HAZEL CREST Elections Who is running Trustee/ Park District/School Board

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voter

AOL

#1 Mar 23, 2011
Well what is going to be going on. Lets hear your feedback from the forums and stuff.
HandsomeDan

Chicago, IL

#2 Mar 26, 2011
What questions were asked? I couldnt make it. Were they the average "what are your plans?" or did anybody ask why there is so much discontent within the board? Either way it looks like the same old stuff when the election is over.
Sankofa

Lansing, IL

#3 Mar 29, 2011
The only way it will be "the same old stuff" when the election is over is if the residents allow it to be. We have a responsibility to be informed, to make an informed decision, and to cast our vote responsibly. We're the only ones who can make the difference, and if we choose not to participate in this election, then we're the only ones to be blamed.

I attended two of the forums. At the forum held in the Highlands subdivision, Alsberry and the other trustee candidates on his team made their speeches and quickly ran out before the audience could ask any questions. Wright and Huckabee (park district candidates) did stay. The other slate (trustees AND park district candidates) also stayed to answer the questions. At the second forum held in Village West, the forced Alsberry, etc. to respond to the questions put forth, but the questions were very general. From what I could gather, Alsberry and his group are running on the same platform they ran on in 2009. They have nothing new to offer, no clear response to the many concerns and challenges that our village faces, no vision for the future of Hazel Crest ... all they have is all they've ever had, which is their united anger against the mayor. I was much more impressed with the other slate of candidates who spoke less about themselves, the mayor, and each other, and more about the issues that matter. After all, even though Alsberry seems to want to make this election all about Mayor Donaldson - perhaps to distract us from his own lack of leadership - the mayor isn't running!!!!
voter

AOL

#4 Mar 31, 2011
I was thewre I did not get what you were saying. Were we at the same one?
resident

Orland Park, IL

#5 Apr 1, 2011
My favorite question was about how did each candidate plan to improve hazel crest if they were elected. A lot of people had good ideas, some didn't have much to say other than talk about their past experience.

Bashir and Vernard were riling up their supporters, but other than that, if listened closely to what was said. It seems to me that everyone believes in what they're doing.

One thing I didn't agree with was what Bashir said about electing former cops would present a conflict of interest. I think a former cop would know more about safety than the average citizen.

Also, I didn't agree with him making it sound like it was a bad thing when state reps and senators show an interest in our town's politics. No, they shouldn't support one side, but whoever wins should definitely touch base with the higher ups in government. We get our money and benefits from the top down. Why bite the hand that practically feeds you?

Hazel Crest is a small community and we're practically invisible between Homewood and Country Club Hills. While those communities grow, HC either stays the same or gets worse. No money is coming in and jobs just keep going out. It's vital for HC to stop trying to be autonamous and start looking to partner with its larger neighbors.

I guess I'm being a forward thinker though. I know the majority of HC demographics are older people who are set in their ways and don't want to see much change in the community. But honestly, change will come for better or worse. We'll either see a rise in entreprenuers or a rise in gang-bang teenagers. Economically speaking, if we keep down the current path, we're going to see the latter. That's just my opinion though...
Sankofa

Lansing, IL

#6 Apr 2, 2011
voter wrote:
I was thewre I did not get what you were saying. Were we at the same one?
You were "where?" At the Highland forum? Trustee Alsberry spoke and immediately left, saying that he had a previous engagement. Trustee candidates, Veronica Harris and Darryl Norman, also spoke, and also left. Huckabee and Wright, park district commissioner candidates, were preparing to leave when one of the older residents stood up and said, "No! You're not leaving until my questions are answered." At that point, Huckabee and Wright both sat down and commenced to answer the questions that were put forth by the audience.

After the forum, several residents commented on the fact that Alsberry and the other trustee candidates left before the question/answer part of the forum had occurred, and they were very offended by this. Some even believed that they had purposely avoided the questions and answers.

I don't know where YOU were or what YOU saw and heard, but I do know that this is what took place at the Highland forum.
Sankofa

Lansing, IL

#7 Apr 2, 2011
resident: Trustee Bashir did not say that it was a bad thing for our state senator and state reps to be involved in our community. What he said was that they shouldn't be involved in our local election. Since they represent all of Hazel Crest,they shouldn't be taking sides, picking candidates, or financing the campaign of one group over the other. State senator Maggie Crotty and our state representatives have always supported Hazel Crest, and their support has always been appreciated. But when they begin pitting us against one another and essentially using Hazel Crest for their own political gain, then I think that they've overstepped their boundaries; and this is what Trustee Bashir was pointing out.

You're right about the status of Hazel Crest, but in my opinion, you're wrong about the source of the problems you've mentioned. For example, you're right that no money is coming into Hazel Crest, and there's been no business growth. But the reason no money or business is coming into Hazel Crest, is because Alsberry and his team fired the grant writer who had brought over a million dollars in grants to Hazel Crest over the four years before the 2009 election, did not replace him; fired the individual who was bringing businesses into the community and who was building partnerships and relationships with other agencies that contributed to our growth, did not replace her, and then created a climate within the village that has discouraged businesses from coming into Hazel Crest.

You mention a potential rise in crime in the community. There is in Hazel Crest Proper a liquor store has generated a lot of concern among the residents. The store was not only selling liquor to those who're underage, but was providing a hang out for gangs and drugs, etc. The residents justifiably complained, and when the village investigated, they determined that the store could remain, but to alleviate the alcohol abuse problems, they would revoke the owner's liquor license. This seemed to be a reaonable solution to a serious and growing problem. However, when Trustee Alsberry and his team became a majority on the board, they decided to restore the liquor license. Why? Because they'd received a campaign donation that they had to repay. So it's hard for me to reconcile this with your premise that they will address crime better than those who were addressing it before they (Alsberry) began running the village.

Also, if you simply look objectively at the things that were being done BEFORE Alsberry's majority, and the things that have been done SINCE Alsberry's majority, I think it becomes pretty clear that we were already on the right path, until we were forced into a new direction after 2009. What exactly have Alsberry and his team done for Hazel Crest since they became the majority? What are their accomplishments? They had two years to demonstrate their leadership, yet if you listen to their campaign platform today, two years later, they're still talking about the same things they were talking about and promising and criticizing two years ago!!!
This is not a battle between the older and younger residents in the community. This is about those, old and young, who care about the future of our villalge ... and those who simply care about power. Vernard Alsberry, Susan Pate, etc., simply care about power. They have flaunted their power, abused their power, misused their power, and took their power for granted for the last two years; but they did nothing with their power to actually uplift the village itself.

This isn't about age; it's about integrity and judgment, neither of which has been a priority with Alsberry and CCCP.
Crime

Lansing, IL

#8 Apr 3, 2011
Have any of the candidates talked about crime in this village? Home invasions?
When our home was invaded in 2010 - I felt and still feel not much was done. I don't know much about politics... And am not sure if the candidates would care.
Crime

Lansing, IL

#9 Apr 3, 2011
Not sure why my post says Flossmoor- I'm in Hazel Crest.
voter

Tinley Park, IL

#10 Apr 3, 2011
is this the same grany qriter the park district has now? If I recall there has been no grants money awarded to the park since 2009, when he was hired, after the board fired a qaulified director.
I thnk Wright and Huckabee agreed to stay, to answer the questions.... Once they were asked why everyone was leaving, I know they both missed a different enaganement due to them staying. I think both are good.
Sankofa

Lansing, IL

#11 Apr 3, 2011
voter wrote:
is this the same grany qriter the park district has now? If I recall there has been no grants money awarded to the park since 2009, when he was hired, after the board fired a qaulified director.
I thnk Wright and Huckabee agreed to stay, to answer the questions.... Once they were asked why everyone was leaving, I know they both missed a different enaganement due to them staying. I think both are good.
Once again, you're apparently getting your information from the wrong sources:

Mr. Bertrand, once the liaison to the Mayor and now the director of the park district, brought in more than a million dollars in grants to the village. It was because of these grant monies that our streets were paved, for example, as well as the provision of other services and benefits to the residents, including and perhaps most important, the benefit of no increase in taxes or in the tax levy.

As director of the park district, Mr. Bertrand has already confirmed a grant of 1.2 or 1.8 million (I don't remember the exact figure). This money will be targeted for a community center that will house, among other things, an olympic-size indoor pool. He has also partnered with other community facilities, such as Coyote-Run golf course. As a consequence of this particular partnership, the children will receive free golf lessons, and have been provided with free golf equipment as well.

Huckabee and Wright did agree to stay to answer the questions ... but only after an angry resident, frustrated because Alsberry and the other two trustee candidates walked out, demanded that they stay. Whether they missed an important engagement or not is neither here nor there ... their first responsibility is to the residents who they are asking to vote for them, and if they can't spend a few minutes to respond to the residents' concerns - as Alsberry, Harris and Norman apparently didn't have the time to do -then they don't deserve their vote.

Huckabee and Wright are OK, and though I'm still considering at least one of them, I still have some concerns. For example, why was Huckabee handpicked by our state rep. to be a candidate for the park district commissioner? Why is our state rep., who represents ALL of Hazel Crest, handpicking and obviously taking sides with one candidate over another? And where has Ms. Huckabee been for the past ... year, even! I don't recall ever seeing her at a meeting, at least not until she announced her candidacy! So, is she part of someone else's agenda? And if so, at what price to Hazel Crest? As for Wright, it seems that he may have a residency problem! Does he actually LIVE in Hazel Crest? Or does he merely own property in Hazel Crest, while living somewhere else?

voter

Tinley Park, IL

#12 Apr 4, 2011
WHy dont you call him I am sure he will have you come to his home, it is around the corner of the Mayor. Ask the Mayor, he knows where he lives.
As for the Highland forum, I know that All of the so called CCCP canidates were only given a wekk notice for the forum. I know that they had a another engagement, that had been confirmed and planned 6-8 weeks prior to attending the Highland Forum, but they still appearred, and choose to stay, whether or not the citizen put them in a tough call situation.

I am Looking for the grant money for last year for the Park, I see no grant money obtained.
voter

Tinley Park, IL

#13 Apr 4, 2011
And that was also stated at a meeting. If Mr. Bertrand is writing and obtaining grants why is the Board allowing fees to a grant writer of at minimum of $1,200.00 dollars.
Also, how are they going to get the funding for the improvements, due to the 2 million dollar loan and no plan in place, the park district will have a very difficult time in getting a loan or bonds for the projects.
Also, what about the plans to disslove the park district and to have the parks and programs run by the village. Well in a short time the voters voice will be heard and we can see what happens. Nice chatting with you. Have a great day.
Sankofa

Lansing, IL

#14 Apr 4, 2011
voter wrote:
WHy dont you call him I am sure he will have you come to his home, it is around the corner of the Mayor. Ask the Mayor, he knows where he lives.
As for the Highland forum, I know that All of the so called CCCP canidates were only given a wekk notice for the forum. I know that they had a another engagement, that had been confirmed and planned 6-8 weeks prior to attending the Highland Forum, but they still appearred, and choose to stay, whether or not the citizen put them in a tough call situation.
I am Looking for the grant money for last year for the Park, I see no grant money obtained.
All of the candidates from both parties were notified at the same time. The CCCP trustee candidates DIDN'T choose to stay ... they left immediately after their presentation. Huckabee and Wright stayed, and though I give them credit for staying, they stayed only because they realized that it would be to their disadvantage if they left. It is a fact that Director Bertrand has applied for a $1.2 or $1.8 million dollar grant. The grant is targeted for a community center. Meanwhile, Mr. Bertrand has found other resources or creative ways not only to save the Park District and taxpayers money, but also to provide new progams for the children and adult residents at nominal or free costs. One such program is the golf program for our youth which evolved from a partnership with Coyote Run golf course. I understand that some people may not like Mr.Bertrand, or may not like the way he was hired, or may have liked the former director better; but in spite of your personal regard for him, if you're truly honest and objective, I think you would have to acknowledge that Mr. Bertrand has done some very good things for the Park District.
Sankofa

Lansing, IL

#15 Apr 4, 2011
voter wrote:
And that was also stated at a meeting. If Mr. Bertrand is writing and obtaining grants why is the Board allowing fees to a grant writer of at minimum of $1,200.00 dollars.
Also, how are they going to get the funding for the improvements, due to the 2 million dollar loan and no plan in place, the park district will have a very difficult time in getting a loan or bonds for the projects.
Also, what about the plans to disslove the park district and to have the parks and programs run by the village. Well in a short time the voters voice will be heard and we can see what happens. Nice chatting with you. Have a great day.
You are definitely listening to some very bad information! What grant writer are you speaking of? There is no grant writer being paid $1200.00. One million of the two million dollars has already been directed to address projects that the Park District was mandated to address over 10 years ago, such as providing access for the handicapped. The other million remains for the very purpose you have raised, which is to get grants and bonds for other projects. When one seeks a grant, one generally has to be in a position to back up that grant, and the remaining million dollars is the safety net for that back up. I know I'm not using the correct terms ... Finally, there are no plans to dissolve the park district and to have the parks run by the village. This is the same LIE that Vernard Alsberry and the CCCP (previously the Concerned Citizens Party) have been using for the last four years, not only to scare and manipulate the employees, but also to rile up the residents who have fallen for this lie ... and if you look around, you'll find that far fewer residents are believing this lie than those who believed it four years ago!!! In fact, everything that Vernard Alsberry and the CCCP are running on are old, outdated, already used up lies. Lies about the mayor and their trustee challengers wanting raises that were debunked two years ago, and lies about the merging of the park district and the village, that were debunked four years ago.

Alsberry and his people have been in charge of our village for two years. They have been the majority, and have therefore been the governing voice of our village since the 2009 election. So, what I'm trying to understand is why aren't they running on their own accomplishments? Why are they still running on old lies? Why are they still trying to make this about the mayor? They've had two years and a four-person majority to show us what they can do. So why aren't they talking about what they've done? Or is it because the only they've succeeded in doing is to create a deficit for the first time in at least a decade and to divide our community for the sole purpose of political gain? No wonder they're still talking about two and four year old lies!!!!
Sankofa

Lansing, IL

#16 Apr 4, 2011
voter wrote:
And that was also stated at a meeting. If Mr. Bertrand is writing and obtaining grants why is the Board allowing fees to a grant writer of at minimum of $1,200.00 dollars.
Also, how are they going to get the funding for the improvements, due to the 2 million dollar loan and no plan in place, the park district will have a very difficult time in getting a loan or bonds for the projects.
Also, what about the plans to disslove the park district and to have the parks and programs run by the village. Well in a short time the voters voice will be heard and we can see what happens. Nice chatting with you. Have a great day.
Personally, I've decided that the only people who're still supporting Vernard Alsberry and the CCCP are: a) people who're related to them and who don't have a choice; b) people who have befriended them and who put friendship before the well being of our community; c) people who hate Mayor Donaldson and who put their hatred for the mayor before the well being of our community; or d) people who readily embrace the lies because the lies feed the narrative that they want to believe. But these people, whatever their reasons are, couldn't possibly support Vernard Alsberry and the CCCP for their leadership, because they haven't shown any leadership! All they've shown is their willingness to undo everything Mayor Donaldson has done, even the good things; to fire everyone the Mayor hired, even the good workers; to repay their campaign debts, even though in doing so they have burdened the taxpayers with an increased tax levy and increased fees, and to flaunt their power, so much so that one of them is presently under an ethics investigation for indefensible offenses; yet Alsberry defends her anyway! The CCCP is founded on nothing but hate, anger, and an insatiable thirst for power, and our village is suffering as a consequence. As far as I'm concerned, the sooner we're rid of them, the better; but if by chance they should win, our village is doomed.

Nice chatting with you also.
Ticket Splitter

Chicago, IL

#17 Apr 4, 2011
Does anyone know about the independent candidates? New to HC ballots?
HC Res

Chicago, IL

#18 Apr 5, 2011
Former Police Officer? Norman was off on medical more than he worked due to bad knee's and a reckless accident in a squad. The majority has done nothing during their time besides move Inspectional Services from the Fire Dept. to Village Hall at a monumental cost. Hazel Crest Proper near the Liquor Store is an eyesore and attracts the criminal element. Ask an Officer that works in Proper. That side of town has been ignored. It is a fact the owner gave money to Alsberrys election campaign after the threat of having his liquor license pulled. No brainer there folks. With Alsberry and crew walking out on the citezens at the Forum shows that he doesnt get it. They are working for US, the residents. The sad thing about it all is how many of the 14,000 residents will actually go out and vote? I am taking the under at 3000. Thats just over 20%.
HCRes

Chicago, IL

#19 Apr 6, 2011
Ehh, never mind. BYE BYE Vernard.
Sankofa

Lansing, IL

#20 Apr 6, 2011
Congratulations Trustee Rod Bashir, Trustee Debra McGhee and former Trustee Jane Brown. Congratulations Michelle Hemp and Kevin Wright. Congratulations to our new School Board members. But most of all, Congratulations Hazel Crest. Our village won!! We won in spite of State Senator Maggie Crotty and State Representatives Al Riley and Will Davis who were elected to represent ALL of the residents of Bremen township in Hazel Crest but chose to took sides and to divide the community for the sake of politics. We won in spite of the two year old and four year old lies that Vernard Alsberry and the CCCP held onto becuse they had no accomplishments of their own to speak of. We won in spite of their bribes and bullying and threats and all those little notes Susan Pate was taking as she sat in the dark corner of every room where something was taking place, whether she was invited or not. We won in spite of the hatred and divisiveness and anger and vindictiveness and power-hungriness and in spite of the lack of leadership that their side represented and pushed on our village for two years! We won because we have residents who care about the community we live in, because we have residents who sought to be informed about the truth, and residents who took the time to listen and learn, and above all else, to vote. Thank you Hazel Crest for this victory, for it is a victory that belongs to you!

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