Tinley Park, IL. (ECWd) -
In a stunning development out of Tinley Park, the 9-member Tinley Park Planning Commission had 7 of its members suddenly resign this month, all after citizens of Tinley Park started attending Board and Planning Commission meetings to voice public anger at the low income housing project that many believe Village employees snuck around zoning codes against the community's wishes.
Resignations received by the Village were:
1.) Rita Walker (resigned 2/19/16)
2.) Art Pierce (resigned 2/18/16)
3.) Robert C. McClellan (resigned 2/15/16)
4.) Jeff Ficaro (resigned 2/4/16)
5.) Tom Mahoney (resigned 2/5/16)
6.) Gina Miller (resigned 2/16/16)
7.) William Reidy (resigned 2/10/16)
All of the Planning Commission members resigned either for "family or health reasons", according to their resignation letters emailed to the Village Mayor David Seaman.
The public first became aware of the Buckeye Hope Community Foundation's scheme to slip the low income housing into Tinley Park in late January 2016. The first Board meeting where the public appeared to criticize the Village and Planning Commission was on 2/2/16. The resignations started at that point, and really picked up speed after the Village Planning Commission held its meeting on 2/4/16 and the Commission members heard an earful in person that night.
Read our previous articles here. You can watch an ongoing real time documentary of these Village meetings here, as the citizens of Tinley Park forcefully called for an independent investigation into what Village employees and the Planning Commission had been doing that created this mess with Buckeye.
It is interesting to wonder why 7 Planning Commission members all had the sudden urge to resign just as the public became aware of the Buckeye housing project mess and questions started being asked. Since none of them said they are resigning in protest because of the way that the Commission had been running (and instead told stories about needing to spend time with family or having health problems), many in Tinley Park looking at this sudden explosion of resignations can't help but speculate that these Commission Members didn't want to face another public meeting where they would be grilled by the public.
The Planning Commission meetings that were supposed to be held in recent weeks were all canceled, as well as the March 3rd scheduled meeting being canceled. The Planning Commission has not met since February 4th, when it was chewed out by angry citizens for two solid hours.
It's likely that these 7 Commission members had enough of that and being on the Planning Commission didn't seem like a fun idea anymore. There is also the suspicion that at least some of these people don't want to be listed as current sitting Commission members as the investigation into wrongdoing in the Village Planning ranks gets underway.
It is a rare occurrence, even in Illinois, for almost the entire membership of a Commission to resign almost all at once like this.
Check back for further developments from Tinley Park.
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