Thursday, February 6, 2014, MAYWOOD || By Michael Romain
Sgt. Aaron Peppers–Subtle Hero
At a February 4, 2014, regular meeting of the Village Board, Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley approached the podium to read a letter his department had received from a Maywood resident which was addressed to Sgt. Aaron Peppers, who was seated in the audience, a black tie providing a subtle accent of proud formality to his everyday uniform.
“Dear Chief,” Talley read. “Yesterday my husband collapsed and died on the sidewalk of our home. One of your officers, Sgt. Peppers, waited on me with courage, compassion and respect.”
When reinforcements arrived, Sgt. Peppers took the woman to the hospital and waited until her family came–a subtle act of heroism that the woman and her family won’t likely forget anytime soon.
After reading the letter, Chief Talley presented a beaming Sgt. Peppers with a certificate of recognition for outstanding performance of duty in delivering public services. The incident happened on January 14, 2014. In addition to serving on the police force, Peppers, a lifelong Maywoodian, has also coached football at Proviso East High School since 2001 (see featured photo, courtesy Chicago Tribune).
More on this story later.
Commission Appointments Trickling In
At a February 14, 2014, regular meeting, the Village Board confirmed several of the Mayor’s appointments to various commissions. Former Maywood Mayor Joseph Freelon was appointed to the Fire Pension Board; his wife, Gladys Freelon, was appointed to the Environmental and Beautification Commission; outspoken resident Dorothy Lane Thomas was appointed to the Citizens Water Review Committee; and Steven Fox was appointed to the Economic Development Commission. Trustee Michael Rogers motioned for the Board to also confirm the appointments of Laura Lange and Clifford Christian, both appointments which had been tabled by the Board for various reasons. Trustee Rogers’s motion, however, was only met with silence and so, without a second (which is required to bring up a vote), the motion died. Mayor Perkins and the Board have been in conflict over this issue since the Mayor was sworn-in. For some background on the conflict, click here and here.
Mayor Perkins, Former Maywood Mayors, Endorse Richard Boykin, Candidate for Cook County Commissioner
At a February 6, 2014, press conference at Meal of the Day Cafe, Mayor Perkins, along with many of her fellow West Suburban mayors, endorsed attorney Richard Boykin for Cook County Commissioner, 1st District.
“I met with Mr. Boykins and was very pleased with the fact that he was interested in what our community was doing,” said Mayor Perkins. “Sometimes Proviso Township is overlooked, but I feel that with Mr. Boykins in office, that won’t happen anymore. I thank him for reaching out to our community, because there’s a lot of need here….Together we can make a difference.”
In addition to Mayor Perkins, former mayors Henderson Yarbrough, Donald Williams and Joseph Freelon also endorsed Mr. Boykin.
In a statement he prepared for the press conference, Mr. Yarbrough wrote of the candidate: “I Perceive him to be a person of integrity, hope and the right man for the job.”
“The gentleman who is offering himself for the office of Cook County I’ve been privileged to know for the last 15 years,” said Mr. Williams. “He’s a distinguished attorney, he exhibits sensitivity and capability, plus he supplements the normal credentials that one presents with his sensitivity in the ministry. Our communities desperately need the kind of contribution that he’s capable of making.”
In addition to Mr. Boykin, Mayor Perkins has also endorsed sitting Illinois State Rep. Kathleen Willis (D-77th). The race for the 77th District, which represents a sliver of Maywood, is a showdown between Rep. Willis and Melrose Park resident Tony Favela, a recent graduate of John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
Out Of Illicit Activity Comes A Stroke of Innovation
Einstein is famously credited with inventing the saying, “Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
Maywood Police Chief Vladimir Talley put that phrase into practice at a February 14, 2014, regular Board meeting.
William Kyle, a Maywood resident, had complained about illegal fly-dumping during public comments.
“We’ve got a guy whose fly-dumping tires at 134 S. 14th and 136 S. 14th….We need some kind of camera or something so we can see this guy….He’s bringing in tires by the boat load…He dumps them there, leaves, then comes back again….”
In October of last year, the Board had listened to, and applauded, a proposal presented by resident Jessie Nolan, which entailed the Village replicating an anti-fly-dumping program implemented by the City of Chicago.
Former Village Manager William Barlow had said that his staff would review the merits of the program and the challenges accompanying its implementation in Maywood. The results of that review have not yet been presented.
Police Chief Talley said that his department was working on ways to deal with the problem–and one way in particular came as a pleasant and impressive surprise.
“We’re in strategy to try to catch [the culprits],” said Chief Talley. “The tires are hazardous [to the environment, but] if we can get some company to chop those tires up for us, we can use that crushed rubber as back field for our shooting range….I’ve been thinking green as well,” he said jocundly. The audience of residents were delightfully surprised by the out-of-the-box suggestion.
The Chief said that the only thing preventing the Village from chopping the rubber is the right kind of industrial-size crushing equipment. However, he pointed out that the measure might be something that the State could fund. VFP