election day april 4 2023

Court’s in session for Palos Park mayoral candidates

Spread the love

By Jeff Vorva

Yes, they are lawyers. And they know how to give a closing argument.

Longtime Palos Park Commissioner Nicole Milovich-Walters and Ronette Leal McCarthy are a pair of lawyers seeking the job as mayor to take over for John Mahoney, also a lawyer, who is retiring and did not seek a fifth term.  The election is April 4.

The two candidates engaged in a debate on March 14 at Stagg High School and when it came time for their last two minutes to summarize their credentials, both gave strong arguments with Milovich-Walters stressing her 16 years of experience as a commissioner while McCarthy hammered home a need for change.

Milovich-Walters had her final summary first.

WALTERS

Nicole Milovich-Walters says that being a commissioner is imperative to doing the job of mayor.

“Experience matters,” she said. “Experience is vital for doing the job of mayor. And the ability to work as a team for the best interest of the residents is crucial.

“Only once in Palos Park history was there a mayor who had not been a commissioner first. That was in 1951 when we had approximately 850 residents. Now, with nearly 5,000 residents, the job has changed.”

She said that being a commissioner is imperative to doing the job of mayor.

“On Day 1, I am rolling without the need for training wheels,” she said. “I have more experience than anyone who has ever run for the position for mayor of Palos Park.”

Miliovich-Walters said that she has been endorsed by every living past mayor in the village.

“It takes a mayor to know a mayor, she said.

She wrapped up with: “My experience is relevant and abundant. My ability to work with a team is proven and effective. This is why I am qualified to be your next mayor of Palos Park.”

MCCARTHY

Ronette Leal McCarthy said she wants to bring democracy back to Palos Park. Photos by Jeff Vorva

Riding the unicycle

McCarthy closed with a speech that had some improvisation in it as the “training wheels” line did not go unnoticed.

“First off, I want to thank my opponent for helping you see why change is needed,” McCarthy said. “I do not know why there is a thought that it has to be done a certain way. That is not democracy. That is not the democratic way. We do not tap people on shoulders to become a committee member or a commissioner or a mayor. Now, I’ve always liked being No. 1 but I will take that second mayor in the history of Palos Park position and gladly serve as mayor not having been a commissioner before.”

She said she does have experience working within the village and has worked with “countless” villages and municipalities in the area.

“That in itself has given me a wealth of information in regards to golf course redevelopment, writing ordinances, zoning laws, not cutting down trees,” McCarthy said. “I have access to all of those professionals throughout the Chicagoland area. I can pick up a telephone and reach out and get some advice.”

McCarthy said that there is currently 60 years of experience on the council and if she wins, there will still be 44 years of collective knowledge.

“The staff will be remaining the same,” she said. “That doesn’t change. I’m not going to need training wheels. I’m ready to get on a unicycle and ride my way around Palos Park – that would be a sight to see if I was on a unicycle now that I think about it – but it would allow the village residents to come out and talk more collaboratively by seeing that.”

Challenges ahead

McCarthy, 51, is an attorney with the Leal McCarthy law group LLC since January 2008, and she said one of the biggest challenges in Palos Park right now is to get the council to be a little more resident-friendly.

A recent controversy regarding a new parking expansion at Wu’s House restaurant has caused strife at committee meetings and some of that spilled over to a Feb. 27 council meeting.

“We are really blessed to live in such an amazing community known as the Village of Palos Park,” she said. “The challenges to some may not seem large to people in other communities.

“One of the largest challenges that has been exhibited to me over the last months is the lack of residents’ voices. The lack of being heard. The lack of feeling that you are actually a part of our governance.”

She said voices are not being heard.

“Democracy is pretty,” McCarthy said. “Democracy is the voice of our residents. And allowing our residents to feel a part of the local municipal government, to me, is one of the most significant challenges that we have. We have 11 committees in the Village of Palos Park. Everything from zoning, the library, recreation and historic preservation.

“Currently, five of those boards have vacancies. Five. Five boards should not have vacancies in the Village of Palos Park. Village of Palos Park residents should feel greeted and welcome when they come to a board meeting. They should not be told that they cannot have a voice and that they cannot talk as has been exhibited at the board meetings recently.”

She said her top priority is to listen to the residents’ concerns.

“In order to advance our village, in order to have it grow and see into the future, we do need to work together as a community and make sure that democracy is first and foremost,” she said.

Milovich-Walters, 54, is the president and CEO of the Walters Law Group Ltd., and owns a pre-employment screening company.

She said there are a group of challenges facing Palos Park that she wants to tackle.

“We need to advance our progress,” Milovich-Walters said. “Public safety is paramount in Palos Park. We spend half our budget to support mandated training, equipment and salaries. And we have a small budget to deal with.

“Our western annexation is very critical to growing our businesses and supporting our tax base. But we want to do all of that in keeping the character of the village.”

She is hitting hard on seniors in the village and expanding programs and organizations for seniors.

She also wants to welcome new residents with open arms.

“The biggest thing I would like to do is create a community-based organization that will greet new residents and will share with them the resources about our businesses, our school, our community events,” Milovich-Walters said.

“These volunteers would go to their homes, answer their questions and ensure that they feel a part of the community. Being inclusive is important. Keeping our gem of Palos Park the pride of the southwest suburbs of Chicago is paramount to our way of life.”

1 Comment

  1. Catherine O’Malley on April 1, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Respect Matters: Vote for Ronette McCarthy
    I am appalled at the disrespect and antagonism that two longtime Palos Park commissioners showed mayoral candidate Ronette McCarthy and other Palos Park residents who expressed concern at the Feb. 27 council meeting. Commissioner Reed shook his head in disgust when Ronette began speaking and called residents “children” who were “speaking out of turn “ and told them to “shut the hell up” and “pull up their big boy and big girl britches.” Commissioner Polk called residents “homies.” The other commissioners, including mayoral candidate Nicole Milovich-Walters and retiring Mayor John Mahoney, were completely silent when they heard this disrespect. Palos Park residents deserve to be treated with respect by our elected officials. A vote for Ronette is a vote for respect. Respect matters.



Local News

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound March 23, 2022

Spread the love

Spread the love

Jon’s Way Youth Group will be hosting a Family Fun Fair on Sunday, March 27, at Freedom Activity Center, 6252 W. Birmingham Ave., Chicago Ridge. (Supplied photo)

Jon’s Way to hold Family Fun Fair in Chicago Ridge

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White A Chicago Ridge youth group is finding creative ways to keep the community involved. Jon’s Way Youth Group will be hosting a Family Fun Fair on Sunday, March 27, at Freedom Activity Center, 6252 W. Birmingham Ave., Chicago Ridge. “With this event the teens get to show their leadership skills…

Jasper Hernandez, 10, of Worth; Kimberly Flores, 8, of Worth; and Alessandra Flores, 9, of Worth, made Easter-themed crafts at the Spring Craft Night. (Photos by Kelly White)

Worth Spring Craft Night

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe Worth Public Library, 6917 W. 111th St., held a Spring Craft Night for area children and their parents on March 10. During the event, Bonnie Pawlarczyk, Head of Youth Services, read When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes. Afterwards, children were able to make a variety of spring crafts that they could take home with them.…

The Palos 118 South Middle School eighth-grade volleyball team took first place in the Southwest Interscholastic Conference tournament on March 12. (Supplied photo)

Palos 118 eighth-grade volleyball team wins Southwest Interscholastic Conference Tournament

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Palos 118 South Middle School eighth-grade volleyball team took first place in the Southwest Interscholastic Conference tournament on March 12. Bella Macino was named MVP for her 20-point serving streak, which pushed the Cardinals to the win in a two-set match against the OLHMS Mustangs. The Cardinals finished with…

Olympian Kendall Coyne Schofield and Mayor Keith Pekau pose after she was honored by the Village of Orland Park Monday night. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Hockey star and police chief honored by Orland Park

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva It was a night of celebration at Monday’s Village of Orland Park meeting with Kendall Coyne Schofield and outgoing police chief Joseph Mitchell serving as the stars of the show. Both received proclamations and standing ovations. Schofield, a Sandburg graduate, was honored for bringing home an Olympic silver medal in…

Palos Height Mayor Bob Straz gave his State of the City address on Tuesday at the Palos Heights Recreation Center. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Straz looking forward to bringing Pete’s and Pride to Palos Heights

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Pete’s and Pride. In Palos Heights’ immediate future, good things will come in “P’s.” Mayor Bob Straz gave his State of the City presentation Tuesday in the Orchard Room of the Recreation Center in an event hosted by the Palos Area Chamber of Commerce, and he was full of good…

Shepard High School was proud to host Respect Week at the school during the week of March 7-11 at the school, 13049 S. Ridgeland Ave., Palos Heights. (Supplied photos)

Shepard rallies for Respect Week

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Each year, schools across Illinois celebrate Respect Week. This campaign focuses on inclusion for people with disabilities, celebrating Respect for All – no matter the disability, gender, or race. Shepard High School students proudly took part in the week-long celebration that derived from the Spread the Word Campaign. “Plunging is…

Two of the plungers at Shepard High School's Polar Plunge on March 10. (Photos by Kelly White)

Shepard students take Polar Plunge for Special Olympics

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shepard High School students once again took the plunge last week. The Polar Plunge, that is, which is a huge fundraising effort benefiting Special Olympics and the athletes. Participants take in pledges from family, friends and more before taking the literal…

reporter worth welcome sign

Worth narrowly approves COVID testing and medical services site

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle With COVID-19 positivity rates declining in Illinois, some members of the Worth Village Board wondered why a business emphasizing testing is necessary? Trustees Rich Dziedzic and Brad Urban brought the issue up during the Worth Village Board meeting Tuesday night, questioning if Free COVID Drive Thru Testing Inc. should be operating with…

LTHS logo - Copy

Get the scoop on college life at Lyons Township High School

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports Lyons Township High School students will have an opportunity to get a glimpse of college life at the annual College Fair Wednesday, April 6, from 6:30-8  p.m., at the North Campus Fieldhouse/Vaughan Gym, 100 S. Brainard Ave., LaGrange. State schools, private colleges, community colleges, special interest schools, and the armed…

Neighbors

Lawmakers move to pause – then further regulate – carbon dioxide pipeline development

Lawmakers move to pause – then further regulate – carbon dioxide pipeline development

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – After state regulators rebuffed several proposed carbon transport projects over the past year, lawmakers have moved to formally ban new projects until the federal government sets forth new safety rules. The technology is used to take carbon dioxide – a powerful greenhouse gas – and move…

Senate Democrats send $53.1B spending plan to House

Senate Democrats send $53.1B spending plan to House

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Two days after the General Assembly was scheduled to adjourn its spring session, Democrats in the Illinois Senate advanced a $53.1 billion budget to the House Sunday night, where leaders expect it to pass without changes. The fiscal year 2025 spending plan, which came together over a stretch…

Prairie Band Potawatomi land deal clears Senate, will head back to House

Prairie Band Potawatomi land deal clears Senate, will head back to House

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation is a step closer to acquiring a 1,500-acre state park in DeKalb County, much of which was once part of a reservation that was illegally seized from the tribe in the mid-19 th century. As the Senate worked through its last…

Budget negotiations will extend into next week as House leaves Springfield

Budget negotiations will extend into next week as House leaves Springfield

By JERRY NOWICKI & HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Democrats in the General Assembly will go at least three more days past their self-imposed adjournment deadline after failing to pass a budget bill Saturday, although the spending and revenue framework were made public for the first time. “The House and Senate are…

Maternal health, abortion protection measures advance as session nears end

Maternal health, abortion protection measures advance as session nears end

By ALEX ABBEDUTO Capitol News Illinois abbeduto@capitolnewsillinois.com In the final days of their spring legislative session, Democrats in the General Assembly advanced measures aimed at expanding and protecting aspects of maternal and women’s health care. If signed into law, the measures would expand insurance coverage of pregnancy and postpartum services, maintain abortion as a viable…

Health insurance changes targeting ‘utilization management,’ more will head to governor

Health insurance changes targeting ‘utilization management,’ more will head to governor

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – A package of health insurance reform measures that Gov. JB Pritzker called for at the beginning of the legislative session will soon be headed to his desk for his signature. The Illinois House gave final approval Saturday to a pair of bills that limit the ability…

Capitol Briefs: Republicans sue over law banning legislative candidate slating

Capitol Briefs: Republicans sue over law banning legislative candidate slating

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com One week after Gov. JB Pritzker signed an elections-related measure that his fellow Democrats quickly muscled through the General Assembly, Republicans sued over the new law, alleging the majority party is blocking ballot access to would-be legislative candidates. The law , passed early this month as the legislature’s…

Illinois Supreme Court considers expectation of privacy in hospitals

Illinois Supreme Court considers expectation of privacy in hospitals

By DILPREET RAJU  & ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – While Cortez Turner was in a hospital room being treated for a gunshot wound to his leg in 2016, police took his clothes. Now, the Illinois Supreme Court is weighing whether that action violated Turner’s expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment. The…

Capitol Briefs: Measure targets ‘legacy’ admission at public universities

Capitol Briefs: Measure targets ‘legacy’ admission at public universities

By DILPREET RAJU, COLE LONGCOR & ALEX ABBEDUTO Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinois lawmakers missed a self-imposed Friday deadline for passing a budget, but they had approved more than 250 bills this week as of Friday afternoon. Amid the flurry of legislation was a measure prohibiting state universities from admitting students based on familial and…

Illinois could be 19th state to phase out subminimum wage for disabled workers

Illinois could be 19th state to phase out subminimum wage for disabled workers

By ALEX ABBEDUTO Capitol News Illinois abbeduto@capitolnewsillinois.com After years of negotiations and continued opposition from service providers, Illinois appears poised to prohibit employers from using a federal exemption that allows them to pay individuals with disabilities less than the minimum wage. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 established minimum wage law, but created…