Residents of Hickory Hills made it very clear on Election Day earlier this month that they were satisfied with the status quo of their elected officials.
Only two council positions were challenged, with both longtime incumbents easily being returned to office.
All total, the nine voting members of the council -- eight aldermen and one mayor -- have 97 years of experience on the Hickory Hills council. And next year at this time, it will be up to triple digits -- 106 years as city bosses.
So, it was business as usual at Thursday’s council meeting as it will be for a few more years.
In the political arena local politics is often a dog-eat-dog world, but the City of Hickory Hills is a shining example of what a healthy political entity looks like. A chunk of the council members have worked together for more than a decade. Mayor Mike Howley became an alderman in 1997 and was elected to the top spot twelve years ago. Alderman Scott Zimmerman is 16 years deep. Aldeman Joe Stachnik has 14 years under his belt and aldermen, Tom McAvoy, John Szeszycki and Mike McHugh have each served in their position twelve years.
Aldrman Brian Waight, wh has just three years of service, said: “We all like each other and our goal is always what is best for the village.”
Zimmerman, who was born and raised in Hickory Hills, said, “There are no hidden agendas. We all get along. We may disagree on some things, but there are never any hard feelings.”
“We have been together a long time and we get along with each other,” McAvoy said. There are no factions, no political groups, we just work together,” he said.
In the April 7 election Szeszycki, a veteran alderman in Ward 2, won 57 percent of the vote, defeating challenger Joe Mancuso. In Ward 4, Zimmerman, defeated challenger Colleen H. Kelly, winning 62 percent of the vote.
In other news:
• Alderman Deb Ferrero announced the annual Street Fair is scheduled for June 28 at 93rd Street and Roberts Road. The event will kick off on June 27 with a concert, from 7 to 10 p.m.
Nearly 100 food and craft vendors will be on hand for the family-oriented event. Ferrero said there will be a beer garden tent with entertainment throughout the day as well as Bingo from Noon to 7 p.m. on June 28.
“The Street Fair has been a major attraction in Hickory Hills for nearly 40 years,” Ferrero said.
• Two new businesses are scheduled to open in the city. Northwestern Mortgage Company is opening at 9604 So. Roberts Road. The owner is Renata Citrobak-Pyrek. A new Sprint store is opening at 8075 W. 95th Street.
• The council approved a contract with Utility Dynamics Corp., in the amount $133,166 for a street lighting project on 93rd Street, from 85th Court to 80th Court.
• City engineer Mike Spolar said that a bid package is being prepared for a storm sewer project at 83rd Court and 89th street. Bids will go out in late May, with construction projected to start in July. The project is estimated to take six to eight weeks to complete.