Photo by Dermot Connolly
Chicago Ridge Mayor Chuck Tokar shakes hands with newly elected Trustee Edmund Kowalski following their swearing-in ceremony before the Village Board meeting last Thursday. Trustees Debbie Pyznarski and Lisel Kwartnik were also sworn in to their first terms in officer, along with Village Clerk Barb Harrison.
Three newly elected Chicago Ridge trustees and village clerk were sworn into office, along with Mayor Chuck Tokar, who won a second term, during a special village board meeting on April 25.
Cook County Judge Denise Filan swore in Debby Pyznarski, Edmund Kowalski and Lisel Kwartnik. They took the seats vacated by Bruce Quintos, Sally Durkin and Amanda Cardin. Quintos and Cardin lost their bids for re-election, while Durkin, whose term was up as trustee, lost her bid to unseat Tokar.
Barb Harrison, who bested incumbent George Schleyer in the April 4 election, was sworn in to her first term in office. Family members held the Bible for all the new officeholders as they took the oath.
“I gave that oath of office many times in my 24 years as village clerk, and it never seemed so long (as when I said it)” joked Tokar afterward. “It’s a very serious oath and we’re honored to be your public servants. We appreciate your support through the coming years.”
Chicago Ridge Village Board meetings are usually held at 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month, but Tokar said last Thursday’s meeting was necessary to accommodate Filan’s schedule. The only trustee missing was Frances Coglianese, who informed the mayor that she was unable to attend. She came in second to Tokar in the three-way mayoral race with Durkin, but has two years remaining on her term as trustee.
After everyone took their seats, the board met briefly in executive session to discuss the sale of the former Nicobee’s property at 10255 S. Harlem Ave., before resuming the public meeting, The board, including trustees Bill McFarland and Jack Lind, then voted unanimously to approve an extension of the closing on the vacant village-owned site where a developer plans to build a small strip mall that will include a Starbucks restaurant. Plans for the Starbucks, which would be the first in Chicago Ridge, were announced at the March 7 meeting.
Tokar said last Thursday that the developer asked to extend the closing date to May 31 to give him time to come to agreement with several other businesses interested in leasing space on the property. The sale price has not been made public yet, but Tokar said at the meeting in March that it would be “a lot more” than the $650,000 the village paid for it.
The board also voted to cancel the board meeting that had been scheduled for Tuesday, May 2. The board will hold its next regularly scheduled meeting in Village Hall at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 16.