Tag: Trustee Yarbrough

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 To Explore A Way Around Paying Melrose Park For Water

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: The Maywood water tower. | wa9idj/Panoramio 

Ever since Maywood’s water woes — from high rates to high fees — were featured in a 2-part Chicago Tribune investigative report last year, village and county officials have been plumbing the depths for solutions to the problem.

Continue reading “Maywood To Explore A Way Around Paying Melrose Park For Water”

Maywood-based National Cycle Inc. Planning to Expand Operations

Thursday, October 19, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: An architectural rendering of a proposed new building that National Cycle Inc. plans to build next to its current facility at 2200 S. Maywood Dr. | National Cycle 

National Cycle Inc., located at 2200 S. Maywood Drive in Maywood, is planning to expand its manufacturing operations by building a roughly 28,0000-square-foot building nearby.

Continue reading “Maywood-based National Cycle Inc. Planning to Expand Operations”

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”

Maywood Checkers Shuttered | Maywood Church, Seeking to Expand, Confronts Officials Worried About Losing Taxes


IMG_5552Saturday, April 29, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 3:55 p.m.

Less than three years after it first opened in September 2014, the Checkers at 1718 S. First Ave. in Maywood is closed.

The closure seems rather abrupt, considering the store location still has a Facebook page that was active up until March 28 and the location is still listed on the company’s online database of locations.

In a phone interview on Saturday, Trustee Isiah Brandon said that Checkers officials contacted village officials Monday with the news that the store was closing. They also sent an email, he said. Company officials cited low sales as a contributing factor, Brandon added.

In a 2014 interview, Christopher Ilekis, a principal at Vequity, the real estate investment and development company that bought the property before leasing it to Checkers, said that the property, which had formerly been a KFC restaurant, had been in bankruptcy before his company acquired it in a portfolio sale.

The Maywood store opened on the same day as the Broadview checkers, located at 1617 W. Roosevelt Rd. The latter location is still open. The Maywood store, along with the Broadview store, was corporately owned and operated.

No one from Checkers or Vequity could be contacted for comment over the weekend. More as this story develops.

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Maywood church, seeking expansion, runs into village concerns over taxes 

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Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 2.04.28 PMA Maywood church seeking to expand its operations into an area that’s zoned commercial while maintaining property tax exemption encountered some wariness among some village officials at an April 26 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting.

The New Hope Christian Center Church, 14 S. 19th Ave., wants to buildout and modify existing unoccupied commercial space at 2 South 19th Ave., which is separated from the church facility by a vacant, fenced-in lot. The church owns both properties.

New Hope plans to turn the commercial space into theNew Hope Empowerment Center, an “educational agency” that would “focus on teaching Christian principles, as well as academics and technology values to individuals of all ages,” according to project summary released by the church’s pastor, Bishop Anthony G. Wellington.

According to a business plan that Wellington submitted on behalf of his church, the new facility would host weekly job training sessions, prayer meetings, “biblical guidance sessions” and “biblical enhancement sessions.”

But village staff members and some board members stated that they’re worried that “this project may be an expansion of the [tax-exempt] church into the C2 Pedestrian Oriented Commercial District,” according to an April 26 village memo written by Josh Koonce, the village’s planning and zoning officer.

“In fact,” Koonce states, “Mr. Wellington has indicated that the purpose of the new development is to expand the capacity and footprint of the church.”

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At Wednesday’s LLOC meeting, Trustee Michael Rogers expressed some reservations over the village allowing the church to turn the commercial property, which currently generates commercial property taxes, into tax-exempt property.

“The whole concept of our [taking the] limited commercial property that we have off the tax rolls is problematic,” Rogers said.

“That zone, when you cross the tracks, is called Broadway. That’s a heavy commercial usage. The non-conforming uses already there are grandfathered in, but it’s important not to lose any more commercial property with the straits that the village is in.”

Rogers said that, despite his reservations, the church’s proposal should be vetted by the village’s Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeal. Trustee Henderson Yarbrough echoed Rogers’s sentiments.

“I have the same concerns that Trustee Rogers just mentioned,” he said. “With this going to the planning and zoning board, hopefully these questions will be answered during that period of time. We look forward to their recommendations.”

Wellington’s attorney, however, said that the church’s proposal represents the “highest and best” use of the abandoned commercial space, which used to be a paint store.

“Any other commercial use would be an island on that corner,” he said.

The board voted unanimously on village staff’s recommendation to move the proposal to the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeal.

According to the village memo, that board will be responsible for determining “whether the proposal fits within the definition of Educational Facility, Vocational School or Training Academy (a special use in the C-2 district – Section 17.4 and Table 8-1 of the Village of Maywood Zoning Ordinance), or if this proposal constitutes an expansion of a church into a commercial district (not permitted).” VFP

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MFA AD_April 2017

The YMCA Taught Hundreds How to Swim at Maywood Pool Last Year — Including a Former Mayor

Children play in pool

Children having fun inside of the Fred Hampton Pool. | File

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

It’s never too late to learn.

Last year, at 74 years old, former mayor and sitting trustee Henderson Yarbrough learned how to swim after taking advantage of the West Cook YMCA’s offer to provide lessons inside of the Fred Hampton Aquatic Center, located at 300 Fred Hampton Way and which the YMCA has operated since 2011.  

In 2012, the pool closed for repairs before reopening in 2013. In 2014, the YMCA entered into a joint revenue-sharing agreement with the village, with each entity contributing to roughly half of the costs of operating and maintaining the pool. 

“When I was growing up in the South, almost all of my friends could swim except for me,” Yarbrough recalled during an interview on Wednesday.

“I was the fastest runner in the group,” he said. “We learned how to swim by people just taking us and throwing us into the lake. There were no swimming pools. We just had ponds and lakes. I never got tossed into the lake, so I never learned.”

Yarbrough was among 248 people, both swimmers and non-swimmers, who participated in the West Cook YMCA’s four-week lessons that met twice a week last year in July and August. They practiced floating, putting their faces in the water, safety protocols, kicking and other skills.

“When the YMCA approached the village with the opportunity, I figured, ‘Hey, why not?’ It wasn’t hard at all,” Yarbrough said of the lessons. “It’s the fear. Once you get over the fear, the rest is just a matter of executing.”

For Kim Polk, the West Cook YMCA’s aquatics director and Yarbrough’s instructor, a summer swimming lesson could mean survival for some people.

According to West Cook YMCA officials, on average, two children each day drown accidentally in the United States. Seventy percent of African-Americans, and 60 percent of Latinos, have little or no swimming ability. 

“We’re trying to teach a life skill,” she said during a Wednesday Legal, License and Ordinance Committee meeting in Maywood, where she and West Cook YMCA [CEO Phil Jimenez] approached the Maywood Board of Trustees with a partnership agreement for the upcoming 2017 season.

“We’re focusing on safety in and out of the water, so not only are you learning a life skill, you’re learning how to be safe and how to save someone if there’s an incident,” she said.

Polk added that 76 percent of the 248 participants were between the ages of 3 and 11 years old. By the time the lessons ended, virtually all of them learned to swim or strengthened the swimming abilities they already had.

In a memo, West Cook YMCA officials said that all of the Maywood trustees “took advantage of the lessons” and were able to swim “from one end of the pool to another in the deep diving well” by the time the lessons were over.

Overall, said Jimenez, last year’s season was the most successful since the YMCA and Maywood began jointly operating the pool in 2014. That year, the Fred Hampton pool served 1,300 people.

“Last year, we served [over 9,400] individuals,” Jimenez said. “In two years, our partnership has significantly profited in terms of the goodwill that we’re building in the village community and just in memories. We believe that if positive memories are being built on a consistent basis, the likelihood of a person growing up and having positive development is much greater.”

In 2015, according to the memo, the pool served 4,700 guests. That year, the YMCA sold 10 passes. In 2016, the organization sold 54 passes.

Jimenez attributed the over 600 percent increase in pool attendance over two years to an aggressive marketing push his organization implemented in the months leading up to last season.

That awareness initiative included direct mailing more than 3,000 residents in Maywood and Melrose Park, conducting personal phone calls to targeted households in those communities and instilling informational banners throughout the area, among other actions.

The West Cook YMCA also partnered with numerous community organizations and businesses, such as Maywood Fine Arts and Margery Daw Daycare.

Jimenez said that the spike in attendance was also due to good weather. The pool was closed for only 11 out 84 operating days — or just 13 percent of the season, compared to a 25 percent close rate in 2015.

This year, West Cook is recommending the village increase its spending on the pool from $48,000 last year to $60,000 this year in order to pay for additional staffers to handle the increase in pool users. Last year, the pool was over budget by $21,000 because of the surge in attendance.

Jimenez said that his organization is also in talks with Proviso East High School to develop a partnership that could result in up to 30 local hires for the upcoming season, which will run from June 12 until Sept. 4.

“We are literally a signature away from partnering with them to certify lifeguards out of Proviso East,” he said, adding that 33 students at the high school have expressed interest in the jobs.

The students would have to meet a number of prerequisites before getting hired, Jimenez said, but once they pass the test, they will get top priority in the application process.

“We have the potential to hire between 10 and 30 lifeguards,” Jimenez said, before qualifying that 30 is “a high number.” This year, as with last year, the pool staff will offer complimentary swimming lessons.

The village board voted unanimously to send the agreement to the next regular board meeting to be voted on. VFP

For more info about the Fred Hampton Aquatics Center, including prices and hours of operation, click here.

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Four People Make the Final Cut to Run for Maywood Mayor

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Trustee Henderson Yarbrough, Liquor Commissioner Mary “May” Larry, Mayor Edwenna Perkins and Trustee Antonette Dorris are the four mayoral candidates who will appear on the ballot on April 4. | File

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Barring anyone withdrawing his or her candidacy, voters in Maywood will choose from a pool of four candidates vying to run for mayor in the April 4, 2017 municipal elections.

Incumbent Mayor Edwenna Perkins, sitting trustee and former mayor Henderson Yarbrough and sitting trustee Antonette Dorris all survived challenges to their nominating papers and will appear on the ballot. Liquor Commissioner Mary “May” Larry, who is the only mayoral candidate who didn’t face an objection, will also appear on the ballot.

Two other mayoral candidates, Kathy Travis and Quincy Johnson, were removed from the ballot after objections to their candidacies were upheld earlier this month.

During the Jan. 23 local electoral board hearings where the last of the candidate objections were discussed, Attorney Luther Spence and trustee candidate Rolando Villegas were both removed from the ballot.

Ten candidates vying for the three open trustee seats on the village board will appear on the ballot, with three of those four running with parties.

The Maywood United Party includes Yarbrough as its mayoral candidate; sitting trustee Michael Rogers, former trustee Audrey Jaycox and businessman Antonio Sanchez as its three trustee candidates; and former District 209 school board member Readith Esther as the slate’s candidate for clerk.

According to numerous sources close to the candidate, Rogers is likely to withdraw from the race. The candidate himself will not yet confirm or deny the speculation. Candidates are required to formally file withdrawal documents with the village clerk’s office before they can leave the race. The deadline for filing those documents is Jan. 26.

So far, it hasn’t been confirmed whether or not the party has found someone to replace Rogers if he withdraws.

The Maywood Visionary Party includes Dorris as its mayoral candidate; sitting trustee Melvin Lightford, businessman Joseph Wilson and realtor Drena Lanier as its trustee candidates; and Steven R. Smiley as the party’s candidate for clerk.

The My Maywood Party includes Larry as its mayoral candidate; former trustee Marcius Scaggs, library trustee Tanya T. Butler and Sammie B. Rogers as its trustee candidates; and sitting village clerk Viola Mims as its candidate for clerk.

Kimyada Wellington, who is running as an independent, joins Perkins as the only two candidates remaining from the People’s Choice Party — an informal slate of all independent candidates.

The slate’s two other trustee candidates, Villegas and Elijah Goodwin, who withdrew from the race earlier this month, will not appear on the April ballot. The slate’s candidate for clerk withdrew not long after the slate was formally announced last year.

There are no independent candidates running for village clerk. This story will be updated to include candidates for other taxing bodies, such as park district, library district and local school boards. VFP

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