That could change soon because Oak Lawn Trustee Alex Olejniczak is promising to eat his own shoes if he is wrong about the village’s decision to enter the publishing business.
Trustee Aex Olejniczak brought the Village of Oak Lawn’s reputation down to ground level recently when he promised to eat his own shoes if the newly approved village owned newspaper loses money.
Olejniczak started his statement in a reasonable manner noting that his fellow Trustee, Robert Streit, said that the village owned newspaper will cost $100,000. Those numbers are similar to numbers produced by the Oak Lawn Leaf. A similar paper in the Village of Crestwood has lost $100,000.
Olejniczak said the truth would come up in the months of June, July, August and September as the village enters the publishing business. He said if Streit is correct and the village spends even $20,000 he will do what most doctors will tell you is impossible; he will digest his own shoes.
“I have a pair of Florsheim shoes that I will eat right here on the desk if that happens”, Olejniczak said. For some reason he let everyone know his shoes are black and then proceeded to try to raise his leg to show his shoes to the camera and small audience.
Olejniczak said that his statement was “grandiose” but claimed it was not as grandiose as Streit’s statement that the publication will lose $100,000 over a year’s time. Olejniczak, in an apparent attack upon the various media outlets serving Oak Lawn, said that the $100,000 figure was used to “scare the public” into not getting factual information that is not political.
Olejniczak said the newspaper could allow residents to learn who to contact if there is a problem with garbage pickup or to report if a neighbor’s property requires code enforcement. He asked rhetorically whether anyone knew who to contact in those instances.
When contacted by the Oak Lawn Leaf, Streit said that Oak Lawn’s residents know that they can contact the village for any of those issues cited by Olejniczak. He said that he maintains a constituent service office and takes hundreds of calls from residents throughout the village regarding services. “I think the answers to all of the Trustee’s questions were obviously, your Trustee or the staff”, said Streit.
Oljeniczak said that he has done his research and predicted the cost of the newspaper will be zero. “He (Streit) says $100,000, I say zero and over $20,000 I eat my Florsheim shoes”, said Olejniczak.
Streit said that in a year, the cost will be over $100,000 for the village. The village is paying Fanning Communications of Crestwood the sum of $3,000 a month to produce the publication. He said printing will cost another $2700 a month and mailing costs are going to be $4,320 per month, according to the current postal rates. “I’m not sure what research Alex did but he didn’t share it with the rest of the board members”, said Streit. He added “perhaps he ate the research also”.
Streit said that Olejniczak’s promise is “silly”. He said that Mayor Bury and Olejniczak’s political party promised greater transparency and now is giving away another no bid contract without even knowing how much it will cost. “Instead of eating his shoes, Alex should buy about ten pairs of shoes for every resident because that’s how much this political newspaper is going to cost the taxpayers”, said Streit.