Updated: February 4, 2013 3:03PM
General George S. Patton once quipped that “a civil servant is sometimes like a broken cannon — it won’t work and you can’t fire it.” Today, certain of our civil servants, elected officials and their highly paid appointed employees have become our government children who never leave home.
In addition to paying their salaries, we taxpayers provide cars to drive anywhere they want to go, unlimited gas and insurance and even cellphones to use anywhere and in any way they want.
While our actual children grow up, become independent and leave home so we can start putting away some money for our retirement, our civil-servant children continue to burden us with the ever-increasing costs of government and its debt. Something has to change.
Not buying Heilmann’s story
In his Dec. 23 letter, Oak Lawn Mayor Dave Heilmann wrote about a roofing contract that he and his allies on the village board approved at the Nov. 27 board meeting. Heilmann cast the deciding vote to award a $166,000 contract to a company, despite the village getting three lower and legitimate bids that could have saved taxpayers nearly $20,000. That led to allegations of bid-rigging and bid-tampering, and the FBI is investigating.
Incredibly, Mayor Heilmann would have you believe that he knew nothing about the matter or that the winning bidder employs Trustee Bob Streit’s brother. Or that Streit’s brother was the person who created the bid specs. Or that Streit was involved in the review of the bids and the awarding of the contract.
Mayor Heilmann wants you to believe that Streit, a former political enemy who curiously and recently became the mayor’s strongest ally on the board, did nothing wrong, according to an “investigation” the mayor said he conducted into the matter.
Mayor Heilmann also wants you to believe that the village manager and village attorney are at fault, despite them saying clearly at the board meeting that they were misled and given false information regarding the bids. And the mayor wants you to believe the three trustees who voted against the contract are at fault, accusing them of some kind of political setup.
Mayor Heilmann, wouldn’t it have been proper for Bob Streit to disclose his involvement in the bidding process and that his brother worked for the company and created the bid specs? Or that this company donated thousands of dollars to Streit’s campaign? Or that Streit sold the assets of his now-shuttered roofing business to this same company?
Of course, if Streit did all that it would pose a lot of problems for Heilmann’s political setup conspiracy theory. It’s time to end the back-room meetings and secret deals in Oak Lawn and demand honesty and transparency from our village board.