Cathy Aparo

Cathy Aparo

Evergreen Park Village Clerk, Cathy Aparo, retires after 23 years

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By Joe Boyle

Evergreen Park Village Clerk Cathy Aparo has witnessed decades of history in her role as a public servant for the village.

But as January comes to a close, the long career of Aparo will also come to an end.

Aparo, who has served as the Evergreen Park village clerk for 23 years and 40 years as a village employee, officially retires at the end of the month. Aparo’s role and impact on the community was duly noted during the Evergreen Park Village Board meeting on Jan. 16 — her last.

“This is a special day, a sad day for all of us,” said Mayor Kelly Burke at the beginning of the meeting. “Our wonderful, wonderful Village Clerk Cathy Aparo is taking a well-deserved retirement.

“I just want to express to Cathy the thanks for all that she has done for me and for your friendship, and your good humor,” Burke added. “You have so many fantastic stories. I will miss you and I know members of the board will as well.”

Aparo has been the clerk under three mayors — Burke, James Sexton, and Anthony Vacco. She graduated from Evergreen Park Community High School in 1973 and completed her associate’s degree from Moraine Valley Community College in 1984.

She began working for the village as an administrative assistant for the building commission and later for the building department. Aparo then became a public information officer.

She ran successfully for village clerk in 2001. While handling all the tasks necessary to be a village clerk, Aparo continued her education and received her bachelor’s degree in business from St. Xavier University. She also became a registered municipal clerk, and then a certified municipal clerk in 2008.

Aparo culminated that by becoming a master municipal clerk in 2014, the highest certification for a village clerk. She is a member of both the Municipal Clerks of Illinois and the International Institute of Municipal Clerks.

Trustee Carol Kyle has known Aparo for years and will miss her presence.

“Where do I begin? Thank you, Cathy, you have been here through thick and thin,” Kyle said. “I’m going to miss you.”

Other trustees and local officials weighed in on what Aparo has met for the village.

“She is the face of Evergreen Park,” said longtime Trustee Mark Marzullo. “She is the one who people call and she is the one who handles things when the mayor can’t be available. And Cathy always does her job with a smile and always gets the job done. You will be missed at Village Hall but I know you will always be around.”

Aparo joked that she is going to miss everyone “and will think about you every Monday night” when the board meets.

But she then turned serious when discussing her years working for the village.

“It has been an honor and it has been a privilege to be your clerk and work with the best people on the face of the Earth,” Aparo said. “It is like a family. It has been an honor to know each and every one of you. Thank you.”

Burke summed up Aparo’s tenure to the agreement of the board and residents who attended the meeting.

“I want to thank you for everything you have done for Evergreen Park,” Burke said. “It is a better place because you have been here.”

Commend police

Police Chief Michael Saunders asked that Officer Stumpf be recognized for two different arrests last month. Both of the arrests involved suspects who had illegal weapons in their possession.

“He was able to get them off the street and got some charges,” Burke said. “So, we are very grateful for his diligence and keeping us safe.”

Burke also mentioned that Officer Duffin and Lt. Guevera also were involved in the second arrest. Felonies are pending in each arrest.

The board unanimously approved an amendment regarding railroad delays that result in calls to the police by residents and frustrated motorists. According to the village, over 400 occurrences of trains stopping and blocking vehicular traffic, and gates remaining down after a train has proceeded through a crossing.

An ordinance amended to increase fines for motor vehicles who park in tow zones was passed. The fine will increase to $65 and will increase each time if the full amount is not paid.

An owner of a residence near 10226 S. Sawyer Ave. who has been mowing and caring for the property adjacent to village-owned land will be allowed to care for the lot but can’t build upon the property, according to a new ordinance.

Free tax return preparation for seniors and disabled adults will be offered at the Office of Citizen Services, 3450 W. 97th St., beginning in February by appointment only. Circuit breaker and property tax free assistance programs are also available

For more information or to make an appointment, call the Office of Citizen Services, 708-422-8776.

Representatives from the Cook County Board of Review will be available to discuss property tax appeals from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, at the Evergreen Park Library, 9400 S. Troy Ave.

Cook County Board of Review representatives will be available to assist in property tax appeals from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29, at Worth Township, 11601 S. Pulaski Road, Alsip.

The annual Flake Fest will take place from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Dan Capuano Ice Rink at Yukich Field, 8900 S. Kedzie Ave. Admission is free and open skate will be offered. Artie Kerr’s “Learn to Skate” Pre-Hockey Clinic will be held at noon.

More information about Flake Fest can be obtained by calling 708-229-3373.

The annual community blood drive will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Evergreen Park Senior Center, 9547 S. Homan Ave. To register, go to www.communityblood.org or call 800-280-4102.

 

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