Forum: Mayor responds to critic
October 23, 2012 10:00PM
Updated: November 25, 2012 11:56AM
I was criticized by Sandra Bury, a mayoral candidate, in her Oct. 18 letter for supporting a new senior/community wellness center on the former Beatty Lumber site. Oak Lawn sold property on 95th Street to return it to the tax rolls, and the former senior center was to be relocated in a new bank on that property.
At the same time, the Beatty site development was being planned, and there were talks with Christ Medical Center about its expansion. I thought we could bring all three of these together to attain a more innovative, long-term benefit to the community rather than just accommodating seniors with a room in a bank and calling it a senior center.
I recommended that we explore partnering with Advocate Health Care, the hospital owner, to build a new senior/community center. We could have an indoor lap pool, a nurse on site to meet with seniors, perhaps small shops with health foods, social events for seniors, rentals for family events — all with significant financial assistance to help pay for it.
I think such a center offering aquatic therapy, healthy life choices and access to important health information, and which turns an ugly lumber yard into a great asset, is far superior to just trying to fill a budget gap.
Sandra Bury opposes this, and, without any regard to the truth, accuses me of proposing it because of a possible financial interest in the hospital. Ms. Bury, the only financial interest I have in the hospital is bills.
I thought we could give our community something we have never had, right in the center of town, that we could enjoy for generations. It’s tough to afford without assistance from the hospital. I’m sorry you oppose this.
Mayor David Heilmann
Peloquin campaign not been silent
I read Phil Kadner’s Oct. 12 column about the silent election campaigns this year in South Cook County, and I was disheartened. I’m working on the campaign for Donald Peloquin, the Republican candidate in the new 1st Congressional District, and our campaign has been anything but silent.
We have held events in almost every suburb in the new district. We have attended countless community events and parades, fairs, senior meetings, picnics, etc., trying to educate everyone about his campaign and the issues.
This is a grassroots campaign made up mostly of volunteers who believe wholeheartedly in their candidate. Don is a proven leader with a passion for public service and the government experience to get things done. What we lack in resources, we make up in commitment and enthusiasm.
We do not have the funding for combative commercials or other splashy, big-budget advertising, but we do have a large team of devoted volunteers working hard to reach the voting public.