Hazel Crest Mayor/Dictator

Hazel Crest Mayor/Dictator

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Resident

Lansing, IL

#1 Apr 29, 2011
Well at least a few of us wondered if it will be any better this time around, or the same old Dr. Donaldson. I was hoping he was a bit humbled after being sued several times and costing the Village a fortune in legal bills, the last time he had control. Rumor has it that he now believes he needs a new SQUAD. Is it true he had money budgeted in the police budget for squads removed for a new squad for himself? I know all about rumors. I know they are usually spot on when it comes to the Mayor. Hes not very clever. Take a look at some of the squads driving around our Village. They look old and dirty. They are a representation of the Village for all to see including people passing through the Village. Well, if it does happen, you heard it hear first. Same ol, same ol.
ProperRes

Lansing, IL

#2 May 2, 2011
Nothing will change. He has the power back. Sure he will swipe a squad from the Police. He did it before. With the public works cut in half there is a lot more money to be reallocated, if you get my drift.
Mayor

United States

#3 May 2, 2011
He has already tossed the 2011-12 budget voted for and approved in the last April Meeting, and revised the budget, with a new line item called Contigency for Administration, wiht no explanation of how this $144,000 will be spent. It was taken from places in the approved April budget and "re locatedto this fund". Those who voted in favor were: Bashir, McGhee, Brown, then the Mayor broke the tie. So much for the NO TAX PARTY and being TRANSPARENT.
Nard

Calumet City, IL

#4 May 2, 2011
I heard that. This guy is an idictment waiting to happen. What on earth could he want to do with that amount of money? Hire back Bertrand? Hire another Village Attorney? Buy another squad car? Hire another cop???? Is it legal?
Willy

Lansing, IL

#5 May 3, 2011
I understand Bob Palmer has retired. It appears this is just too much for Bob to handle. Who is next for Village Manager? Joe Bertrand? Dont be surprised.
Sankofa

Lansing, IL

#6 May 3, 2011
ProperRes wrote:
Nothing will change. He has the power back. Sure he will swipe a squad from the Police. He did it before. With the public works cut in half there is a lot more money to be reallocated, if you get my drift.
WHO cut the public works "in half?" It wasn't the Mayor, was it? To the contrary, it was the same people - under Vernard's leadership - who so misused our taxpayer monies that we're now only in a deficit, but paying higher property taxes and fees to compensate for their deficit, whick kind of makes the prospects of the Mayor using one of squad cars seem not quite so important after all. But I guess that would depend on your sense of priorities!
Sankofa

Lansing, IL

#7 May 3, 2011
Willy wrote:
I understand Bob Palmer has retired. It appears this is just too much for Bob to handle. Who is next for Village Manager? Joe Bertrand? Dont be surprised.
If it's true that Bob Palmer is retiring, I'm not surprised. For the last two years, Vernard Alsberry and Susan Pate held him hostage, just as they held the village attorney hostage, or anyone else whose job was at risk if they hesitated to do their bidding.

Consequently, Palmer and the attorney among others were forced to make some decisions that were unethical at best, illegal at the worst; and now with the changing of the guard, so to speak, I suspect that some of these things will be exposed.

Bob Palmer is an exceptional village manager, and it's unfortunate that Alsberry and Pate chose to abuse his position for their own benefit; and now the village will suffer with his loss, unless and until a replacement is found who's equally competent.

Sankofa

Lansing, IL

#8 May 3, 2011
Nard wrote:
I heard that. This guy is an idictment waiting to happen. What on earth could he want to do with that amount of money? Hire back Bertrand? Hire another Village Attorney? Buy another squad car? Hire another cop???? Is it legal?
If Vernard Alsberry and Susan Pate could fire and hire anyone they wanted at will, without consideration for performance or budget or even qualifications, but simply to "get back at the Mayor" ... and if for two years they could use the village manager and the village board attorney as if they were their PERSONAL attorney and village manager, excluding both the mayor and other board members from their interactions with them ... and if, after campaigning on the mayor's hiring of HIS cronies, they engaged in the same hiring practices of THEIR cronies when they became the majority ...then what exactly is wrong if the mayor and the new board make decisions to hire as well. If Palmer is leaving, then don't they have to hire a new village manager? If the attorney acted unethically, even if he was forced to do so, then wouldn't it make sense to hire a new attorney? And since we know that Chief Folliard isn't going anywhere, then what's wrong with hiring a new cop, especially if more cops are needed? And considering that Joe Bertrand, when acting as the liaison to the mayor, brought in almost a million dollars in grants, and is now doing the same for the Park District, then apparently he's been an asset to our village! So even if he is hired - which I doubt - then what would be wrong with that? Or do you just feel that the mayor shouldn't have any say so about hiring anyone??? And if that's true, then it seems that you've let your personal issues with Mayor Donaldson cloud your thinking about the workings of our government.

One doesn't have to like the Mayor or agree with him to understand that he has every right to recommend personnel changes, as opposed to the authority that Vernard and Susan presumed to have when they chose to skip over policy and procedure, to do the hiring and firing themselves ... which is one of the reasons that Bob Palmer finds himself in such an untenable position, because for two years he was forced to sit by silently while they took over his job!!!
Willy

Lansing, IL

#9 May 4, 2011
Ok. Lets leave Vernard and Susan out of this for now. They were and ARE very unethical people. Thats a foredrawn conclusion and they are out of the picture. Sure Susan will show her ignorance, but know it is just symbolic. But two wrongs dont make a right. If Joe is hired as Village Manager, that is the absolute right of the Mayor. But is he qualified? Thats all that really needs to be answered. Yes it was Vern's people that loped off half the DPW. And that was almost a critical move when the blizzard hit and we had 4 plows out. An ambulance had to be pushed by Officers and Firefighters to get to a resident, because it was struck. But what is done with the money saved is the question. I will argue to the end of time the mayor does not have the right to put aside over $100,000 for his own use, permitted by the board he rules, of course. NO SIR! Why not hire another Officer or DPW employee? What does he have planned for that kind of money. It stinks of arrogance and bull crap. Two wrongs dont make a right. We could have Barrack in here as Mayor and if I thought he was doing something wrong, I would bring it up. Our Politicians, all of them, need to be scrutinized when they are dealing our money out. They cannot be left to do what they want. The arrogance factor here could lead to an unwanted investigation. The Mayor does not always heed advice, especially from his leagal adviser. Thats why hes been sued before and its cost the village an awful lot. He may be the lesser of two evils.....and maybe hes not.
Sankofa

Lansing, IL

#10 May 4, 2011
Actually, I agree with much of you've stated. I am not necessarily a die-hard fan of Mayor Donaldson's. I believe that he is arrogant, as you've pointed out, and that his arrogance has been the cause of a lot of his problems, problems that often became our problems as well (i.e. the residents of Hazel Crest). But that doesn't diminish the fact that the mayor has the right and the responsibility to recommend qualified people for any given position, especially a village manager, which we're going to need very soon! I seriously doubt if Joe Bertrand will be given that job, but if he is ... he's probably qualified for it! Did you know that he went to school and completed the required courses for a degree in the area of village management? This alone doesn't in and of itself make him qualified, but it certainly brings him pretty close!!! However, I hope that whoever the replacement is, it will be someone of the caliber and expertise as Mr. Palmer. I don't know anything about the $100,000 that you're speaking of, and I think it's a rumor that we need to see become a reality before we begin conjecturing about how the mayor's going to spend it! Let me also add this: Although I recognize the mayor's weaknesses and his failures, I still respect his vision for Hazel Crest. Maybe he's not the one to get it done, but the things he was beginning to do before Vernard and Susan took over, such as repairing the infrastructure (i.e paving the streets for example), and planning to rehabilitate the Metra Station, and new businesses into our village, and for the first time in the more than two decades since my family moved to Hazel Crest, hiring qualified residents to serve in the village hall (as opposed to Vernard and Susan hiring unqualified non-residents and even felons)were all good things, regardless of how one felt about the man himself. And this is where my priority lies. And considering where we were headed two years ago, and then where we went for the next two years after the 2009 election, I think it's clear that the Mayor, in spite of all of his faults, is indeed the lesser of two evils.

Since: Jun 10

Location hidden

#11 May 4, 2011
Ok Sankofa, I was kind of agreeing with you until you got to the part about hiring back Bertrand. When you got to that part you lost me for a couple of reasons. I'll explain what I mean. Wouldnt hiring him back, especially as the Village Manager be a contradiction of sorts? I mean we have been so up in arms about "favorative hiring practices" that this would certainly fall under that heading. Then there is the question of qualifications. Third, I dont know where you are getting your information but he has NOT brought ANY grant money to the Park District since his hire. He has however made some questionable choices with monies. Check your facts BEFORE you start misleading people. We've had enough of that. One of the problems we have in our village is that we have become too passive about what goes on tend to take sides without the benefit of information. I am sicerly hoping that this time around we hold ALL our elected official accountable.
Sankofa wrote:
<quoted text>
If Vernard Alsberry and Susan Pate could fire and hire anyone they wanted at will, without consideration for performance or budget or even qualifications, but simply to "get back at the Mayor" ... and if for two years they could use the village manager and the village board attorney as if they were their PERSONAL attorney and village manager, excluding both the mayor and other board members from their interactions with them ... and if, after campaigning on the mayor's hiring of HIS cronies, they engaged in the same hiring practices of THEIR cronies when they became the majority ...then what exactly is wrong if the mayor and the new board make decisions to hire as well. If Palmer is leaving, then don't they have to hire a new village manager? If the attorney acted unethically, even if he was forced to do so, then wouldn't it make sense to hire a new attorney? And since we know that Chief Folliard isn't going anywhere, then what's wrong with hiring a new cop, especially if more cops are needed? And considering that Joe Bertrand, when acting as the liaison to the mayor, brought in almost a million dollars in grants, and is now doing the same for the Park District, then apparently he's been an asset to our village! So even if he is hired - which I doubt - then what would be wrong with that? Or do you just feel that the mayor shouldn't have any say so about hiring anyone??? And if that's true, then it seems that you've let your personal issues with Mayor Donaldson cloud your thinking about the workings of our government.
One doesn't have to like the Mayor or agree with him to understand that he has every right to recommend personnel changes, as opposed to the authority that Vernard and Susan presumed to have when they chose to skip over policy and procedure, to do the hiring and firing themselves ... which is one of the reasons that Bob Palmer finds himself in such an untenable position, because for two years he was forced to sit by silently while they took over his job!!!
Sankofa

Lansing, IL

#12 May 4, 2011
InformedResident wrote:
Ok Sankofa, I was kind of agreeing with you until you got to the part about hiring back Bertrand. When you got to that part you lost me for a couple of reasons. I'll explain what I mean. Wouldnt hiring him back, especially as the Village Manager be a contradiction of sorts? I mean we have been so up in arms about "favorative hiring practices" that this would certainly fall under that heading. Then there is the question of qualifications. Third, I dont know where you are getting your information but he has NOT brought ANY grant money to the Park District since his hire. He has however made some questionable choices with monies. Check your facts BEFORE you start misleading people. We've had enough of that. One of the problems we have in our village is that we have become too passive about what goes on tend to take sides without the benefit of information. I am sicerly hoping that this time around we hold ALL our elected official accountable.
<quoted text>
If you read my comments, I think I said that I don't EXPECT Bertrand to be hired to replace the village manager. Nor did I say, either explictly or implicitly, that I WANT Bertrand hired to replace the village manager. All I said is that he's probably qualified for the job, but that doesn't mean that I feel that he should get the job!

Bertrand has submitted a grant request which would provide to the park district more than $1 million which they hope to use to build a community center. The money isn't there, but it is forthcoming; at least, that is the expectation.

Since moving to Hazel Crest, I've not only been involved in my community, but I've also sought to be as informed as possible. Maybe you don't have the information I have, or perhaps I don't have the information you have, but I have as much authority to speak on the things I know as you have to speak on what you know!

I also agree that we must hold ALL of our elected officials accountable ... but show me an elected official, from the White House on down, who hasn't brought in people they know and trust to hold positions in their administration. Personally, I don't have a problem with this. What concerns me however is when they bring in people who're not qualified, or when they replace qualified residents with less qualified or unqualified non-residents (as Susan and Vernard did). But if the individual they bring in to a given position is performing excellently and contributing to the betterment of our community, then what difference does it make if that individual is a personal friend, or even a family member?
Resident

Lansing, IL

#13 May 5, 2011
Ask any employee that knows about the budget regarding the $100,000 slush fund. Its not rumor, pal. The Mayor took money from all of the Departments to pad his little fund. Rumor my A#@. He is looking like a crook. I call them like i see them. You are blind as to his faults. Why??
Sankofa

Lansing, IL

#14 May 5, 2011
Resident wrote:
Ask any employee that knows about the budget regarding the $100,000 slush fund. Its not rumor, pal. The Mayor took money from all of the Departments to pad his little fund. Rumor my A#@. He is looking like a crook. I call them like i see them. You are blind as to his faults. Why??
I don't understand why you and others are having such a hard time reading my comments! As I said, I am NOT a fan of the mayor's ... I perceive him to be very arrogant and in my opinion, his arrogance has been a problem for him that has often translated into a problem for the village and residents as well!!! In fact, it's also my opinion that one of the reasons the mayor and Pate and Alsberry were always butting heads, so to speak, is that they have a lot in common in respect to their inflated egos and their thirst for power. Therefore, if you actually read what I wrote, it's pretty obvious that I am far from blinded to his faults.

But that doesn't mean that I can't also appreciate those attributes in the mayor that I feel has benefited the village; and one of those attributes is the mayor's vision for Hazel Crest, much of which he was making a reality before Vernard and Susan took over.

I don't know about the $100,000, but you can believe that I'll be asking around ... and if what you say is proven to be true, then I'll accept it as truth. But until then, as far as I'm concerned, it's still a rumor.
Longtimeres

Lansing, IL

#15 May 11, 2011
Get a copy of the budget. It will piss you off to no end. No excuse for this kind of mismanagement.
TaxPayer

Lansing, IL

#16 May 15, 2011
Where can I get a copy of the Budget? Anyone? Bueller?
knowing

Indianapolis, IN

#17 May 24, 2011
Sankofa wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't know about the $100,000, but you can believe that I'll be asking around ... and if what you say is proven to be true, then I'll accept it as truth. But until then, as far as I'm concerned, it's still a rumor.
I've seen the budget, the $144,000 exists.
knowing

Indianapolis, IN

#18 May 24, 2011
TaxPayer wrote:
Where can I get a copy of the Budget? Anyone? Bueller?
not sure where you can get a copy, but I would think it falls under the Freedom of Information Act.
WowFactor

Lansing, IL

#19 May 25, 2011
Anybody that believes the good Dr. Donaldson was humbled the last few years by the lack of power and the many lawsuits need to think again.$144, 000 not accounted for in a budget should be a crime! It should not be at his disposal, which it is because he has the majority. How many new police cars would that buy? Another police officer or fireman would be nice. DPW could use some help. The Municipal Center is old and crumbling. Is the budget that sound that he could put that money to the side and spend it on whatever he wants? Is the Village in the black??? PS: Is it legal for the Mayor to use his Village car to stop vehicles using his emergency equipment, like a Police Car? Sounds like a lawsuit and criminal offense to me. I hope the victims come forward.
HeyNow

Lansing, IL

#20 May 31, 2011
Is the Mayor trying to eliminate certain positions so he can create others and hire his cronies????? Watch and see. The guy is something else.

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