It didn’t take long for Oak Lawn’s village idiot to try to stir the political pot. Andy Skoundrianous has often been found at village meetings making his opinion, or someone else’s opinion, known.
In about 1993, he first appeared as a regular cast member of what former Trustee Mike Carberry called “Tuesday Night Live”. Everyone else calls it the village meeting. Andy calls it his time to feel important in an otherwise unimportant life.
Back in 1993, Skoundrianos appeared as a twenty something living in his parents’ home. He hated Mayor Ernie Kolb, Clerk Jayne Powers and every Trustee, except 3rd District Trustee Robert Streit. He also hated the Daily Southown, Democrats, and of course the unions.
He hated Dave Heilmann too but that came later as did his strong dislike of the Oak Lawn firefighters.
Fast forward almost 25 years and Andy still lives in the house with his father. He doesn’t hate the Mayor or Democrats. In fact, he doesn’t even hate the unions, with the exception of the firefighters’ union. He does hate Streit, however, proving his political flexibility is much better than his physical flexibility.
At the inaugural meeting of the new board of Trustees, which with the exception of one member, is the same as the old board, Skoundrianos felt the need to light the fuse of dissent. Apparently, Andy is only happy if he can make others miserable.
Appearing in a disheveled manner, the fifty year old man appeared much older as he hunched over the podium to deliver his words of “wisdom”, apparently developed from a life of eating Twinkies while working at Walgreens before his disability forced him into receiving a government check.
He started out with a rather old and flat joke noting that he knew all of the male Trustees and their wives and “they all out kicked their coverage”. He then congratulated everyone who won in the recent elections. Nothing wrong with that, of course, because the winners deserve congratulations.
He may have even taken a shot at himself when he told the mayor and board members that it isn’t an easy job. Anyone who has served in public office would agree that taking criticism while you think you are doing the right thing makes the job very difficult. Of course, Andy Skoundrianos has been one of the harshest critics of government officials over the years. It has never been based on principle but rather on who Andy is aligned with politically.
Andy then said he hoped the new board remembers the saying ‘action speaks louder than words’. He continued, “just four years ago before the previous board was in office, the third district trustee said that he would work with that board and an olive branch was offered then he proceeded to start a blog before they were even sworn in. The blog attacked residents, employees, elected officials and even village businesses in a most untruthful and hurtful way. This blog presented Oak Lawn, my home and your home, in a very negative light. All for political gain. Thankfully, the voters didn’t believe the lies and attacks. It’s time to move Oak Lawn forward. Once again, the third district trustee has offered an olive branch promising to work with the mayor and board. But remember, actions speak louder than words. Let’s see if it happens this time.”
Such a speech deserves its own award because Skoundrianos seems to re-write history in less than two minutes of an angry lecture that onlookers thought may develop into a “get off my lawn” moment if he had a lawn. He did get a fact or two right. But that was all he was able to get right. Perhaps, he doesn’t remember the facts. For instance, four years ago, the Third District Trustee, Robert Streit, did congratulate Mayor Bury and her ticket, as he did again this time. He offered to work with Bury who privately sneered at the offer and publicly attacked him and former Trustee Carol Quinlan, removing them both from committees. Streit was relieved of all committees.
A hit list detailing which village employees and contractors would be retained or sent to the woodshed was circulated by Bury and her Trustees. That was hardly the work of people trying to work together but Skoundrianos seems to forget that information. Perhaps, awakening each afternoon after another hard day of not working has made the political gadfly a little batty.
The hit list attacked Streit and Quinlan making it clear that the Trustees should not even think about working with the two Trustees. In other words, Streit offered an olive branch four years ago and Bury and company tried to shove it down his throat.
Skoundrianos claims that a blog was started before the old board was sworn in but that, to borrow a phrase, is “fake news”. It would be enough to call everything Andy Skoundrianos said “fake news” but it deserves more attention, much like Andy deserves the attention he craves.
Andy’s speech deserves its own award. We thought we could call it the Village Idiot award to be given to the person who makes the biggest fool of themselves during a given month. In Ireland, a fool, idiot or imbecile is known as an Eejit. But this is Oak Lawn and Andy doesn’t travel past the borders so adopting a word, as cool as it may be, from a distant country didn’t seem right for the award.
Andy started this so we will call it “The Andyidiot Award.”
Hopefully, we will find someone each and every year, and not each month, to award the Andyidiot award. This one goes to Andy Skoundrianos. Congratulations to Andy Skoundrianos for continuing to act foolish and being a first class Eejit.