MAYWOOD | A Maywood mayoral candidate is balking at allegations a representative of the Maywood Senior Club made about her using seniors as political pawns.
Mary “May” Larry says that claims by the Senior Club’s Larry Shapiro that she showed up at Home Run Inn in January simply because there were 70 club members at the Hillside restaurant are just plain wrong.
“I visit Home Run Inn frequently,” Larry said in response to the allegations made at a recent village Legal, License and Ordinance Committee meeting. “The manager can attest that I frequently visit the Home Run Inn in Hillside.”
Larry said she did not show up at the restaurant to stump for vote. It was just a regular visit to the eatery, she said.
“I went there to dine as I do very frequently,” Larry said.
She said she had prior knowledge that the Senior Club would be at the restaurant.
“I had no foreknowledge regarding the highly respected Maywood Senior Club outing at any specific Home Run Inn restaurant,” Larry said. “I have not received any calls, emails or text messages referencing the Maywood Senior Club agenda.”
Shapiro went before the LLOC in January to ask that candidates for office not treat Maywood seniors as political pawns. Shapiro, who formed the club in 2008, also blasted Trustee Isiah Brandon for showing up in the middle of the club’s Christmas dinner and having attendees put down their name, address and telephone number for a Portillo’s gift card raffle, sponsored by Oak Street Health.
According to Shapiro, beginning the day after the dinner, Senior Club members began receiving calls from Oak Street Health asking them if they needed health care services. One senior, he said, received seven calls from Oak Street Health.
Brandon said that he went to Oak Street Health to get support for the event and that the agency simply wanted to reach out to seniors to ensure that their health needs were being addressed.
Larry said that residents should know that Shapiro has close ties to village Trustee and former Mayor Henderson Yarbrough and his wife, Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough. Henderson Yarbrough is one of six candidates running for mayor this spring.
“He is the number one player for the Yarbroughs,” Larry said of Shapiro. “He is their number getter. You can fill in the blanks.”
Larry said she knows a lot of Maywood seniors and is on board with helping the senior members of the community. She noted that she cared for her own grandfather until his passing at age 98.
“Seniors are close to my heart,” Larry said.
Larry said Shapiro is going after her for political reasons.
“He is a staunch numbers getter for the Yarbroughs,” Larry said. “I believe they don’t want me cutting into (Henderson’s) numbers”.
She said more politics is not want the community needs right now.
“It’s time for positive change in the community of Maywood,” Larry said. “The community is in pain. It is hemorrhaging. It is time for a fresher light.”
She said “stumping for votes” is not what she or any any member of the MyMaywood slate would do. Although when out in the community I do, however, seize every opportunity to speak with citizens,” Larry admitted.
The mayoral candidate, who is also on the village’s Liquor Commission, said that attacks like Shapiro’s are counterproductive.
“Our goals should be the same in purpose, which is to rebuild the village of Maywood and strengthen the community,” Larry said.
Shapiro said thoughts of his speaking out being a way to detract from Henderson Yarbrourgh’s opponents are ridiculous.
“I’ve drawn a line in the sane, separating government and politics,” Shapiro said. “If anyone intrudes on that, I am going to do what I can to respond appropriately … The whole thing is an embarrassment.”