Latest posts by Kevin Beese (see all)
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By Kevin Beese
January 31, 2017
Although the first candidate petitions have yet to be filed, six people have
already expressed their intention to run for Maywood village president.
Expected candidates for village president, more commonly called mayor,
are: Antonette “Toni” Dorris; Quincy Johnson; Mary “May” Larry; Edwenna
Perkins; Luther Spence; and Henderson Yarbrough.
The race includes the top vote getters from the 2013 mayoral election,
incumbent Village President Edwenna Perkins and Trustee Henderson
Yarbrough. However, in 2013, their positions were switched, with Yarbrough
the incumbent village president and Perkins a trustee.
In that 2013 race, Perkins topped Yarbrough in the five-person race by just
134 votes, 1,100 to 966. Larry also ran in that race as an independent, but
earned just 5 percent of the vote. She is running with village, Park District
and District 89 candidates this tine as part of the My Maywood slate.
Candidates can file their petitions from Dec. 12-19. Dorris, Larry and
Spence were not available as of press time to discuss their candidacies.
Antonette “Toni” Dorris has been a village trustee since 2013. She is
executive director of the Maywood Park District and founder and chief
executive officer of the “I Can” Corp., a juvenile intervention not-for-profit.
Dorris heads the slate for the Maywood Visionary Party.
“We are a set of individuals who are committed, professional, educated,
dedicated, not afraid to go against the grain, fearless, and are open to new
ideas in bringing things into this village that actually work for you,” Dorris
said in a YouTube video announcing the 2017 Visionary Party.
Quincy Johnson’s ideas for Maywood include everything from a Miss
Maywood Pageant to a riverwalk to a soul food restaurant. A doctor of
dental surgery, retail salesman and motivational speaker, Johnson has
been a deacon at Rock of Ages Church for 39 years. Born in Maywood, but
raised in the South, Johnson returned to finish high school at Proviso East.
“I have watched the potential squandered in the village for years,” Johnson
said. “One day it reached a point when I woke up and it hit me that we are
probably not asking our officials for what we want to see. I know exactly what
Johnson served as a commissioner on the village’s Civic Center Authority
for eight years. He was part of the team that wrote the grant that got the
former Masonic Temple at Fifth Avenue and Oak Street under village
Running as an independent, Johnson said the village has everything it
needs in the way of location to expressways and airports to draw business
and retail to the community, “What breaks my heart is that you drive into
this town from any given direction and the town you drive through is
prospering, but we are not,” Johnson said. “You can make a silly comment
like it’s a racial issue. That’s obscene. It’s really a lack of vision.”
Mary “May” Larry is a business professional, knowledgeable in federal and
state government contracts and has helped Maywood secure more than
$750,000 in grants. Her family has lived in the village for 48 years. Larry
heads the My Maywood slate.
“Let’s take our community back block by block,” Larry stated on the My
Maywood website. Her plan for the re-launch of Maywood is through quality
business developments, small-business opportunities, lower taxes, job
growth and training, safer neighborhoods and a mentoring program.
Edwenna Perkins was a village trustee for 10 years before running for
village president and winning in 2013. Running as an independent, Perkins
said she plant to run on what she has accomplished for the village. “I am
the best candidate out there,” Perkins said. “No one has my record.”
The village president said when Henderson Yarbrough entered the mayor’s
office the village was prospering with a AAA credit rating and money in the
bank. When he left, Perkins said, she inherited a village $7 million in debt.
She added that Yarbrough had the village buy property that was already on
the tax rolls and brought nothing in to replace that lost revenue. Perkins
said she wants to put businesses on the parcels that the village bought.
Perkins said that Dorris has continually voted against things to help the
village and its residents. “Trustee Dorris has voted against every positive
thing,” Perkins said. She noted the village also has to find money to put
into its streets and to separate its storm water and sanitary sewer systems.
Luther Spence is a longtime attorney in town. He ran unsuccessfully for
village president in 2005. He also ran unsuccessfully for Cook County
Board in 1998. Spence is running as an independent.
Henderson Yarbrough said he plans on staying in Maywood and wants to
make the village the best it can be. “First and foremost, I plan to be in this
town,” Yarbrough said. “I like Maywood a lot and don’t plan to leave. I want
to do whatever I can to improve the quality of life here.”
The former two-term village president said he was encouraged to run by
supporters who thought the village was on the right track with him in office.
Heading up the Maywood Unity Party, Yarbrough refuted Perkins’ claim that
the village was worse off financially when he left office than when he
“She does not know what she is talking about,” Yarbrough said. “She makes
things up as she goes along. I am not going to argue back and forth with
her. We did a lot while I was in office. You can have the money in the bank
or provide services. You can collect $20 million in the bank or you can
provide services and get the work done.”
Yarbrough said although it didn’t work out, he was proud to bring a full-
service grocery store to the village for the first time in 30 years.
“We made some mistakes, but we learned from everyone of them,”
Yarbrough said. “I am proud we brought the grocery store to Maywood. It
didn’t last, but after 30 years it was nice to have a grocery store. Too bad it
was not supported. If you are not going to get the support of the community,
you are not going to stay in business.”