Neighboring Mayor Blasts Village Manager
One of Oak Lawn’s neighboring communities is wondering how do you get the Village Manager, Larry Deetjen, to return a phone call. The irate Mayor said he called between ten and fifteen times and never received a call back.
This isn’t the first Mayor to complain about Oak Lawn’s administration but he is the first who claims he couldn’t get a return phone call. Other complaints have been about Deetjen’s attitude and how poorly he treats others.
Another Mayor called him “unreasonable” in a discussion about liability but it is unusual to have anyone complaining that he isn’t returning telephone calls. Deetjen has been the Manager for about ten years and has been controversial during his entire tenure. He has continued a battle with the Oak Lawn Firefighter’s union, publicly battled with a former mayor and with various Trustees, both past and present.
Oak Lawn Businesses Recognized
After the success of a similar promotion in 2016, Automotive Parts Associates (APA) has named a grand-prize winner and five runner-up winners in the “Win a Harley-Davidson Sportster” promotion.
Just as the title of the contest suggests, the grand prize was a 2018 HD Sportster motorcycle or $12,000 cash prize, which also included an all-expenses-paid trip to Kansas City for a Steel Toe Tour of the Harley-Davidson Vehicle & Powertrain Operations facility. Five runner-up winners scored $1,000 in cash.
APA members collected entries from July through September for the promotion, which was sponsored by manufacturing partners including Akebono, Bosch, CARDONE, DENSO, Dorman, Federal-Mogul, Gates, Global Parts Distributors, KYB, MAS, NGK, SKF, Tenneco, Mevotech, Walker Products, ZF and TRW. The winning entry pulled out of the hat was Stacey Wilhelm of Wilhelm Auto Repair, customer of APA member distribution warehouse Lincoln Clutch and Brake of Lincoln, Nebraska.
Four other APA members presented their customers with $1,000 cash prizes, and G&H Import Parts of Oak Lawn, Illinois presented two $1,000 prizes to Gary Sarge from Oak Lawn Toyota and Todd Kallemeyn from Kallemeyn Auto.
State Representative Flowers Draws Challenger
Incumbent State Rep. Mary Flowers (Dist. 31), who has been in office for more than 30 years, has a challenger and his name is Willie Preston. The 31st district of Illinois encompasses portions of Chicago’s Englewood, West Englewood neighborhoods, Oak Lawn, Chicago Ridge, Palos Hills, and other nearby communities.
Flowers told other media outlets it is “her pleasure” to serve her constituency for the past 33 years. Flowers is the chairperson for the health care availability access committee. She also serves on six other committees.
Flowers is proud of legislation she passed that protects against discrimination for pregnant mothers in the workplace. She also wants to remind Chicago voters that she was one of the first voices to propose Chicago police sensitivity training more than a decade ago. In the future, she wants to insure all Illinois residents have access to healthcare and not just health insurance.
Flowers is expected to face questions about term limits but she is on the record stating that it is a decision for the voters.
Her challenger is 32 year old Willie Preston, who was formerly an organizer for Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL). The organization’s mission is to assist low-income people of color in the Chicago Southland to build power, then subsequently leverage that power to fight for their own interest and liberation, according to its website.
Preston has labeled the Chicago Public Schools a “poster child for corruption.”
Local Businesswoman Charged with Medicaid Fraud
Santilla Terry who operated Special Therapy Care Chartered in Oak Lawn and Morgan Park has been charged with fraud and identity theft for defrauding the state of almost $1 million in Medicaid payments, according to the Illinois attorney general’s office.
In a statement released by the Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan said that Terry, 45, of Chicago, had a “scheme to bill the state for speech therapy services that she never provided.”
Madigan has alleged that Terry billed Medicaid through her business for services provided to children enrolled in Medicaid. Madigan said, and improperly billed the state more than $909,500 for therapy that she falsely claimed an employee provided.
Terry has been charged with Class X theft, Class X identity theft and Class 1 vendor fraud in Cook County Circuit Court.
Tollway Budget Doesn’t Include 95th Street Interchange
The Illinois Tollway’s capital budget sits at $1.18 billion but it does not include work on the 95th Street interchange that backs up to 83rd Street every day.
Next year, engineers expect to spend about $238 million on plans for a revamped Central Tri-State (I-294) between Rosemont and Oak Lawn. And almost $376 million is budgeted for design work on a ring road on the western side of O’Hare International Airport (I-490) and on the final segment of Route 390. Route 390 will connect with I-490 at the airport.
Will the interchange ever be fixed? The Tollway also announced it will not be filling any vacant positions.