Trustee Robert Streit was defeated by Sandra Bury for Mayor yesterday with unofficial results showing a surprisingly low turnout compared to four years ago.
The vote totals appear to show about 1,400 less ballots cast in the village of 56,00 residents. Bury, like Streit, campaigned as Independent candidates although each was aligned with a slate of Trustee candidates. In the end, Bury won 59.5 percent of the vote to Streit’s 40.5 percent despite Streit identifying mainstream issues such as an increase in crime, the outsourcing of the 911 dispatch center and the largest tax increase in the history of Oak Lawn.
Despite those factors, voters put Bury back in charge and provided her the same three votes that have acquiesced to the administration’s plans for four years. In the end, it wasn’t close with Bury receiving a vote total of 5,362 votes while Streit earned 3,650.
When reached late Tuesday night, Streit declined comment other than to say that the people have spoken. He said that he called Sandra Bury to congratulate her on the victory but did not reach her before telling his supporters the news. Streit said he left a voice message for Bury.
Car Dealer Frank Mancari spent approximately $50,000 on the race, when advertising in the Village Matters was added into the money Mancari raised or spent on Bury’s race. Other contributions included money from two south suburban politicians that appeared to originate with the Village Attorney.
Bury also profited from trade union support, which inexplicably supported the “anti-union” slate led by Bury. In addition to dumping union 911 dispatchers, the Bury group has spent millions of dollars on litigation to fight the firefighter’s union. Despite this fact, various unions endorsed Bury and placed a series of robocalls on her behalf.
For their part, the unions affected by Bury, such as the firefighter’s union and the Metropolitan Alliance of Police sat the election out.
Streit’s platform centered around an increase in crime and the way to increase patrols. Bury at first denied that crime increased and provided three different numbers arguing crime was down. Eventually, she told the Daily Southtown last Friday that crime had increased.
Apparently, none of that mattered. Streit will remain as Trustee of the third district, where it appears he had won based on unofficial numbers. Trustee Alex Olejniczak won his fourth term. Tom Phelan was elected to his third term and Terry Vorderer was elected to his second term.