Mayor Sandra Bury was adamant in her State of the Village address that residents could fix “the leaky bucket” of Oak Lawn by keeping the money in Oak Lawn and shopping local businesses but records from the State of Illinois show that the Mayor’s biggest purchase, with the exception of her condo, was made outside of the village limits.
Bury provided a dramatic reading and as she spoke an image of a water bucket leaking from a dozen or so holes appeared on a large screen at the State of the Village Address. Mayor Bury urged residents to spend their money locally rather than shopping in other communities such as Chicago Ridge and Orland Park.
Bury said that residents have $689 million in spending power right here in Oak Lawn and $3.7 billion dollars within 15 minutes of the village. Bury said that the problem is “We’re taking our full bucket and spending our money outside Oak Lawn. We need to make our business community strong, plug those leaks and keep our taxes low.”
She said that hears about Oak Lawn residents traveling to Orland Park to purchase a car and noted that such an item could be purchased in Oak Lawn. Well, it turns out that “residents” aren’t the only buyers that are traveling elsewhere to purchase a car. In fact, according to the Secretary of State, Mayor Bury owned a 2004 Subaru Station Wagon that she purchased from Evanston Subaru in later, in 2010, purchased another Subaru in Countryside.
Oak Lawn Trustee Robert Streit (Dist. 3) said that he was not surprised by the fact. “This mayor seems to have a motto of ‘Do as I say not as I do’ and this would be just one more example”, said Streit. According to the Secretary of State’s records, Streit purchased a Dodge Durango from Napleton Dodge in Oak Lawn and a Chrysler Town and Country Van from Mancari Chrysler. One of Streit’s companies, Sealtite Roofing and Construction Co., purchased three trucks from Hawkinson Ford or Hawk Ford. All of the dealerships are in Oak Lawn.
Bury had suggested that by spending even $50 every once in a while at three or four Oak Lawn establishments, the leaky bucket could be fixed and businesses would be “thriving”. The Village of Oak Lawn receives part of the Illinois sales tax revenue on every purchase made in Oak Lawn. For purchases such as automobiles, the revenue can be significant. Oak Lawn has multiple new car dealerships and also is home to Car Max, which sells used autos of every make and model.
Listen to the Mayor’s comments in this clip from the State of the Village address.
Mayor Bury has continued to refuse to talk to our reporters.