Tag: Trustee Rivers

Maywood Votes To Allow Public Comments Earlier In Board Meetings

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

During a March 6 regular meeting, the Maywood Board of Trustees voted unanimously to allow public comments earlier during board meetings. Trustee Melvin Lightford, who came into the meeting after the matter was discussed, abstained from the vote.

Continue reading “Maywood Votes To Allow Public Comments Earlier In Board Meetings”

Maywood Board Looking to Approve 3% Property Tax Levy

Friday, November 24, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

During a Nov. 21 regular meeting, the Maywood Board of Trustees voted unanimously for a resolution approving an estimated property tax levy of $19,470,830, which is the money that the village raises from property taxes in order to fund necessary government services.

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Maywood Says Suspensions, Fines Not Enough for Loosie Sellers

Thursday, November 16, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 11/17/17

Featured image: Falcon Fuel in Maywood, which has been caught selling illegal cigarettes and possessing drug paraphernalia. | Google Earth 

Some customers who may be looking to buy tobacco from Sam’s Quick Stop, 1919 St. Charles Rd. in Maywood, may be disappointed for a while.

Continue reading “Maywood Says Suspensions, Fines Not Enough for Loosie Sellers”

It’s Time for Park District to Take Back Parks, Say Village, Park District Officials

Thursday, October 5, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Officials with both the village of Maywood and the Maywood Park District, two separate taxing bodies, have said that they’re ready to see six village-operated parks in Maywood turned over to the park district. And the park district executive director said that the district is currently working on a plan to do just that.

Continue reading “It’s Time for Park District to Take Back Parks, Say Village, Park District Officials”

Maywood Trustee Takes Back His Support of Pro-Immigrant Resolution

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Last month, Maywood Trustees Ron Rivers, (far right), and Melvin Lightford, (second from right), expressed regrets over voting on a resolution supporting immigrants. But the village had already sent the letter off to President Donald Trump and other high-ranking state and federal officials. | Michael Romain/VFP

Thursday, April 13, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Last month, Maywood Trustee Ron Rivers asked his board colleagues if they could rescind their support of a resolution that they unanimously passed on March 21.

Rivers referenced a March 27 announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that doubled down on previous threats made by President Donald Trump to withhold federal funds from cities who go against the president’s mass deportation orders.

Sessions threatened that the justice department would deny cities that adopt sanctuary ordinances federal law enforcement grants.

The motion passed by the Maywood Board of Trustees calls for the state and the federal government to “support immigrants in the United States of America.”

Unlike sanctuary city ordinances passed by municipalities like Oak Park and, most recently, Berwyn, Maywood’s resolution does not call for village officials to defy federal authorities in any way when it comes to immigration or other matters.

According to Village Manager Willie Norfleet, a certified copy of the resolution had already been mailed to President Trump, Gov. Bruce Rauner, Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Rep. Danny K. Davis by the time Rivers told his board colleagues about his change of heart.

“I would like for the board to reconsider the motion we passed to send letters to the president and [other officials],” Rivers said during a March 29 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee meeting. “With this notification, I wouldn’t want to put a bull’s eye on our back,” said Rivers, adding that the board hasn’t “asked our citizens how they feel about this.”

Trustee Melvin Lightford seemed to agree.

“In combat, I have enough sense not to put a target at my back,” said Lightford. “Why shake the bush? Just leave it alone.”

Trustee Michael Rogers reinforced his earlier position when a sanctuary city proposal was first introduced by Trustee Isiah Brandon in February. At the time, Rogers said that he would not vote for any ordinance that would put the village at odds with the federal government, but added that the village should nonetheless take a stance in support of immigrants.

“I was careful not to put forward a motion that could be construed as not being in compliance,” Rogers said. “We sent a resolution that urged federal officials up the line to think about what they’re doing and how it affects [people]. It is not a feel-good thing. It is a thing you should do. You should tell your president how you feel about something.

“There is no penalty for expressing your opinion,” Rogers said. “The penalty that the Attorney General is talking about is being in defiance of the law or executive order that was passed.”

Rogers said that if enough municipalities sent similar letters to state and federal officials, “[those officials] would change their tune.”

Brandon said that he stands behind his original proposal for a sanctuary city ordinance in Maywood, an idea that village officials have said they’re still vetting.

“I still stand behind the idea of having a welcoming city,” Brandon said. “And to those who choose to operate in fear, I can’t take that role. Our community is one that is very diverse and we need to let those individuals who are in the immigrant community know that we stand with them.”

“We’re making a large commitment. I have no problem with the label welcoming city,” said Rivers. “I understand we’re all immigrants and we do welcome diverse citizenry but by the same token, I take a stance of why would we put a bullseye on our back?” VFP

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Easter Egg at Empowerment

Breaking: Maywood Considers Becoming a Welcoming Village or Sanctuary City

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

During a Feb. 15 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting, the Maywood Board of Trustees directed village attorney Michael Jurusik to provide information related to the possibility of the board passing an ordinance that would designate the village either a Welcoming Village or Sanctuary City.

The proposal was introduced by Trustee Isiah Brandon, who said he was motivated to bring the matter to the board’s attention after a sobering story about a child of immigrants who lives in a neighboring suburb.

“I was listening to a story about someone in a neighboring community, a seventh-grader, who was scared to go to school because he was afraid that his parents may not be home when he got back from school,” Brandon said. “People should not be intimidated by what’s happening nationally.”

Brandon’s proposal comes just two days after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that it had conducted raids in several metropolitan areas across the country, including in the Chicago area. Agency officials said that ICE arrested 680 people across the country “who pose a threat to public safety, border security or the integrity of our nation’s immigration system.”

Forty-seven of those arrests took place in the Chicago area, with one arrest happening in Melrose Park.

Brandon’s proposal didn’t get any pushback from other board members, but some trustees suggested that the village take a cautionary approach to adopting the measure.

“What might make a lot of sense is to, in addition to whatever drafts might come forward regarding Maywood, that we start to do some study and research on any ramifications for those kinds of things,” said Trustee Michael Rogers. “I know [welcoming village and sanctuary city ordinances] can be somewhat controversial, so we need to make sure we’re careful in the way we’d try implementing something like that.”

“I don’t have a reservation about this, but I don’t want us to lock ourselves into [something],” said Trustee Ron Rivers, who, along with Rogers, suggested that village officials investigate the possible ramifications related to becoming either a Sanctuary City or a Welcoming Village.

There’s a difference between the two, Rivers noted.

A Welcoming Village ordinance is more of a symbolic, albeit formal, gesture made by a municipality indicating to immigrants who may reside in its boundaries that they will be treated as equals.

A Sanctuary City ordinance would entail protecting immigrants in Maywood from certain actions made by federal agencies, such as ICE.

For instance, enacting a Sanctuary Village ordinance could put local police in the position to decline requests from ICE officials to access local databases, “facilities, and other resources for the purpose of implementing registries based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, immigration status, national or ethnic origin, or to conduct civil immigration enforcement,” according to a recent report by the Washington Post.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, 300 municipalities across the country have enacted Sanctuary City legislation, including Chicago, Cook County and, most recently, Oak Park. The villages of Melrose Park and Forest Park are also considering becoming Sanctuary Cities.

But village officials in Maywood, while generally supportive of the principle undergirding the legislation, raised concerns at Wednesday night’s meeting about the possible financial impact of declaring the village a sanctuary.

Rogers and Rivers expressed concerns that declaring Maywood a Sanctuary City could trigger a loss of important state and federal funding. The village would not be able to absorb such losses as well as neighboring municipalities, Rogers said.

Whether or not local municipalities would actually lose federal funding by adopting Sanctuary City legislation, however, is a matter of considerable national debate — despite President Donald J. Trump’s campaign pledge to “eliminate all federal funding from sanctuary localities.”

“Cities, counties and states with sanctuary policies get federal money from dozens of different departments, most of which are not related to immigration,” the Post reported.

“Trump’s Jan. 25 executive order asked the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to withhold ‘federal funds, except as mandated by law’ from sanctuary cities,” the paper noted. “This is unclear wording that puzzled elected officials and municipal attorneys. Homeland Security funds could include money allocated to cities for counterterrorism.”

Jurusik — who said that his firm, Kleine, Thorpe & Jenkins, does work for Oak Park — noted that he’ll look to make sure that the village isn’t putting itself into a position to lose state or federal funding unnecessarily.

“If it’s the pleasure of the board to be a welcoming city, as opposed to a sanctuary city, we’ll look at that to make sure we can get our point across about having open borders and being a welcoming city, but without regulation that may hamstring us from being able to receive a federally funded state grant or federal grant,” Jurusik said.

Rogers recommended that board members educate themselves on the matter during an upcoming National League of Cities conference in Washington, D.C.

Once that additional information is gathered by board members, village staff members, and Jurusik, the board will consider what, if any, actions it plans to take on the matter. It could be two months before any ordinance is put to a vote — if the process gets that far. VFP

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Village Could Close Down Maywood Gas Station Cited for Ordinance Violations

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The Maywood Board of Trustees has take steps to revoke the business license of Falcon Fuel, 201 W. Roosevelt Road, which has been cited for selling illegal cigarettes and drug paraphernalia. | Google Earth

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

During a regular board meeting on Tuesday night, the Maywood Board of Trustees voted unanimously to direct village staff to take steps to revoke the business license of Falcon Fuel, a gas station located at 201 W. Roosevelt Rd.

At the Nov. 1 meeting, village attorney Michael Jurusik said that Falcon has been selling cigarettes purchased in Missouri that don’t contain county or state sales stamps, which is a violation of village ordinances.

Falcon has also been cited twice for selling small plastic baggies that are commonly used to store narcotics, Jurusik said.

In July, the village beefed up its cigarette regulations, unanimously approving amendments to its code of ordinances that make the prohibition of cigarettes sold without proper sales stamps more explicit.

“I’ve gone by [Falcon] several times, sat and watched,” said Trustee Ron Rivers at Tuesday’s meeting. “Drive-up and drive-through is the bulk of their business. They have very few people who pull up to pump their gas. This is a known [establishment] for drug paraphernalia and cigarettes.”

Jurusik recommended that the village formally notify Falcon about its intention to suspend or revoke the establishment’s business license. Jurusik said he’s been working with village staff to compile a history of citations on the gas station.

The revocation or suspension process involves a hearing before the mayor, who makes the final decision on revoking or suspending business licenses.

Jurusik also recommended that the village contact the Illinois Department of Revenue’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, to request its assistance with prosecuting Falcon and other businesses “that operate in this manner.”

Lastly, the attorney recommended that staff be permitted to undergo a training program that the state offers in regard to investigating and prosecuting the sale of tobacco products.

The board unanimously approved all of Jurusik’s recommendations. Falcon owners couldnt’ be reached for comment, but this story will be updated if they decide to respond on the record to the board’s decision.

Maywood resident Gloria Clay, during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s meeting, suggested that the board go after other possible violators.

“We have other stores [that violate regulations regarding tobacco sales] also and I hope we take a look at those as well,” Clay said. VFP

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