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Hickory Hills woman defends family in wake of neighbor’s previous complaints to council

  • Written by Bob Rakow

Deborah Szymanski is fighting back.

The Hickory Hills resident appeared at last Thursday’s city council meeting to defend herself and her son against allegations levied by a neighbor.

The neighbor, Gil Marek, of the 9300 block of 79th Avenue, asked aldermen at the Sept. 25 council meeting to intervene in an escalating dispute he’s having with the Szymanski family.

The problem is, Marek and Szymanski have very different versions of the dispute.

Marek asked the council to take action to prevent the Szymanski’s from repairing campers in their driveway, which is located directly across the street from his house.

He said his neighbor has worked on at least three campers in recent weeks, which includes the use of power tools for hours well into the night.

Szymanski denies the claim.

“He wants us to get aggravated,” Szymanski said after last Thursday’s meeting. “He is clearly fabricating because he wants his own way.”

Marek, who vowed to attend future meetings until the problem is resolved, was not at last Thursday’s meeting.

Szymanski said Marek became angry on a recent weekend when her son, Tim, was working on his pickup truck in the driveway. She said Marek was “ranting, raving and swearing” when police arrived.

The Szymanski’s did not receive a ticket from police, but did get a letter from the city reminding them of various ordinances such working too late or violating noise restrictions.

Szymanski was adamant that her family is not running a business from their home.

“The fact that tickets haven’t been issued supports her statement,” Mayor Mike Howley said. “We certainly can’t control what he’s alleging, what he saying.”

Szymanski denied that her family power washes multiple trailers in their driveway or that her son routinely uses a grinder while restoring his truck.

“He wants to dictate a block of Hickory Hills,” she said. “He’s harassing us. I feel he’s watching. It’s pretty bad. It scares me.”

She also denied Marek contention that other neighbors are angry about the situation, but they are afraid to call the police and complain to the city.

Marek told the council during at his first appearance that he has no conflicts with his neighbor other than the complaints he’s lodged with the city.

Szymanski agreed with that assertion, saying that she gets along with Marek’s wife, who her son has helped out in the past.