‘I will continue to serve all residents’
By Kevin Beese
The rants of a “concerned Broadview resident” have gotten the attention of Mayor Katrina Thompson.
So much so that during her Mayor’s Report at this week’s Village Board meeting, Thompson said she wanted to set the record straight on the anonymous emails being circulated in the community. The emails have ripped village spending for items such as decorated office space, and multiple elected officials and staff attending the West Central Municipal Conference’s annual dinner.
Thompson said at Monday’s meeting that she has been forwarded two emails sent to residents from “Concerned Broadview Resident.” The mayor said the wording of one of the emails led her to belief that the emails’ author could be a Village Board member or at least somebody who is a regular attendee at board meetings.
“We will continue to work in a professional, transparent and accountable environment,” Thompson said in response to the emails. “If the concerned Broadview resident would like to schedule a meeting with me, I have an open-door policy and I am a full-time mayor who would like to meet village concerns as they arise, but keep in mind that I am still learning and implementing some best practices that will move our village forward.
“That’s why 44 percent of our residents voted for me to lead this village with professionalism and integrity. I will continue to serve all residents and business owners to the best of my ability.”
Thompson spent a good portion of her comments responding to the resident’s blasting of village leaders’ attendance at the WCMC’s dinner.
The anonymous email author said, “This event is intended for village governments to come together as a whole to work together for the benefit of our communities, but there were only some chosen few from our village at a cost of $1,000 per table and an ad for $150 to $300. All trustees/administration should have been given the option of attending. Our tax money should not be spent for these events.”
Thompson said that an email was sent May 8 to village leaders asking them if they would like to attend the dinner and that seven officials – Village Administrator LeTisa Jones; Sobeida Sierra, executive assistant to the mayor; Village Clerk Kevin McGrier; Priscilla Garrett, deputy clerk; village Trustees Verina Horne and Sherman Jones; and Thompson herself– RSVP’d.
She noted that Garrett did not attend and that Jones had a death in the family. Those already paid for spots, Thompson said, were used by the Village Clerk’s mother and the Village Administrator’s husband.
“The cost was $85 per person for WCMC members. Seven people RSVP’d; and the cost was $595,” Thompson said, countering the email’s claims. “We ended up sharing a table with the Brookfield Zoo people.”
Thompson also defended the hiring of an executive assistant and village administrator, points raised in the emails.
“An executive assistant was hired to perform administrative and secretarial functions at a high level in support of daily activities in the office,” Thompson said. “… The Police, Fire and Public Works departments all function with an assistant.”
She added that the newly created village administrator post was needed for the village.
“The village has been operating without a Human Resources Department for several years,” Thompson said. “We need a professional that can handle risk management, health benefits, personnel matters and union contracts, just to name a few things.”
The mayor said updates have been made to administrative offices because nothing has been done to the village workspaces for 27 years.
“When you are inviting business professionals to come to do business in our village, you want to send a message that we mean business and that we take pride, not just in our office space, but in the entire village,” Thompson said.