Recognition of longtime village employee contested

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By Kevin Beese

The perceived lack of a village resolution honoring a Maywood Public Works employee of nearly 30 years has angered the deceased individual’s family.

The mayor says that a resolution was done and presented to the family.

Andre Taylor worked for the village for 28 years and the lack of a resolution on his behalf was a slight to the family, according to Gloria Clay, a longtime member of the village’s Board of Police and Fire Commissioners

“It was very uncouth, political and personal,” Clay said of the perceived slight at last week’s Village Board meeting.

Clay and Mayor Edwenna Perkins have been at odds, at times, over issues regarding the Police and Fire Commission. Perkins said this week that a resolution was presented to Clay’s family.

“It was given to her granddaughter who works for the village and she gave it to her mother, the daughter of Gloria Clay,” Perkins said of the resolution. “It was just not taken to the church. She can say she did not get it, but it was given to the wife of the deceased.”

Perkins said she knew that she had signed a resolution honoring Taylor because it was one of two she had done. The other was for the family of Maywood Park Board President Arnettra Burnside, whose son, Andrew, a student at Proviso East High School, was fatally shot Jan. 21 at 12th Avenue and Warren Street.

“I knew I had done it,” Perkins said of the resolution for Taylor. “Whether it was seen by Ms. Clay or not, I don’t know, but it was given to the family.”

Clay said at the meeting that a resolution would have been fitting based on Taylor’s tenure with the village. She said the village does resolutions for people living in Mississippi, but failed to recognize one of its own longtime workers.

“The village has done resolutions for a lot of other people and a lot who have done less for the village than provide 28 years of service,” Clay said. Clay said it was the second time that the mayor has snubbed her family. She said when her husband’s nephew died, a resolution was not presented to the family until 10 days after the funeral.

Clay and Perkins have clashed over Police and Fire Commission issues over the years, including commission members failing to resign after Perkins took office in 2013 and asked for the board members to step down, saying that they would be reconsidered for appointment. Some commission members have been on the paid panel for a decade despite prior regulations limiting terms to one year. New regulations allow for three-year tenures.

“I didn’t know your hatred for me was so strong,” Clay said to Perkins at the meeting over the perceived slight.

Angry over the lack of action from the village, Clay said any resolution after the fact was not welcomed. “You can take that paper and use it for toilet paper,” Clay said.

When Perkins stressed at the meeting that she had signed the resolution, Clay’s husband, Alonzo, angrily blurted out, “Where is it?”

Perkins promised at last week’s meeting that she would figure out why the signed resolution never made it to the church for the funeral service.

“There is no reason I would not do a resolution,” Perkins said. “I have known Ms. Clay since we were kids at First Baptist Church. There is no reason I would not do a resolution supporting the family.”

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