Tag: Trustee Brandon

Funeral Home Owner Offers to ‘Donate’ Vacant Property to Village, Which Declines

Friday, September 8, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews  

Featured image: Corbin Colonial Funeral Chapel in Maywood, which has been closed for roughly a decade.

During a Sept. 5 regular board meeting, Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins said that she recently got a call from the owner of the abandoned Corbin Colonial Funeral Chapel, located at 1001 Madison St. in Maywood. He had an offer.

Continue reading “Funeral Home Owner Offers to ‘Donate’ Vacant Property to Village, Which Declines”

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Maywood Signals That It Will Green-light New Housing Development

Friday, September 8, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || UPDATED: 9/8/17

During a Sept. 5 regular meeting, the Maywood Board of Trustees gave the village’s attorney and staff the go-ahead to put together a redevelopment agreement that would dictate the construction of a 68-unit, 5-story apartment building on the site of a vacant lot at 800-820 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood, which is currently owned by the village.

Continue reading “Maywood Signals That It Will Green-light New Housing Development”

Maywood Officials Say Mayor, Trustee Improperly Applied for $10K Grant

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Last month, the Maywood Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept a $10,000 restorative justice capacity building grant from Cook County, but the board’s approval of the funds didn’t come without a lengthy, sometimes tense, debate about whether or not the money was secured appropriately.

Continue reading “Maywood Officials Say Mayor, Trustee Improperly Applied for $10K Grant”

Maywood Pit Bull Owners Pressing Village to Change Regulations

Blue_nose_pit_bull_puppy.jpgWednesday, May 3, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

The Maywood Board of Trustees is considering changing an ordinance regulating the ownership of pit bulls in Maywood after numerous residents have complained that the local law unnecessarily stigmatizes the dog breed and places undue burdens on the owners.

“You guys have a rule about no pit bulls and that rule isn’t valid in Illinois, but it is home rule here,” said Maywood resident Phillip Brooks during an April 26 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee meeting.

“Anybody in town who owns a pit bull should be able to register their dog and own their dog just like anybody else,” he said.

According to the Illinois Animal Control Act, municipalities cannot adopt animal regulations that are specific to a certain breed; however, home rule municipalities, such as Maywood, can override the state’s legislation and adopt local breed-specific regulations.

Currently, Maywood regulates pit bull dogs — which are defined as Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier or any mixed-breed of dog that contains traces of either of those breeds — by requiring their owners to fulfill a series of obligations before obtaining a permit to keep the dogs.

Pit bull owners are obligated to “install outdoor enclosures surrounded by a security fence that the dogs must be maintained within when on the owner’s property but not inside the residence,” according to village ordinance.

The owners must not allow the dogs outside of an enclosure or residence unless they’re securely muzzled, supervised and controlled by an owner or family member no younger than 16 and on a non-retractable leash or chain “with a tensile strength of 300 pounds and not exceeding 3 feet in length.”

In addition, anyone seeking to obtain a permit to own a pit bull older than 4 months must show proof that the dog has been spayed and neutered, and received obedience training from a certified and licensed trainer within the past calendar year.

Pit bull owners must also obtain a homeowners or renter’s insurance policy covering the address where the pit bull is kept. Any pit bull owners living in a property owned by someone else must obtain the signed consent of the landlord.

And in Maywood, no resident can own a pit bull if he or she lives within 1,500 feet of a school, public park, playground, day care facility or other similar facility, according to the village ordinances.

Pit bull owners who violate the section of the village’s ordinances pertaining to pit bull ownership are subject to fines ranging from $200 to $1,000. Those owners who are found guilty of a third violation within a calendar year may have their permit immediately revoked and may be prohibited from obtaining a new permit for at least one year.

If, during this revocation period, the pit bull is found on the owner’s premises, then the dog can be impounded and “may be placed for adoption, humanely euthanized, or otherwise disposed of in accordance with Illinois law,” according to the ordinance.

Village attorney Michael Jurusik said that Maywood’s pit bull regulations were formed between 2005 and 2006, when many municipalities across the country, including Chicago, were considering regulations for, and even complete bans on, certain dog breeds, including pit bulls and rottweilers.

Deloren Johnson, Maywood’s animal control officer, said during the April 26 meeting that he’s been confronted by residents, both new and old, who have aired their concerns about the pit bull regulations, which Johnson said can make owning the breed of dogs expensive and even, in some cases, prohibitive.

Johnson said that the requirement that pit bulls over 4 months old be spayed and neutered can be particularly cumbersome since most veterinarians won’t agree to do the procedure on dogs over 6 months old.

“Most of the dogs [he’s encountered in the village] are a couple years old and it’s expensive to have dogs spayed and neutered,” Johnson said. “Most vets won’t attempt to do that. Usually, dogs get spayed or neutered at around 4 to 6 months old. The procedures become more costly as dogs age.”

Johnson said that, from 2015 to 2016, his office didn’t receive any reports of pit bull bites. In 2016, he said, his office reported three dog bites, one of which involved a breed of dog that he couldn’t identify because the owner hid the dog after the attack. So far this year, Johnson said, he’s responded to four reports of pit bulls that have been roaming at large, but no bites involving the breeds.

“The majority of the dogs I pick up are not usually reclaimed by their owners,” Johnson said. “A lot of times, people have to move and they can’t take their animal with them. Instead of calling us to get the animals, a service we offer for free, they just let them run out.”

Johnson said that whether or not a dog is considered dangerous is less dependent on the breed than the owner.

“The thing about any dog is the way they’re trained. If you train an animal to be aggressive, the animal is going to be aggressive. If you don’t train the dog and it gets loose, it will potentially be a problem,” he said.

“So, the issue is more or less the owner rather than the animal. It’s the knowledge the owners have and if they’re able to take care of the animal. A lot of times, people own dogs but don’t know how to take care of them.”

Trustee Isiah Brandon said that he would be interested in changing the current pit bull regulations as long as “the same compliance measures [are kept] in place to make sure that if anything occurs there is a safety net.”

Trustee Michael Rogers said that he thinks the 1,500-foot requirement for owning pit bulls “is rather excessive.”

“That’s more than a quarter of a mile,” he said. “That’s excessive. I’m generally in favor of having the ordinance. I think we have to be safer than sorry. But 1,500 feet is a long way. Coming down to something more like 300 or 500 feet [still] provides a level of safety.”

One business owner, however, said that the village should enforce its existing regulations on pit bull ownership. Glenda Thomas, who owns a preschool on the 3500 block of South 19th Ave., complained about an apartment building across the street from her establishment.

“There are dogs out that aren’t supposed to be there. There are unregistered dogs. The village came down and could not help me with your own ordinance,” she told village board members. “Use your own power.”

The board directed the police and animal control to work with village staff to bring back a revised ordinance that the board could vote on in the weeks ahead. VFP

Photo: A blue-nosed pit bull pup. | Wikipedia 

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Maywood Students Represent Village in Washington D.C.

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Maywood youth delegates with their parents and/or guardians, and Trustee Isiah Brandon, far left. | Below, they pose with other members of the Maywood Board of Trustees. || Michael Romain/VFP

Delegates and board.jpgMonday, April 24, 2017 || By Community Editor|| @maywoodnews

Earlier this month, five high school students selected to represent Maywood as youth delegates at the annual Congressional City Conference hosted by the National League of Cities (NLC) reported to village board members on the information they gleaned from their March trip.

This is the second year that Maywood Trustee Isiah Brandon has taken a delegation of young people with him to the annual conference. This year, the five delegates came from Proviso Township District 209 high schools and Walther Christian Academy in Melrose Park. They were each selected by staff and administrators at each school

“This year we wanted to use a different approach in regards to making sure we represented all of the young people in Maywood so we decided to expand to Walter Christian Academy as well,” said Brandon during an April 5 village board meeting.

According to NLC’s website, the program is part of the organization’s “continuing efforts to promote youth participation in local government.” Municipal officials are “encouraged to bring youth (ages 15-18 years old) with them to the Congressional City Conference as youth delegates.”

“We need to make sure that we continue to provide ways to engage young people in the process, especially in regards to advocating for their community,” said Brandon.

The delegates said that they attended numerous workshops that provided valuable information on ways that they can improve their hometown.

“We were able to connect with cities that are maybe struggling with similar issues that Maywood is struggling with,” said Soto, a two-time delegate to the conference.

“This gave us an opportunity to reflect on what it really means to be a national and global citizen of our beautiful community and what it takes to be a leader in our town.”

Murphy said that a meeting with U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) produced “many contacts that will benefit the community.”

This year’s delegates included:

  • Jeramia Sowell, a junior at Proviso East
  • Keyanna Turner, a sophomore at Proviso East
  • Anahi Soto, a sophomore at Proviso East
  • John Michael Dawson, a junior at Proviso Math & Science Academy
  • Reena Murphy, a senior at Walther Christian Academy

F E A T U R E D  E V E N T 

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I’m With Mayor Perkins

Letter to the EditorMonday, March 20, 2017 || LETTERS || @maywoodnews

Mayor Edwenna Perkins is the clear choice on April 4, 2017. Four years ago the Village of Maywood elected a great representation when they elected Edwenna Perkins as Mayor. Since I have been on board I have watched her serve our community with passion and integrity.

She has proven to me that leadership is more than a title; that it is about your willingness and ability to get out and work. She has been working hard on behalf of our community for over 12 years, serving as village trustee and four years as your mayor.

Mayor Perkins stood strong for Economic Development when Wintrust bank came to the village with a major development project, unlike some board members who turned down this major development, which resulted in a loss to the community.

Mayor Perkins fought hard to create a flood relief program for the citizens and brought back summer job to the village youth, facing political adversity. When some members on the board wanted to relocate the brand new train station to an area that wasn’t safe and not in line with our comprehensive plan she stood up and most recently lead the conversation to invest in major infrastructure improvement projects throughout the village.

Last year, when I decided to take youth to Washington D.C., she was the first member on board to support this endeavor both financially and ideally. She understood the importance of investing in our youth for the future in government.

We cannot turn back to the politics of the past. Maywood we have come too far. Mayor Perkins is a visionary leader for our future. Knowing from whence we came, Mayor Perkins works hard to improve our future.

It is without hesitation that I strongly endorse The Honorable Mayor Edwenna Perkins for Mayor. PUNCH #4 on April 4th. I’m With Perkins

 — Isiah Brandon, Maywood trustee

F E A T U R E D  E V E N T

A POP-UP TOWN HALL ON EDUCATION IN PROVISO TOWNSHIP

The Village Free Press, the Forest Park Review and Wednesday Journal, Inc. will co-host a Pop-Up Town Hall on Education in Proviso Township on Tuesday, March 21, 7 p.m., at Mariella’s Banquet Hall, 134 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood.

Candidates for District 89 and District 209, as well as administrators for both districts, are all invited to a seat on the panel (consider this an open invitation).

Community stakeholders (including teachers, faculty, students and parents) are all invited to come with questions for this panel, which will be facilitated by Michael Romain, staff reporter for Wednesday Journal, Inc. and publisher/editor of the Village Free Press.

Maywood to Discuss Sanctuary City Ordinance at Tonight’s LLOC Meeting, March 15

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

The Maywood Board of Trustees will consider adopting either a “Sanctuary City” ordinance or a “Welcoming Resolution” at a Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting tonight, Wednesday, March 15, 7 p.m., at Council Chambers, 125 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood.

Last month, the board directed  village attorney Michael Jurusik to provide information on the legislative proposals at the insistence of Trustee Isiah Brandon, who referenced Oak Park’s recent passage of a “Welcoming Village” ordinance.

In a March 8 memo, Jurusik recommended that the village hold a discussion on whether or not to adopt “a ‘Welcoming Resolution’ that expresses support for immigrants.”

He said that his firm, Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins, would not make a recommendation on how the board should actually vote on the matter.

“Several municipalities have adopted, or are considering adopting, sanctuary ordinances,” Jurusik wrote.

“These ordinances typically direct municipal employees and agents to not take a person’s immigration status into account, and to not comply with requests from the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (‘ICE’) to detain undocumented immigrants longer than need for municipal purposes.”

President Donald Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from municipalities that don’t comply with his orders on immigration.

The villages of Melrose Park and Forest Park are currently considering similar ordinances. And last month, the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 school board passed a welcoming resolution supporting immigrant families. VFP

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