During a public Village Board Meeting, Oak Lawn Trustee Terry Vorderer apparently blamed the recent problems at Chuck E. Cheese on his predecessors and past Mayors, stating, “for more than 20 years my personal experience has been problems with Chuck E. Cheese and I think there has been a failure on this board okay to address these issues until I got elected.”
A check of newspaper archives indicates that the first major issue at Chuck E. Cheese occurred more recently than 20 years ago. In fact, a search by the Oak Lawn Leaf research department could only find a disorderly conduct charge in 2012, a mother charged with a “battery” in 2012, and then of course the attempted shooting of a gang member outside the facility in December of 2012, a few months before Vorderer’s election.
If any incidents occurred twenty years ago, they weren’t recorded in public police reports. Vorderer however insisted that he has been the only one that has taken action against Chuck E. Cheese, holding at least two private meetings with officials of the corporation, which has made security changes insisted upon by the village. Nonetheless, recently the same officials were called into the village board meeting to explain recent events including one in which an Oak Lawn Police Officer was “shoved” according to Mayor Sandra Bury.
Trustee Robert Streit has called for a hearing on the revocation of the entity’s license. At the most recent meeting, Trustee Alex Olejniczak added his voice to the call for greater action making a motion to have such a hearing. While neither of Vorderer’s fellow Trustees seemed to blame him, he reacted defensively to the idea of a hearing and insisted instead on a committee of residents to monitor the issues that arise in the future.
During the meeting, Streit and Olejniczak indicated that the board had given Chuck E. Cheese ample opportunities to correct the problems. Olejniczak noted that the board had insisted on greater security measures several years ago asking when the trouble started and when the President of the Corporation, Roger Cardinale first heard of any trouble.
Again, Vorderer defended his actions while attacking previous Trustees from his district and other Mayors. “Just a comment on Trustee Olejniczak’s (statement) when did we start this? We started this when I got elected because nothing happened there for twenty years. People on this board okay just let it slide.”
However, Roger Cardinale, the President of Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company C.E.C. Entertainment Inc, said he only learned of problems at Chuck E. Cheese “three or four years ago”.
Prior to Vorderer’s election as the Trustee in the 4th District, the residents were represented by Trustees Tom Duhig, Steve Rosenbaum and Mike Walsh during the twenty year period cited by Vorderer. The Mayors that have served during that 20 year period were Dave Heilmann, Ron Stancik, and Ernie Kolb.
Only two of the current Trustees, Robert Streit and Alex Olejniczak, have supported the idea of a hearing to revoke the business license. A motion to have such a hearing failed with Vorderer voting to not have a hearing.