Photo by Dermot Connolly
New Oak Lawn Police Chief Daniel Vittorio is sworn into office by Village Clerk Jane Quinlan as Mayor Sandra Bury looks on.
By Dermot Connolly
An Amazon retail store will be opening in the new Oak Lawn Commons mall at 4031 W. 95 th St., it was revealed at an Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on Aug. 11.
“ This is probably the worst kept secret in Oak Lawn,” said Trustee Terry Vorderer (4 th ), when the board approved a liquor license for the business, which will be going into the space on the eastern side of the main building in new development.
The 4 th District includes Oak Lawn Commons, which is built on the former site of Kmart and Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant and entertainment center. Since plans for the new development were announced about two years ago, the developers have said that a big-name store would be moving in, but the name was kept under wraps.
“ The village required them to reveal the name when they applied for the liquor license,” explained Vorderer, whose district includes Oak Lawn Commons.
“ Hopefully, we will have the store open by the fall,” said the trustee, in addition to the DuPage Medical Group, which will be moving into the center space in the main building.
“ Yes, originally, they said June, but everything was pushed back (because of the COVID-19 pandemic),” said Mayor Sandra Bury.
The third space in the main building on the site was intended to be a fitness center with a pool, and that still may come to fruition. But according to village officials, the original fitness center that planned to take the space has gone into bankruptcy and backed out of the deal.
Earlier in the meeting, the recent changes in leadership of both the Police Department and Fire Department were made official with the swearing in of new Police Chief Daniel Vittorio and Fire Chief Zack Riddle.
Vittorio took over from the retiring Randy Palmer, who remains as interim acting village manager — a post he has held since last November in addition to being chief.
“ I know there is a lot to be thankful for. It is great to have a village board and a community that supports us. I look to returning the favor,” said Vittorio, an Oak Lawn native.
“ You know you are getting old when a patrolman that worked for you, who is now the chief,” said Vorderer, a retired Oak Lawn police captain.
“ This board fully supports our police department in every way,” said Bury.
After Village Clerk Jane Quinlan swore in Riddle, his father, Bill Riddle, who retired as chief of the Sycamore Fire Department 10 years ago, pinned the new badge on his uniform.
“ That didn’t just fog up our glasses, it brought tears to our eyes,” said the mayor.
“ As we look to develop our leaders, we look to our philosophy, which is ‘Mission first and people always,’” said the new fire chief. “Our mission statement is ‘Your life is our mission.”
“ Thank you for the opportunity of a lifetime. This is our family business,” he added.
Jeffrey Sebek, the new director of the Public Works Department, was also introduced. He succeeds Steve Barrett, who recently retired from a 46-year career with the department.
The elected officials thanked all three of the appointees for “hitting the ground running,” especially with the violent thunderstorm that hit the village the day before, knocking out power to thousands of homes. Some homes only saw their lights go back on this week.
ComEd was blamed for not being responsive enough, but Sebek’s department was credited with clearing something like 150 downed limbs and trees throughout the village.