Happy Festivus. December 23rd is the celebration of Festivus, which was popularized by the Seinfeld television show and has spread as a secular holiday as well as an alternative to the commercialism of Christmas.
Oak Lawn’s Village Manager Larry Deetjen once served as the Village Manager of Deerfield Beach, Florida, which coincidentally was the first American city to have a “Festivus Pole” erected on city property next to religious displays.
Actually, Deetjen was long gone from the city by the time the pole was erected by his one time nemesis, Chaz Stevens, who also reportedly was able to erect a Festivus Pole at the Florida State Capitol.
It may be time for an official celebration of Festivus in Oak Lawn. All good Seinfeld fans know that Festivus was celebrated by the Costanza family and featured “feats of strength”, “airing of grievances”, and “Festivus miracles”.
“Airing of Grievances” would be the favorite part of any celebration in Oak Lawn. Political gadfly Andy Skoundrianos used to be the loudest, and most obnoxious critic of the late Mayor Ernie Kolb, who served for 26 years compared to Skoundrianos elected service of exactly zero years. Now, Skoundrianos is on the inside spreading information that only he seems to know. He argues on Facebook and in public continuously with anyone doubting his information by saying “everyone knows it” or “I used to support the former Mayor”. Skoundrianos who clings to some kind of self importance as the Mayor’s lackey for parades continues to claim that the only problem in Oak Lawn is the Oak Lawn Leaf.
Not the lack of transparency or dishonesty. No sir, his grievance is the Oak Lawn Leaf.
Village Manager Larry Deetjen had similar grievances that he aired recently, although we wish these guys would have waited for the official holiday. Deetjen, in trying to minimize the increase in crime, said that the difference from 2000 to 2015 was the increase in publications and social media. We didn’t expect him to take any blame for the increase in crime while nationally crime was decreasing, but to blame social media and online media is a bit much, even if it was an early Festivus airing of the grievance.
That’s okay. In the spirit of Festivus, we say “it’s our turn”. Our grievances will be concise and revolve around the failure of the elected officials to keep their promises.
In 2013’s election candidate Sandra Bury promised transparency in government. Instead, during the first thirty two months of her administration, we find a government that covers up facts, delays providing information and ostracizes anyone who disagrees with policies.
Candidate Sandra Bury and her party members promised to reduce crime. One flyer even promised ten additional gang crime police officers. Thirty two months later, we have zero new gang crime officers hired.
Candidate Sandra Bury and her party members complained about taxes. Thirty two months later, we have a $2.5 million dollar utility tax increase on the backs of residents.
Candidate Sandra Bury and her running mates claimed that they would improve village services. In thirty two months, we’ve heard countless stories about incompetence from the 911 operators that were hired to replace the unionized force that worked so well for Oak Lawn over the years. When people complained, Bury and her running mates failed to investigate or correct the situation.
After thirty two months it would probably be a Festivus Miracle if things changed now. Happy Festivus, Oak Lawn!