At the insistence of Mayor Edwenna Perkins, audience members raise their right hands and take the oath of office that was administered by Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown. || Below, new trustee Antonio Sanchez takes the oath of office. || Michael Romain/VFP
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
The newest members of the Maywood Board of Trustees took their oaths of office before a standing-room only crowd during a May 16 regular board meeting.
Mayor Edwenna Perkins and Village Clerk Viola Mims were both sworn into second terms while Trustee Melvin Lightford was sworn into his third term. Trustees Antonio Sanchez and Kimyada Wellington took the oath of office for the first time.
Sanchez and Wellington both thanked members of their families before making overtures to the work that will be required of them in the next four years. In their comments, they also shed some light on their leadership styles and personalities.
“I have an education, I have proven leadership sills, am an army veteran,” said Wellington, “but I’m not interested in a power trip. I will work for the future stability and success of this great community known as Maywood, along with community partners and organizations.
“I ask that you hold me accountable,” she added. “I will question practices and procedures to ensure that they are the most cost-effective and service-oriented.”
“I am here to serve Maywood,” said Sanchez, who added that he is “looking forward to this new journey” and to the challenges.
New trustee Kimyada Wellington takes the oath of office.
“It’s time to roll up our sleeves and it’s time to get to work,” he said.
Mims thanked the entire community, particularly her family members, for supporting her bid for a second term.
“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart because it means so much that i have people in our town that believe in me,” she said.
Board veteran Lightford said that the focus of his third term will be that which he’s had “from the very beginning.” That focus is the children, he said.
“I want to make sure they have an education and don’t go into debt for the rest of their lives,” he said. “I want to give them scholarships in any way I can. When I started fishing, I had the idea of fishing scholarship programs. We’re trying to get those scholarships because we don’t want our children to be born into debt. America is the only place I’ve seen where we start off in debt.”
Mayor Perkins, who was sworn in by Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, urged a crowd of family members and supporters to stand behind her as she took the oath of office for the second time as mayor.
And as she did four years ago, Perkins invited everyone in attendance to raise their right hands and take the oath with her.
“The seat does not belong to me,” the mayor said. “Only one person can sit there. The seat belongs to the citizens in Maywood and I’m expecting you to help us, the board, to do what needs to be done to bring this city back to eternal light. And we together can do it.”
Trustee Melvin Lightford and Village Clerk Viola Mims take their oaths of office, which were administered by Dorothy Brown.
But if there was any confusion about with whom the buck stopped, Maywood resident Ashley Logan, who gave the only public comments of the night, provided immediate clarity. Her comments also condensed the magnitude of the challenges facing the new elected officials into roughly 4-5 minutes.
Logan said that she was tired of what she perceived to be a double standard of enforcement in Maywood as it relates to the village’s code of ordinances. Cars seem to park illegally all over town without penalty, she said, but “if I park illegally, I’ll get a ticket.”
“My house burned down and you charged thousands of dollars for water and sewer, and my house didn’t even have plumbing,” said Logan, who said that she’s lived in Maywood her entire life.
“These people are parking any and everywhere, blocking the alleyways, and yet, I’m the problem,” Logan added, with many audiences expressing their agreement. “I have called the police, I have taken pictures and [turned them into authorities] and nothing’s been done. Do I need to move?”
Several people in the audience murmured, “No,” but Logan’s question seemed to flitter above the crowd before swooping, pigeon-like, into the laps of the board members. VFP
Support local journalism. Click here.
P A I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T