Tuesday, April 2, 2019 || LETTERS || OPINION || @maywoodnews
I have had the privilege of serving this community since 2000 as a trustee and now for the past six years as mayor. My objective in writing this letter is to reflect on my tenure in leadership, what I’ve seen transpire in our local government and the right solution to drive Maywood in a positive direction.
I’ve seen the devastation caused by an administration that ran Maywood for their family members and special interest groups with ulterior motives. I’ve seen some major swings in Maywood’s financial and economical state; experiencing a $6 million surplus in 2006 down to a $16 million deficit in 2013 under the previous mayoral administration.
This current village trustee race consists of candidates who do not have a proven track record of working well in teams and demonstrating ethical integrity. It also consists of ‘new blood’ controlled by old political machines.
Maywood, don’t let colorful buzzwords and catch phrases be your distraction. Do not allow angry politics to drive you away from what is truly at stake. Is a candidate truly independent if he/she is being endorsed and mentored by the previous administration who put Maywood in this current predicament? No. Can you really promote economic development if your record suggest you’ve turned down major businesses in the past? No.
Maywood needs a cohesive team of leaders with complimentary professional backgrounds. These leaders need to be on one accord when it comes to making decisions that are in the best interest of our community but have the courage to challenge ideas and take an individual stance when needed. Maywood, you need a majority (four votes) to pass anything on a 7-person Village board.
With very little collective support from the Village Board, I’ve been able to accomplish the following: Invested $250k in the Lightford Recreation Center, $2.5M allocated for infrastructure improvements, new water meters and a new system to measure water loss so that we are able to account accurately for the amount of water usage for the village, we have vacant properties sold on our major street corridors- 9th and St. Charles and 14th and Madison.
Also, we have made progressive actions to reduce the amount of vacant homes and added new development on 5th avenue. Maywood, we’ve made progress however I’m not satisfied at all. We still need a grocery store, infrastructure improvement, & economic development. In order to execute on these goals, we must identify next level leadership that is not tied to poor decisions of the past and put in people that will vote in favor of implementing these necessary actions.
I know the candidates I endorse represent the change that Maywood not only needs but deserves. The People’s Choice Party are equipped with community champions with the proven skillsets & competencies necessary to move this Village forward. Isiah Brandon (Punch 6) is a proven leader with a track record of results. He was instrumental in getting Maywood recognized as an opportunity zone, He created the Maywood Youth delegates which takes young people to Washington DC every year, he also cast the critical vote to keep our Metra Train station on 5th Ave and has reinstated the bundling program which helps to put properties back on the tax rolls. As the regional Director for the National Black Caucus of local officials Mr. Brandon is well prepared to continue the work, he has started
Miguel Jones (Punch 7) is a corporate accountant with 10 years of experience advising management on all financial manners, include internal controls and process improvements that will improve our financial status and credit rating.
Eileen Olivier (Punch 8) is a licensed realtor and economic development specialist who knows what it takes to build a strong resilient community, she will advocate for a better quality of life for all residents. As a team they will focus on driving accountability, efficiency and measured performance at all levels.
Four votes may seem small to some- it is momentous for us. For Maywood this number represents carrying on the tradition of family and community, hard work and prosperity. I have never had the votes necessary to move things forward in this community but now we have a chance.
So here is a Call to Action to Vote! This is the most pivotal election in Maywood’s history. Maywood should not revert to being in the control of one family. Maywood, I implore you on April 2 to take that first step into our future and Punch 6, 7 & 8 for the People’s Choice Party. Together I promise we will rise and be the Maywood we were meant to be, the Maywood we outlined in our comprehensive plan.
We’ll only see that vision come true if we raise our voices in unison and vote on April 2.
Edwenna Perkins, Mayor of Maywood