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‘We’re not mad, we’re just holding people and their feet to the fire’

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Dear Editor:

The Maywood Visionary Party promised the residents of this village that we would fight on their behalves and keep them informed about what’s happening with our leadership until positive changes come. We have always been a progressive party and will not stop until we see progress in this village. On behalf of a large group of residents, we have outlined some concerns and questions for the Mayor and the Maywood Elected Officials.

A group of investors presented ideas before village trustees and the mayor at the August 9 village board meeting.  The group provided a lot of information that had been researched and paid for. It appeared to be a “showcase” for the Mayor. To give you some history, KLY Construction, Housing Helpers, Paula Bush of Northwest Housing Partnership, just to name a few, have invested in housing renovations throughout the village without a showcase.

These previous investors have always follow the same protocol.  For instance, they go to our Economic Development Department, they present their project or idea, the village staff reviews it and offers any recommendations based on village requirements/ordinances; the investors adjust their proposal to what is required and re-submit their project-if needed; once approved by staff, they can begin their project and off they go.  Once the investors are vetted and approved, they can begin to rehab houses and commercial properties. This creates business and a cash flow for the village.  Properties once vacant begin to generate revenues.  When proper procedures occur, there’s no need for officials to grand stand by creating elaborate presentations, chastising the board or the audience by stating why the board should vote on something that they wouldn’t normally vote on anyway.  Create further “division” throughout the community.   There were a couple of Trustees who literally asked the presenter, “what is it that you want us to do?”

The Mayor could have helped the group in the following ways: By sending them to the village’s website to obtain the Comprehensive Plan that she ordered in 2014 and I will add that it cost the village quite a bit of money to complete. This would have decreased the amount of work that this group did. (The previous Comprehensive Plan was not outdated at the time she ordered the one in 2014. I think we all can say that the economic dive and other “un-comprehendible” factors have not allowed much change in the village since 2013.)  Sharing what the procedures of the village were and direct them to staff. (Allow staff to do what they do to assist this group as they have assisted other groups who have put dollars into this community via housing. This group has presented to the board in the past and it was recommended that they work with staff to accomplish their goals.) But, it’s clear that the Mayor does what she wants, when she wants and how she wants regardless to what the rules are. Staff has to go by what the ordinances require. If staff feels that a current ordinance alters progression, they have in the past and will bring it to the board to address. One person cannot change an ordinance or process.

Hopefully this group will work with staff to add to the housing development in the near future just as the others have in the past. I was on the board from 2013 to 2017 and we could never get 4 votes to discipline our colleague, who in my opinion has abused power for the last 5 years. Per the recommendation of the Cook County Inspector General’s office, this was proven. If you have questions regarding this, go to the clerk’s office and complete a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act form) request and ask for a copy of the December 2015 Inspector General Report, specifically complaints 3, 4 and 7.

To the documents that were passed out at the meeting:

Upon attending the same August 9, 2017 village board meeting, two sheets of paper were given to me by people I didn’t know and who did not work for the village. They were going up and down the aisles giving other attendees the same sheets. The documents that were passed out on August 9th were read at the August 15th meeting by the Mayor, basically referencing an email from the Village Manager that addressed the Mayor’s Administrative Role concerning directing employees. He also attached the ordinance that speaks on employees dealing with Elected Officials. Why would the Village Manager feel compelled to give the Mayor this paperwork and not to the entire board? If you have questions, complete a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act form) at the clerk’s office on this too.

Ordinance 11.7 states:  

  1. Except for the purpose of inquiry, elected Village officials are required to deal with the administrative service only through the Village Manager
  2. If an elected official attempts to direct the activity of an employees, such employee shall confer with his/her Department Head or the Village Manager prior to taking any action. C. Employees should not discuss personnel matters, administrative matters or any village related confidential activity with elected officials. Procedures for discussing such matters should be in accordance with the Village’s channels of communication such as the Village Manager, Human Resource Officer or Department Head.

Why after 12 plus years of a village manger form of government does the mayor have to be reminded of the rules of engagement. There will probably be rumors that “no one will allow the Mayor to do her job.” Well, if the Mayor would stop abusing her power and follow protocol, she’d probably get some work done instead of being an author of confusion!

It’s time for the Mayor to stop playing “Pity-Politics” which is how she got elected making residents believe that she can never get help from the board or that the board never agrees with what she brings to the table. I served on this board with her and I know for a fact this is not true!

You can’t accomplish great things that require an A to Z concept by only completing A to F and try to sell it like you’ve gone A to Z. It won’t work! I know that there would be more cooperation if she offered an olive branch to cooperate and fully respect her board members and residents of this community. You cannot “Cherry Pick” who you will and will not support in a position such as this. Fairness has to be across the board and for democracy to work you must let the democratic process have its will.  We’re not mad, we’re just “holding people and their feet to the fire to obtain rightful leadership in this community. We urge you to come to these meetings to see for yourselves.  Praying for change!

 

Respectfully,

Antonette “Toni” Dorris and

The Maywood Visionary Party

“MVP”

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