Wednesday, April 2, 2014 || By Michael Romain
Maywood ambulance fleet in desperate need of repair
At yesterday’s regular board meeting, Maywood Fire Chief Craig Bronaugh stressed that his department’s old and deteriorating fleet of ambulances is in such desperate need of repair that during at least one weekend last month, the Village had no recourse to a single functioning ambulance for an entire afternoon due to mechanical failure. Chief Bronaugh said that his department had to borrow an ambulance from nearby Bellwood.
“The ambulance fleet is old and falling apart,” the Chief said, noting that the fleet crisis could potentially “be life threatening to residents” and could possibly cut into the Village’s revenue. He also said that relying too heavily on the resources of other municipalities could potentially strain relations between Maywood and her neighbors.
The fire department’s 2013 annual report, presented by Chief Bronaugh at a January 29, 2014, LLOC meeting, notes that nearly 250,000 miles have accumulated between all ambulances. He suggested that the Board make an emergency purchase of a new ambulance.
The Board unanimously approved to convene an emergency meeting today, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at 7 PM, to vote on the purchase, which, if it is approved, will be paid for from the Village’s rainy day fund.
Board approves hiring of interim village manager, Ken Lopez
Yesterday, the Board also voted to approve the hiring of Ken Lopez as interim village manager. The position had previously been filled by assistant village manager David Myers. Maywood hasn’t had a permanent village manager since former manager William Barlow retired early this year.
Mr. Lopez, 51, has been in municipal government for nearly 18 years. According to the Courier-News, Mr. Lopez was hired in 2011 as village administrator and finance director for Pingree Grove, Illinois (nearly 5,000 residents), where he replaced then-outgoing village administrator William Barlow, who had held that position part-time until being hired by Maywood that year.
From May 2004 until May 2011, Mr. Lopez served as village administrator for Beach Park in Lake County, Illinois. He’s also served as village administrator for Johnsburg (a town of about 6,300 residents) and Morrison (about 4,100 residents); and as director of economic development and business services for North Aurora (about 17,000 residents)–all municipalities in Illinois.
At Pingree Grove, Mr. Lopez was chosen from a field of nearly 50 candidates. The Courier-News article quotes Pingree Grove Village President Greg Marston, who praised the candidate’s “economic development, communication and strategic planning” background.
Mr. Lopez grew up in Humboldt Park. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in public administration from Drake University. He and his wife of 30 years have three adult children.
Although Mr. Lopez is an independent contractor who will serve as interim until a permanent village manager is hired, he has nonetheless submitted his application to be considered as a candidate for the permanent position.
“I’m excited,” he said about the opportunity.
The Board voted 6-1 to approve his appointment. Trustee Cheryl Ealey-Cross abstained, citing her disapproval with the hiring process.
“I’m very disappointed and disturbed by how this process to interview and elect an interim village manager was done,” she said.
Residents point out Maywood’s pothole problems
During the public comment section of last night’s regular board meeting, Maywood resident Loretta Robinson complimented public works director John West for his department’s handling of a pothole at 16th and Van Buren. But another one, which Mr. West’s department had patched up in the past, seems to have worsened. She said that a pothole located at the corner of 17th and Washington is sinking again.
Mrs. Robinson’s complaints were echoed by residents both within and outside of Maywood, such as Jaquelyne Jameson of Bellwood, who said that her vehicle was damaged while driving down St. Charles Road. She said that she’d filed an insurance claim, but that it was denied. She believes that her vehicle was damaged due either to complications from a water main break or a pothole that wasn’t sufficiently treated. She requested that the Board provide her with financial assistance to cover the repairs.
Maywood resident Gloria Clay pointed out that a massive sink hole may have been forming on 5th and Lexington. She wanted to know whether anything had been done to rectify the problem.
Mr. Myers said that the Village would address the complaints about the potholes with public works.
Trustee appointed to Illinois Small Business and Workforce Development Task Force
Maywood Trustee Audrey Jaycox has been appointed by Illinois State Senate President John Cullerton to the 17-member Illinois Small Business and Workforce Development Task Force. According to ilga.gov, each Task Force member is appointed to a 2-year term. Trustee Jaycox is one of four appointees to the Task Force that Mr. Cullerton has the authority to make. The functions of the Task Force include identifying issues of importance to small businesses that can be addressed by the General Assembly, making recommendations regarding the issues identified and addressing State procurement policies, among other responsibilities.
Maywood firefighter recognized as a 2014 Man of Excellence by Chicago Defender
In January of this year, Maywood fire captain Denard L. Wade, Sr. was recognized as one of the Chicago Defender‘s 2014 Men of Excellence. The honorees were feted at an induction ceremony that was sponsored by State Farm and held at the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago. Fox 32 News anchor Dawn Hasbrouck was the event’s mistress of ceremonies. According to the event website, the 50 men were selected by Chicago Defender readers and were chosen because they “represent excellence in their professional and personal lives each day.”
Other honorees included Levoi Brown of Urban Partnership Bank, Eric Cunningham of General Motors, Torrence Hinton of People’s Gas, Maze Jackson of Compass Public Affairs, Curtis Monday of State Farm Insurance and Craig Marchbanks of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. For more information about the distinction, click here. VFP