Friday, June 13, 2014 || By Michael Romain
Mayor Touts Massive New Youth Summer Employment Grant
MAYWOOD–At a Wednesday, June 11, 2014, Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting, Mayor Perkins and the Board of Trustee discussed a $489,600 Illinois Youth Recreation Corps grant the Village received recently. The money, which is administered by Illinois Department of Natural Resources, will allow young people between the ages of 14 and 18 employment for 60 days during the summer from June until August.
State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch and Gov. Pat Quinn announced the grants on June 11, 2014. The Village of Bellwood ($76,248), Memorial Park District ($80,640) and the Maywood Park District ($96,288) were the other three governmental entities in the state that received the funding.
“We’re the only town in the State that got that amount of money,” Mayor Perkins said.
The Mayor said that Isiah Brandon, Executive Director of Youth on the Move, identified the grant and assisted an officer from the Maywood Police Department in writing the grant. The money will fund 100 youth workers from Maywood between the ages of 14 to 18, each of whom will be paid $9 an hour. It will also fund 10 young adult supervisors from Maywood between the ages of 19 and 25, each of whom will be paid $12 an hour.
The Mayor requested an additional $35,000 for added operational expenses and to hire personnel to administer payroll for the program, since the Village’s and Police Department’s administrative staff won’t be able to accommodate the additional payroll responsibilities.
Last year, the Village utilized summer youth workers for a variety of recreation- and conservation-related tasks throughout town, such as painting curbs and fire hydrants, picking up trash and cutting grass. The Maywood Park District will utilize its portion of the grant to hire 20 local youth to do similar work. On Monday, June 16, it conducted on-site interviews for the 20 positions.
The Board voted to place the $35,000 supervisory and administrative expenditure as an agenda item to be considered and voted on at the next regular board meeting (Trustee Cheryl Ealey-Cross abstained and Trustee Toni Dorris was out of the room). It also tasked Acting Village Manager David Myers with identifying the part of the budget from which the money will be taken out. Earlier in the discussions Myers indicated that the money will be spent as a line item in the Village’s summer abatement funds.
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A New Commissioner Is Appointed; Police Chief Honors A Trustee And An Officer For Their Boldness
(Left to right: Chief Talley salutes Trustee Ron Rivers; the Chief poses for a picture with Officer Turner. Photo by Michael Romain for The Village Free Press).
MAYWOOD–At the same LLOC meeting, the Board of Trustees moved the appointment of Linda Reedy to the Village’s Water Commission forward to the next regular board meeting, where all votes are binding. Reedy is a lifelong Maywoodian and former marketing director with the US Postal Service.
In other news related to individual recognition, Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley acknowledged Trustee Ron Rivers and Officer Saronda Turner for their contributions to local law enforcement. Trustee Rivers successfully identified someone engaged in criminal activity, which led police to apprehend the suspect and t0 seize said suspect’s vehicle. Chief Talley said that the department plans to sell the vehicle back to the dealership and purchase dispatch radios for the department, thus freeing the Village to use the money it would have spent toward that expenditure for other things.
Officer Turner assisted Melrose Park police in a stabbing incident. She had just returned from sick leave.
“She got right in the mix of things and was able to apprehend the individual for the Melrose Park police department,” the Chief said.
Proposal Change Executive Assistant Position Seems To Have Stalled
MAYWOOD–Also at the June 11, LLOC meeting, a proposal introduced by Trustee Toni Dorris and discussed by the Board seems to have fizzled out. Dorris had proposed moving the Mayor’s office from its current location above the police department at 125 S. 5th Avenue to the Village’s municipal building at 40 E. Madison Street and moving the Executive Assistant position from a line item in the Mayor’s and Board of Trustee’s budget to one in the Village Manager’s budget so that the manager could have more oversight of the position.
The proposed changes were meant to streamline the Village’s administrative functions, allow the Executive Assistant position more flexibility to help out understaffed departments and cut down on what Trustees Dorris, Melvin Lightford and Ron Rivers perceived as inappropriate behavior and unauthorized individuals in the Mayor’s office. Mayor Perkins addressed the Trustees’ claims of office loitering by stating that the individuals to whom the Trustees referenced were, in fact, volunteers working on various projects spearheaded by her office, such as a Safe Summer youth initiative, a community job fair and the aforementioned Illinois Youth Recreation Corps grant.
Although the Board did not elect to move the Mayor’s office (since that would have required a supermajority of at least 5 affirmative votes to amend the budget to pay for the estimated $17,000 in expenses associated with the relocation), it did entertain the notion of changing the Executive Assistant’s job description so that the position would be expected to assist in understaffed departments, most notably Human Resources.
However, at the June 11, meeting, Dorris said that she had spoken directly with the current Executive Assistant, Jonette Greenhow, and that there were no issues. She said that she and Ms. Greenhow worked the issue out and were willing to work together.
The Board will take another vote on whether or not to relocate the Mayor’s office at a regular board meeting on Wednesday, June 18, 2014.
Rotary Donates $500 To West Cook YMCA
MAYWOOD–At a May 29, 2014, weekly meeting at Meal of the Day Cafe, the Maywood Rotary Club donated $500 to the West Cook YMCA to aid in the maintenance and operation of the Fred Hampton Aquatic Center. The West Cook’s President and CEO, Phillip Jimenez, was on hand to give remarks about the YMCA’s mission to be an organization “without walls.” VFP
Correction: This article was updated to reflect the fact that the appointment of Ms. Reedy is not binding. The article had incorrectly indicated that the Board’s vote of approval at the LLOC was binding, instead of a vote to merely move the matter forward to the next regular board meeting, where the official vote on Ms. Reedy’s appointment will take place. In addition, a section in this article detailing the proposals to move the Mayor’s office originally indicated that both the proposal to relocate her office as well as the proposal to change the job description of her Executive Assistant had fizzled out. This isn’t the case, since the Board is poised to take another vote on the possible relocation of the Mayor’s office at a June 18, board meeting.