Political gadfly Andy Skoundrianos appeared before the Oak Lawn Village Board last Tuesday and delivered his own version of “fake news”.
Skoundrianos took time to address the board on a very important issue. No, it wasn’t about the utility tax increase that the administration instituted. It wasn’t about the issues with the fire department or the 911 dispatch center.
It also wasn’t about the increase in crime that Mayor Sandra Bury denied for years until finally admitting that there has been an increase. That admission came only days before her successful re-election effort.
Instead, Skoundrianos decided to read nothing less than a love letter praising outgoing Village Trustee Michael Carberry. For those that have not heard of Carberry, he’s best described as the man of few words who sits to the right of the public speakers.
While acknowledging that Carberry is a man of few words, Skoundrianos thanked the Trustee for his service.
He said that Carberry was “one of the most caring and honest persons I ever met. He wasn’t in it for headlines or personal enrichment. He only cared about what was best for Oak Lawn. I wish him continued success in his endeavors and hope he’s not a stranger and I hope I made a friend for life because he’s a very good man and a great family man and I truly appreciate his four years on this board because it certainly wasn’t easy.” Skoundrianos then reached his hand out to Carberry and shook his hand. Skoundrianos doesn’t even live in the sixth district that Carberry represents but like a young teenager on prom night, he was apparently smitten.
A polite round of applause followed the speech but left many probably wondering why Skoundrianos was making the comments a month before Carberry’s term ends on the board.
Village Trustees can’t really enrich themselves despite Skoundrianos providing a back handed comment to that effect. They are only paid $7,200 a year and the longest serving Trustee in the history of Oak Lawn will receive a pension of only about $312 dollars a month.
Not everyone has shared Skoundrianos’ love for Carberry and some have even questioned whether he chose elected office to serve the people or to serve himself.
Our loyal readers have noted that Carberry is best known for saying “no report”. Most of our readers over the years have been critical of Carberry for voting in lock step with the Mayor. Once in a while, a loyalist will write, “I like Carbs but I hate the Mayor” or something to that effect.
Independent watchdogs have also been critical of Carberry and don’t appear to share Skoundrianos’ opinion that Carberry hasn’t tried to enrich himself.
On June 8, 2011 the Better Government Association revealed that Carberry voted for a 66 percent increase of the Illinois Income Tax and amazingly found himself in a job at Cook County that pays about $100,000 a year and will provide him with a pension that could result in millions in his pocket.
At the time, the article quoted Better Government Association Executive Director Andy Shaw who said you’d have to be a pretty big believer in coincidences not to see the politics here:
It sounds like a couple of guys went down to Springfield, did the bidding of the party to pass the tax hike, and as a result they’re awarded with jobs in Cook County,” Shaw said. “This sounds like business as usual and on its face it’s troubling.
The Better Government Association apparently doesn’t have the same level of love for Carberry’s public service that Andy Skoundrianos has for Mr. Carberry. Perhaps the BGA doesn’t know the real Carberry the way Andy Skoundrianos does.
Carberry’s most memorable accomplishment at the State of Illinois was undoubtedly the huge income tax increase. At the village board, he doubled down with a 375 Percent utility tax increase. Apparently, Skoundrianos is a tax and spend liberal who is overjoyed by such votes.
If he’s not remembered for those two “accomplishments”, the only other headlines came when he talked about stopping the video taping of the meetings calling them “Tuesday Night Live” or when he attacked his fellow Trustee Robert Streit. At a recent meeting he said it was a pleasure to work with everyone except Streit. Not exactly a classy move but apparently one that Skoundrianos loved.
During this recent election, Mayor Sandra Bury and her allies called any news that they disagreed with “fake news”. Is the BGA story fake news? Or was the speech by Skoundrianos fake news?