Mayor Jeff Walik (left) presents Bob Behounek a large replica of the village sticker Behounek designed. (Supplied photos)

Mayor Jeff Walik (left) presents Bob Behounek a large replica of the village sticker Behounek designed. (Supplied photos)

Stickney approves new TIF District 

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Stickny Police Chief James Sassetti, retired Chief Michael Holub, retired Sgt. Gary Wiseman, and Mayor Jeff Walik. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

By Carol McGowan 

Stickney trustees have given the green light to the creation of the Harlem and Pershing Tax Increment Financing District.

The measure to create the new taxing district was approved at the June 6 Village Board meeting.

The Harlem and Pershing TIF District includes the village’s two major commercial corridors, including the frontages along Harlem Avenue, starting at 45th Street extending north to Pershing Road, and along Pershing Avenue, starting at Ridgeland Avenue, extending west to Harlem Avenue.

New tax money raised by the TIF District will be used for infrastructure improvements within the designated area.

There was plenty of other activity at the meeting, including the swearing in of Police Auxiliary Officer Hannah Kosinski, and the appointments of Jaclyn Mroz to the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, and Robert Alvarado to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The village approved a contract with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 399, which represents public works department employees.

In his report, Mayor Jeff Walik congratulated the newly sworn in officer and board members.

Walik also thanked resident Bob Behounek for his hard work in designing the village’s first logo. He held up the artwork, which is a picture of the 2023-2024 vehicle sticker for the village.

It has the logo, which is a train with the Village of Stickney Seal, along with a picture of A.B. Stickney, who was a railroad executive for which the village was named.

The mayor, along with Police Chief James Sassetti, then called up two former members of the village’s police department for special recognition.

First honored was former Chief Michael Holub, who served from November of 1974 to November of 1994.

During his tenure, he was promoted to sergeant in 1981, appointed to deputy chief in 1988, and appointed to chief in 1988.

Holub participated in many high-profile criminal investigations and received numerous awards and recognitions during his years of service with the Stickney Police Department.

In 1993, Holub attended and successfully completed the FBI National Academy.

He served in the Army from 1972-1974.

After his retirement in Stickney, he became the chief of police in numerous western and southern suburbs.

Today, Holub is still an advocate for the law enforcement profession.

Also called up was Sgt. Gary Wiseman, who served 37 years with the Stickney Police Department.

In 1981, Wisemen became an auxiliary officer for the Stickney Police Department.  He was hired full time in 1982, and retired in 2017.

During his tenure, he was appointed corporal in 1997, promoted to sergeant in July of 1999, and appointed commander in 2002.

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Mayor Jeff Walik swears in Auxiliary Police Officer Hannah Kosinski. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Wiseman also participated in many high-profile criminal investigations and received numerous awards and recognitions during his years of service with the Stickney Police Department.

He served in the Air Force from 1975-1981.

After retiring in Stickney, Wiseman became the chief of police in neighboring Forest View.

Today, he is the president of the Stickney Police Association, and is a strong supporter of the Stickney Police Department.

Walik and Sassetti presented both Holub and Wiseman with a gold star, which they said they presented now, as they didn’t receive one upon their retirement.

In her report, Village Clerk Audrey McAdams read a letter from Fire Chief Jeffrey Boyajian.

In it, Boyajian thanked the mayor and trustees for their unanimous decision to recently approve the purchase of a new quint fire apparatus.

It went on to say the new apparatus will significantly enhance and improve their ability to protect and serve the village.

In his report, Boyajian mentioned that grant money that’s been received will remodel the kitchen at the firehouse, pay for HVAC repairs, and be used for additional equipment and training.

In the police report, Sassetti said a very successful K-9 training was recently held on Ridgeland Avenue and thanked those who were part of that.

K-9 Officer Rebecca Maday, who handles one of the two police dogs Stickney has, explained that those in attendance learned a lot as it was a training for urban areas, which may be different to some dogs if they are not in that environment all of the time.

Sassetti invited everyone to a Police Department Open House that will be held on the police side of village hall on Saturday, August 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Public Works Director Joe Lopez mentioned that fire hydrant testing has now been completed.

For the next few months, ComEd will be trimming trees in the village.

Representative Jesus Chuy Garcia’s office will hold a satellite office at Stickney Village Hall on Thursday, June 22, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Walik announced he was recently awarded the 2023 Community Builders Award from Berwyn Masonic Lodge 839.

The award was “In recognition of your outstanding leadership and dedication to the Village of Stickney and its residents.”

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