Mayor and her blog blasted
at fiery OL board meeting
Blogs and ballot initiatives led to some angry outbursts Tuesday night between Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury and her political opponents on the village board.
Early in the meeting, Trustee Carol Quinlan said that Bury’s blog, which formally launched in October, should not include village hall’s address and phone number.
“It’s not a village blog. It’s political,” Quinlan said.
Quinlan said she thought the mayor’s blog would report village news, but instead it includes personal and political attacks.
“It’s is not an Oak Lawn blog,” she said.
Bury previously has said that the village hall contact information is on the blog so residents know how to reach her. She also defended the content of her blog.
“Everything on there is factual. My name is on it, and people have a right to know what their mayor’s position is,” Bury said. “I will state my feelings on issues.”
Bury asked Quinlan if she was specifically concerned about a recent blog post that reported on the trustee’s proposal at the Nov. 26 board meeting to delay a vote on spending for the senior center.
“(Quinlan) proposed turning the day-to-day operations of the senior center over to senior volunteers, senior employees who ‘wouldn’t cost that much’ and reducing the services that Genesis currently provides seniors,” according to the blog.
Quinlan would not respond to Bury’s inquiry, saying only that she wanted the village hall contact information removed.
“So even though you make allegations, you have nothing to substantiate them,” Bury said.
At the Nov. 26 meeting, Quinlan said members of the village’s senior commission are seeking more responsibility and relying on them would reduce the $85,000 paid to Genesis, the organization the currently provides senior services.
“I really think $85,000 for seniors is not enough,” Bury said. “I would like to see more for them not less.”
Tuesday’s brief exchange between Bury and Quinlan paled in comparison to the one between the mayor and Trustee Bob Streit, which came as the trustee made remarks in opposition to term limits.
The board voted 4-2 in favor of placing on the March ballot a referendum asking voters to decide if the village should adopt term limits for mayor, village clerk and trustees.
Streit and Quinlan voted against the measure, which would limit village board members to three consecutive terms in a single office beginning with those elected or re-elected in 2015.
Streit said he opposed term limits and added that the village should seek residents’ input via referenda on other public policy questions such as outsourcing 911 dispatchers.
Trustees voted at the Nov. 26 meeting to outsource the 911 emergency communications services to Norcomm, a private dispatch center located in Franklin Park.
Bury chastised Streit for straying from the issue of term limits during his remarks, which angered the trustee.
“Please stop interrupting,” Streit told the mayor. “My points are very much to the point, very much to the issue before us.”
“Do your comments pertain to term limits?” said Bury, who added that she wanted Streit to stay on topic.
Streit said an elected official can make his or her own pledge to serve a limited number of terms.
“The voters can decide whether they want to keep you or not,” he added.
He then asked if voters should be asked via referendum about the level of fire department staffing.
“Trustee Streit, you are out of order,” Bury said.
“How about if we ask if we should have mayoral recall? We know the answer to that. That would pass overwhelmingly,” Streit replied.