Back in March, Trustee Alex Olejniczak promised that he would eat his shoes if the Village spent more than $20,000 to publish a taxpayer-funded newspaper, Oak Lawn Matters. For the first two issues, the publication has cost the taxpayers nearly $14,000, and revenue is dropping. By the next Board of Trustees meeting, that number may have doubled. Will Olejniczak live up to his word and eat his shoes?
On March 22th, 2016, Trustee Olejniczak (District 2) took issue with Trustee Robert Streit (District 3), after Streit presented numbers to the Board of Trustees which estimated that a print version of Oak Lawn Matters would cost $100,000 a year. Streit offered estimates for printing, postage, and the fees to Fanning Communications, who was contracted to publish the newspaper.
Olejniczak then produced a comical spiel, at one point lifting his foot up onto the dais. Olejniczak pointed to his shoe and promised, if it cost the Village more than $20,000, he would eat his shoes. He later held up his hand in the form of a zero and said the Oak Lawn Matters would cost the village “zero”.
Unfortunately for the taxpayers, the Village lost $6,670 on the June issue, then lost $7,163 on the July issue. Advertising revenue to the Village dropped in July by 17%. Numbers for August have not yet been released, but the advertisements seem to be even more sparse upon inspection.
Expenses remained flat month over month. Fanning Communications cost $3,000. Printing cost $2,410. Postage cost $3,737. The total expense for 2 months was $18,294. Should expenses remain flat for the rest of the year, the expenses for Oak Lawn Matters will total $64,029. Extrapolated for a full 12 months, total expenses for Oak Lawn Matters will come to $109,764.
Perhaps Trustee Olejniczak should begin researching marinades for his Florsheim shoes. He’s certainly going to need it if he plans to keep his word to residents of Oak Lawn.