A man once asked why it takes a woman politician he knows so long to put makeup on every morning. “That’s easy”, she answered, “I have two faces”.
A steady reader of Facebook could say that Mayor Sandra Bury has two Faces on Facebook. Recently she posted a photo of some of the 911 Norcomm Dispatch Center workers and a note stating that “she stopped by with a cake to show my appreciation for their hard work”.
She posted the note on the “Mayor Bury” Facebook page, rather than the Village’s official Facebook page. She made the posting at a time when she and her allies have complained that the village is unable to publicize events.
While the Mayor Bury Facebook page uses her official office, and a photo in front of the Oak Lawn sign, she has no problems deleting comments that question her or disagree with her views. At the same time, she has shown what can best be described as a cheerleader mentality for a privately owned vendor that the village contracted with after firing 20 union employees.
On this post in particular Bury allows positive comments to stand on the site.
If a reader happened to come upon the Facebook page, they would think that the community supported the controversial Norcomm contract with nobody voicing opposition or questioning the Mayor. The reason appears to be simple: Negative comments were deleted even though she is using her official title and office on the page.
While Bury answered soft ball questions or comments that praise her, she deleted comments that were critical. We were able to capture some of those comments.
A former 911 Oak Lawn Dispatcher, Joe McGrath, disagreed with the Mayor and found his comment deleted on the Facebook page. Likewise, an opinion shared from Jason Stein that training should be extended to “ride alongside” with each agency also found itself cut from the “Facebook discussion”. Since she controls the page, Bury is able to delete comments. In fact she deleted many comments.
Critical comments by Amy Goldsmith, Jim Houk and Nick Cagle also were deleted by Bury. Goldsmith pointed out that Bury never celebrated Telecommunicators Week with the union employees of Oak Lawn. She also noted that the police and fire department members have been told not to criticize the 911 dispatchers or file complaints.
Jim Houk also had his comment deleted when he wrote that the Mayor’s post that the company’s workers were “highly trained” is laughable. He also noted that there has been a revolving door of what he called “mediocre to poor dispatching”.
Suheil Shehaiber’s positive comment that “Good people deserve good attention, good job mayor” was not deleted. However, Nick Cagle’s negative comment was deleted.
Cagle wrote, “Don’t lie Bury you know mistakes at the risk of the public have been happening since the ‘switchover’ …inform the public of the truth”. Instead of responding or allowing Cagle’s comment to stand as information, Bury deleted the comment.
Bury has also shown what some consider “two faces” in her responses that stand on other pages. In a post with Jane Loftus, she accuses the woman of actually being Dave Heilmann and attacks her comments while putting the name “Jane/Dave” in quotation marks. On the other hand, another person named “Joey Topps” praised the Mayor resulting in Bury responding kindly.
Trustee Robert Streit, who has been at odds with Bury over the firing of the 20 union dispatchers as well as other decisions, said that Bury’s use of her office on Facebook should raise the standard of transparency. Bury has a private Facebook Page that does not list herself as a “government official”. However, the above deletions were made on a “Mayor Bury” Facebook page that lists her as a government official and shows her posting in front of a Village of Oak Lawn sign. The page states that it is the official Facebook Page of Mayor Sandra Bury.
When she represents the village as Mayor”, said Streit, “she should be open and transparent allowing all viewpoints to be heard and seen”. Streit said that the deletion of opposing views on a governmental page is censorship. Streit said that if the Mayor wants to censor people she should do so on her personal page.