Melrose Park Board Meeting, Where ‘Sanctuary Village’ Ordinance was Scheduled for Discussion, is Cancelled


Melrose Park trustees during a board meeting held last month. | File

Monday, February 13, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || UPDATED: 4:34 p.m. 

A regularly scheduled meeting of the Melrose Park Board of Trustees, which was to be held tonight, Monday, Feb. 13, has been canceled, according to a public notice released by Village Clerk Mary Ann Paolantonio.

At a meeting on Jan. 23, Melrose Park trustees heard numerous public comments from community members who expressed support of a proposed ‘Welcoming Village’ ordinance.

Members of PASO – West Suburban Action Project, a nonprofit that advocates for immigrants and other vulnerable populations throughout the West Cook County suburbs — including Melrose Park, Stone Park, Maywood and Bellwood — were in the audience, along with District 209 school board member Claudia Medina and representatives from other organizations, during the meeting to express their support for the proposal.

Trustee Arturo Mota said that Melrose Park “has been very supportive of being a welcoming community,” adding that the village has also gotten behind local initiatives and state laws that would ease the burden of living for immigrants.

“When it came out that the state was going out for a vote to give undocumented immigrants an opportunity to get drivers licenses, we lobbied and made sure our state representative was out there voting for it because we knew how important that was,” he said.

The trustees tabled a motion to “establish Melrose Park as a sanctuary village and authorize the offices of the mayor and village attorney to prepare all documents for the aforesaid” due to Mayor Ronald Serpico’s absence.

Mota said that Serpico had been sick and that he wanted the board to hear as many arguments for and against the proposal before the measure was voted on.

In a phone call today, Mota referred questions about the meeting’s cancellation to Serpico’s office.

According to a spokesman for the mayor, Serpico is out of town and has been recuperating from “very serious back surgery.”

The spokesman said that, since the board did not have any time-sensitive items to vote on, such as budgetary issues, the rest of the trustees opted to cancel the meeting. VFP

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