by Danielle Golab and Alejandro Cortez
Voters in South Berwyn split their tickets in Tuesday’s elections, choosing school board members from both slates of candidates competing for four seats in District 100.
Lisa Clemente, Jennifer Mitchell and Mark Titzer had run on one slate; Elizabeth Jimenez had run on a competing slate.
District 100 was the only contested race for Berwyn election. Candidates for the Berwyn School Board, Morton School Board and North Berwyn Park board all ran unopposed.
Turnout was less than 9 percent, with only 1,402 of the city’s 16,709 registers voters casting a ballot, according to the Cook County Clerk’s Office.
Clemente led the election with 748 votes, followed by Jimenez, who is the first Hispanic woman elected to the school board, with 747 votes. Third in line was Mitchell with 744 votes. The fourth place was taken by Titzer with 730 votes.
According to Jimenez, district 100 has a population of 81.6% Latinos. Jimenez says that this sends a message of how huge an impact it makes when most of the population is Latino as a support for her campaign.
“I am proud and at the same time humbled to have the opportunity to serve the Berwyn Community,” she said after the election.
by Alejandro Cortez
Neighbors of Turano Bakery have won a legal victory as a judge has halted the demolition of homes and construction of parking lots behind the Roosevelt Road factory.
At a Feb. 10 hearing, Cook County Judge Kathleen Kennedy ordered the bakery and the city of Berwyn to comply with the city ordinances and receive a zoning permit for the work on the parking spaces.
Since then, Turano has stopped all demolition until it gets its paperwork in order. Neighbors had initially stopped demolition when Judge Kennedy gave them a temporary restraining order against Turano in late January.
“The TRO (temporary restraining order) has been dismissed and Turano is currently in the process of doing the application for a zoning permit but it has not been presented yet,” Berwyn Mayor Robert Lovero said last Friday.
A November n explosion and fire at Turano’s parking garage, across Roosevelt Road in Oak Park, put the bakery in a jam. It needed a place to park its delivery trucks.
Later, Berwyn’s 8th District Alderman Nora Laureto wrote a letter to Lovero and the City council stating,
“I am asking for City Council approval to allow Turano to move forward as quickly as possible for demolition and graveling of the area.”
There have been seven reported identify thefts in Berwyn since Dec. 3. Sgt. Joe Santangelo said these cases are currently under investigation.
Santangelo gave tips on how to avoid being a victim of identity theft. Never throw away credit cards without first shredding them. Be careful about what information you save onto the internet; don’t save your social security number or passwords on any web page.
“You can check your banking website regularly to watch your accounts,” Santangelo said. “There are also trusted websites that do a free credit check to monitor your accounts.”
Two of the seven identity thefts occurred on the 2200 block of S. Kenilworth. Two more occurred on S. Euclid. Other cases occurred on Harvey, Elmwood and Grove.
By Lauren Reiniger
Houses are being sold on an average of every week to a week and a half, according to Jim Healy, an attorney in Berwyn’s community development department.
Berwyn received a $4.6 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant from the state to buy and renovate 26 vacant and foreclosed buildings. To date, 18 out of those 26 homes are active on the sales end. Two houses have been sold, and 16 houses are currently under contract.
“Just this week, we closed on two houses. We are closing on two more next week, and probably three more the week after that,” said Healy.
Some applications have been denied because the buyers make too much money.
“One couple wanted to buy a home–they really liked the way we fixed it up–but they were over-qualified,” Healy said. “This is a federal program for those who have up to 120% of area-median income.”
This program isn’t about making money, according to Healy. The purpose is to get homes off the foreclosure list, fix them, sell them and generate property taxes, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“I expect that we will probably close every house that has been repaired by the end of January,” Healy said. Five remaining homes still need to be fixed throughout winter and spring.
For more information on Berwyn’s NSP program, visit http://www.berwyn-il.gov/Departments/CommunityDevelopment/NSP.aspx.