Tag: Drena LaNier

Maywood Trustee Announces Mayoral Run, Formation of Slate

Trustee Dorris at May 14 meeting

Maywood Trustee Antonette Dorris, top, has announced her candidacy for mayor in the upcoming April 2017 municipal elections. She’ll run on a slate that includes sitting trustee Melvin Lightford, below left, who is running for reelection. | File

Melvin LightfordWednesday, November 2, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || UPDATED: 4:26 p.m.

The field of candidates seeking to run in next year’s municipal election has expanded with the recent formation of the Maywood Visionary Party (MVP), a slate headed by sitting trustee and Maywood Park District Executive Director Antonette Dorris, who is running for mayor.

According to a statement released today announcing MVP’s formation, joining Dorris on the slate are project manager Steven R. Smiley, a candidate for clerk; sitting Maywood trustee Melvin Lightford, who is seeking reelection; T&JJ’s Supreme Steaks and Catering Service co-owner Joseph A. Wilson; and real estate broker and former Bellwood District 88 school board member Drena Lanier.

Joseph A. Wilson, Steven R. Smiley and Drena Lanier round out the Maywood Visionary Party slate. | Courtesy Maywood Visionary Party 

“We are tired of failed leadership in the village of Maywood resulting in no economic development, the continuance of estimated water bills, and the lack of adequate public services to all constituents,” noted Dorris in the statement.

“MVP offers our residents a combination of experience, vitality, and the ability to bring elected officials, [village manager] and staff together behind a vigorous new plan to improve Maywood,” the trustee added.

The party will open a campaign office at 510 S. 5th Ave. after Dec. 1, the statement notes. Although the election isn’t until April 4, 2017, the deadline period for filing nominating petitions for next year’s election is sometime in December.

A total of five seats on the Maywood Board of Trustees, including those of Mayor Edwenna Perkins and Trustees Michael Rogers, Dorris and Lightford, will be contested next year; along with the seat of Village Clerk Viola Mims.

Dorris, a former Bellwood District 88 school board member, was elected to her first term as Maywood trustee in 2013, when she ran on the Maywood United Party slate. The slate also comprised Rogers and Lightford, both of whom also won that year. Yarbrough, then the village’s two-term mayor who headed the slate, was narrowly defeated by Perkins.

With Dorris’s formal announcement, the field of likely mayoral candidates expands to at least four, with Perkins, Yarbrough and liquor commissioner Mary “May” Larry having indicated that they’ll be running for mayor next year.

For a complete list of sitting Cook County elected officials, click hereVFP

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Residents Question Bellwood School Dist. About Hiring — Tribune

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Bellwood District 88 Supt. Rosmary Hendricks | Chicago Tribune

Thursday, July 21, 2016 || Originally Published: Chicago Tribune || 7/19/16 || By Erin Gallagher 

About 30 residents attended a Bellwood District 88 school board meeting Monday for a heated discussion about the district’s spending and leadership.

Board members and Superintendent Rosemary Hendricks listened for nearly an hour as about a dozen people spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting. The room was deeply divided with about half of the speakers supporting Hendricks while the others demanded answers about hiring her two daughters and district spending.

Many cited last week’s Chicago Tribune report that detailed perks for the superintendent, thousands of dollars in spending on trips to education conferences, and hiring practices. The district is deep in debt, and basic school supplies in some classrooms remain scarce.

Resident Della Hayes blamed the board for not knowing its role, accusing members of “combative behavior.”

She said the public is being “hoodwinked and bamboozled” by the Tribune report and “nobody’s talking about education.”

There were several jeers from the audience, including one attendee who shouted “clown show” while the board bickered during the meeting.

Drena LaNier, a former board member, said Hendricks “has done a fantastic job.”

She dismissed the district hiring Hendricks’ daughters.

“Everyone else does it,” LaNier said. “They’re qualified.”

Hendricks’ daughter Brittnay Atkinson was hired last year to fill a new student service coordinator job. At $70,000 a year, her salary was higher than those of 87 percent of teachers in the district. Atkinson has a bachelor’s degree in communications disorders from St. Xavier University and one year of experience as a teacher’s aide and special education assistant, her job application said.

Hendricks’ other daughter, Jocelyn Hendricks, who has an associate degree and is a licensed practical nurse according to her job application, was hired to fill a $78,500-a-year job as a district nurse.

The Tribune previously reported that the district in September paid about $105,000 to replenish a pension account for Hendricks’ that she had drained years ago.

To read more of the report, including Hendricks’s statement to the Tribune that she has “paid over $30,000,” click here.

On July 12, the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board chimed in on the Bellwood D88 situation. Click here to read it. VFP

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