Friday, May 2, 2014 || By Michael Romain
Village Board Unanimously Approves FY 2015 Budget
MAYWOOD — At a Tuesday, April 29, 2014, regular board meeting, the Village Board voted unanimously to approve the FY 2015 budget. However, the unanimous vote didn’t reflect unanimous satisfaction. After several trustees–namely Cheryl Ealey-Cross, Audrey Jaycox and Toni Dorris–expressed disapproval with the level of information that the Board had on which to base its approval, a consensus formed that the authorization would be contingent on the Board having the ability to go back and amend the authorized version. The FY 2015 budget is projected to be $42,990,110 in total expenditures. More on this later.
Some Appointed, Some Looked Over For Commissions
MAYWOOD — At a Tuesday, April 15, 2014, regular board meeting, several of the Mayor Edwenna Perkins’s selections to sit on various commissions were up for appointment. Eric McKennie, the Mayor’s appointment to the Economic Development Commission, and Loren Buchmeir, her pick for the Landmark/Historical Preservation Commission, were both appointed unanimously by the Board (Trustee Cheryl Ealey-Cross abstained in both instances).
Isiah Brandon, tapped to sit on the Youth Commission, and Theresa Kelly and Barbera Bailey, both selected to sit on the Housing Authority, were all refused appointments by the Board. None of those potential appointments were granted a vote, since for that to happen a trustee must at least provide a second (and before it can come to that, a trustee must provide a motion). In the case of Mr. Brandon and Mrs. Kelly, Trustee Michael Rogers was the only member of the Board who provided a motion.
The proceedings reached something of a fever pitch after–having refused the appointment of Mr. Brandon, 26, to the Youth Commission–the Board nonetheless voted for Trustee Melvin Lightford to sit on the Youth Commission as a Board representative (the Mayor and Trustee Ealey-Cross provided the only votes against Lightford’s appointment).
“Mr. Isiah Brandon is an individual I’ve tried to put on this youth commission since […] I first got elected,” Mayor Perkins said.
“But for some reason the board has refused to put this young man on this Youth Commission. But tonight, Trustee Lightford and Rivers have held this young man off the commission and yet [Trustee Lightford] wants to be on the committee […] How can you hold a young man who has done work in this community–he has worked with the children, seniors [and he’ll] will work with anyone who [will] work with him […] Trustee Lightford has not put in an application, but he was put on tonight.”
Section A of Village Ordinance 31.36 stipulates that the “Village President shall appoint 1 Trustee to serve as the Village Board liaison to the Commission and who shall report to the Board of Trustees on matters being considered by the Commission.”
Trustee Ron Rivers, after referencing the ordinance, said that the Mayor had singled out Trustee Lightford unfairly.
“He’s a sitting Trustee that has been vetted, elected and there’s a vacancy […] We have to put someone on there […] for you to mix those two items, I take exception with [that].”
Since her election, the Mayor has been in an uphill battle in her efforts to not only appoint new commissioners, but also to try to identify commissioners who are inactive and/or whose terms have lapsed. Despite the persistent confusion, certain boards, such as the Liquor Commission, have been nonetheless able to amass a quorum in order to grant businesses and organizations liquor licenses.
According to the Mayor, as long as sitting commissioners don’t have appointed replacements, they may still conduct business on their respective commissions–whether or not their terms have expired. The bottom line (from the Mayor’s perspective, at least): the problem isn’t that seats on commissions aren’t filled. The problem is that they’re likely filled with absentee commissioners who need to be replaced. But (considering that the Mayor and the Board are at loggerheads) replaced by whom?
After a FOIA request was put in for an updated listing of all persons who sit on Village commissions and boards, this is the document the Village emailed in return: LIST OF COMMISSIONS.
Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough Selected As 2014 Woman of Excellence
Maywoodian Karen Yarbrough, the current Cook County Recorder of Deeds and wife of former Maywood Mayor Henderson Yarbrough, was selected as one of the Chicago Defender‘s 2014 Women of Excellence. The ceremony took place on April 17, at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago.
According to the Defender, the award “celebrates local African-American women who inspire others through their vision and leadership, exceptional achievements, and participation in community service.” For more information on the award, click here. Among the other award recipients were Donna Black-Miller of the American Heart Association, Tarrah Cooper of the City of Chicago Mayor’s Office and Chaz Ebert of Ebert Digital, LLC. Mrs.
Yarbrough is the second Maywoodian deemed ‘Excellent’ by the 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.
Notable Quote of the Week
“In the back of my house is a house that burned down that belongs to Chase bank and John West [Public Works Director] said [Chase] doesn’t want to clean it up, because they’re not getting their money back,” (Maywood resident during public comments at the April 29, 2014, board meeting). VFP