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Forum: Mayor explains his actions

Updated: May 8, 2013 6:57AM



In response to Phil Kadner’s recent column, I must emphasize that I chose not to run for re-election this spring with my former running mates because they engaged in conduct that I warned them might be criminal. They ignored my written warnings, proceeded ahead and that conduct triggered an FBI investigation.

Mr. Kadner wrote that I must be a poor judge of character because a leader doesn’t ally himself with people who might engage in wrongdoing. How does one know in advance that a person may commit a crime?

I think the appropriate question is, what did I do when I learned of it? Did I look the other way because it was my political party? I did not. I objected in writing. I cited an example of a criminal case involving another municipality. I asked them to go out and bid. I asked them to consult a criminal attorney. They chose to ignore all of those requests.

A grand jury subpoena was then served on the village clerk by the FBI — an extremely important record that should have been immediately sent to me and all trustees. It was not. It was kept from me so I knew nothing about it.

Would I be a better judge of character if I looked the other way and ran for election with these candidates? If I stood by silently because it was my team?

All of us have had friends, acquaintances, co-workers or someone we know violate our trust. It doesn’t mean that we are poor judges of character, it means we are human. People do their best, and sometimes they do the wrong things.

We cannot judge someone on whether they could have predicted what another person might do in the future but rather on how we respond after it happens so it doesn’t happen again.

Dave Heilmann

Oak Lawn mayor

Not so sure about buffalo

Regarding the U.S. Forest Service’s plan to place buffalo on a 1,200-acre site within the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, problems that arose with the buffalo at Yellowstone National Park could resurface.

Noise from motorcycles and vehicles upset the buffalo at Yellowstone, so locating a grazing area next to busy Illinois 53 does not seem wise. The piercing sound of sirens on the road could even cause a stampede.

Because Midewin is close to the towns of Wilmington, Channahan, Elwood and New Lenox, not to mention the Abraham Lincoln National Veterans Cemetery, these towns should have input into the plan to bring in buffalo.

The recession and, more recently, the sequester, have caused many state and national parks to impose cutbacks and delay improvements. In light of that, should we spend money to place buffalo in Midewin?

Stopping to smell the roses is good advice and a pleasant experience, but it’s doubtful that smelling buffalo will leave you as impressed.

Ruth Williams

Oak Forest



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