Monthly Archives: March 2021


2021 local general election endorsements

I am voting for these candidates/referendums in the local 2021 April 6 general election

Norridge Village board – Tom Benigno (Norridge Village President), write in Anna Mitera and Adam Chudzik (Norridge Village Trustee), write in C Aleksandra Siemaszko (Norridge Village Clerk)

Vote!

District 80 board of education – write in Christopher Monson (4 year term), Maria Lala (4 year term), Orenzo Berardi (2 year term)

Norwood Park Township – Anthony Beckman (Township Supervisor), Michael Lupo (Highway Commissioner), George Ballis (Township Clerk), Constadinos “Gus” Rapatas, Paul Malicki, Mandy Lushniak, and Kevin Hanley (Township Trustee), NONE (Township Assessor)

Norridge Park District tax increase referendum – NO

3 non binding referendums – left blank

Adam Chudzik, Norridge


Norridge homeowner harassed, arrested for replacing own fence

Village official in police report claimed another party owned fence without proof

Most people try to keep government at arm’s length at the best of times.

They deal with government when they have to… but they don’t want to invite a monkey on their back that may not easily leave.

For one Norridge resident, government became a King Kong sized monkey on his back, that absolutely refused to get off.

It all started with one man’s desire to replace an old chain link fence, with a taller wood fence. Let’s call him “Homeowner A”.

The existing fence was on the easement between his property, and that of his neighbors. The old fence was the property of Homeowner A.

The homeowner followed proper Village procedure to apply for the permit, paid the Village’s (exorbitant) $200 fee, and received the permit.

Village Engineer Gaseor falsely claimed alternative ownership of the victim’s fence

At one point, one of his neighbors filed a complaint over the fence with the Village, claiming Homeowner A “stole” the existing fence.

The second homeowner is a landlord and his property is rented out. We’ll call him “Homeowner B”.

One big problem with the complaint: Homeowner B didn’t actually own the fence in question…. Homeowner A did.

The dispute finally ended up in the Village zoning court over an alleged code violation concerning the new fence.

Homeowner A provided proof of ownership of the old fence, addressed the issues over the alleged code violation, and the zoning court ruled in his favor.

Done and case closed, right?

That’s when the situation escalated – Homeowner A was arrested by the Norridge PD 30 seconds later, and criminally charged for theft of the fence.

Arrested for “stealing” own fence?

Let me repeat that: a Norridge resident was arrested and charged for taking down his own fence… an activity he even had a permit for.

How and why on this green earth, could this happen? Who gave the order to arrest Homeowner A and why?

Why did the Village (including the police officers involved with the case) not require Homeowner B to provide proof of ownership before making an arrest?

Per the police report, Norridge’s building commissioner Brian Gaseor claimed Homeowner B was the owner of the fence.

But if Gaseor didn’t have proof of ownership… how could Gaseor’s statement be anything other than a lie?

Homeowner A is a hard working, law-abiding resident of our Village, who may not have the greatest command of the English language. Is that grounds for arrest?

Homeowner A has been greatly harmed in several ways: he is stuck with a boatload of attorney fees and bond costs; the condition of his bonded release forbids him from traveling out of state.

This issue has significantly impacted his ability to earn a living.

When will Norridge’s current appointed mayor Daniel Tannhauser take responsibility, or conduct a investigation over this disgraceful incident?

This isn’t the first abuse of power issue I have heard perpetrated by the Norridge Improvement Party administration. However, as of this writing, it’s got to be one of, if not the worst.

All I know is… if this sort of thing can happen to Homeowner A… it can happen to Homeowner… You.

Adam Chudzik, Norridge


Tannhauser gave himself pension just one month after appointment

Daniel Tannhauser submitted for municipal employee pension shortly after he was appointed Village President

Candidates often have a plan to accomplish certain tasks within their “first 100 days” of taking office.

Daniel Tannhauser submitted for a pension shortly after taking office

It could be something like building a dog park, cancelling an unpopular public works project, or ensuring passage of a law they support.

For Daniel Tannhauser, it was getting a taxpayer funded pension for himself.

Tannhauser was not elected to the position of Village President. He was appointed on July 2 2019, following the resignation of incumbent James Chmura.

Amongst the items included in the August 28 2019 regular board meeting, was a Resolution “relating to participation by elected officials in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund” for the office of Village President.

The date the pension “became qualified” was July 1 2019, the day before Tannhauser’s appointment, according to the resolution.

Norridge Improvement Party trustees Kucharski, Gregorio, Gelsomino and Larson, dutifully rubber-stamped the pension without discussion.

The IMRF, like all statewide pensions, is a “defined benefit” pension – that is, it provides a set pension benefit amount based on criteria such as number of years of service and salary history.

This formula has proven unsustainable as it grants benefits regardless of the fund’s ability to pay.

Defined benefit pensions do not adjust benefit amounts, for example, for failure to reach return on investment goals.

However, unlike other pensions in Illinois, this one is paid for by local dollars.

That means Tannhauser’s benefits will be borne by local taxpayers. In other words, us.

The Norridge Improvement Party sent a 3-page mailer over the weekend lavishing praise on how great Tannhauser is and will be for Norridge.

In a section titled “mayor comparison”, where Tannhauser contrasted his “grade” with that of his opponent, Tom Benigno, he claimed “none” under a column labeled “Taxpayer Pensions Secured”.

Based on the 2019 resolution above, this claim is false.

It would appear the “none” more aptly describes Daniel Tannhauser’s credibility on this issue.


Paper Clip Court-one rule for me, another for thee

Norridge Improvement Party did not seem to follow same “binding” rules they accuse others of violating

The Norridge Improvement Party (NIP)’s objection against the three trustee petitions and term limits seems to have had alot of discussion in Norridge.

Binder clips

Even beyond Norridge – it found its way into a Chicago Tribune editorial, and the widely circulated Sunday edition on Feb 14th.

The article gets to the heart of the matter: how ridiculous it is to be arguing over paper clips for 9 hours.

It actuality, it was over 12 hours in total for the 3 trustee cases, plus another 9 hours for the referendum.

That makes 21 hours in Paper Clip Court… a “court” where the judges’ party paid for the objector’s attorney. A kangaroo court if there ever was one.

But there may be more than a little bit of hypocrisy over the objection: the NIP paperwork Tannhauser, Avino, Ronstadt, Budnik and Krasinski submitted show no signs of the type of binding they accused the independents of not having.

Specifically, there were no circles at the top of the petitions where such binding would be.

Typically, holes punched in paper show up as dark circles when scanned or copied.

Indeed, those holes are in evidence for Danny Donnelly’s paperwork, and even the NIP paperwork from 2019. There’s no evidence on the 2021 NIP petitions.

Why then, are their documents valid, while those of the independents, and the term limits referendum, are not?

Different standards for incumbents?

One rule for me, another for thee? Do as I say, not as a I do?

If submitting the petitions this way is good enough for the “Improvement Party” – then it should be good enough for independent candidates.

The “Norridge” Improvement Party’s township petitions went a step further – the “Township Improvement Party” (TIP) petitions do not appear to have been even notarized.

Without notarization, the TIP petition circulators could not have legally proven their identity.

A message received from Norwood Park Township Supervisor candidate Tom Lupo claims the petitions were in fact notarized, however, there was no evidence of this on the copy of the petitions received though the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

By these standards, both the “Norridge” and “Township” Improvement Party candidates should be off the ballot.

But they’re not. Why?

Because the system, and the “court” that is supposed to oversee them – is only interested in protecting incumbents.

Because incumbents… will keep doing business as usual. Exactly what they want.

Who still believes in “equal justice under law”, anyway?

This article has been edited to add a comment from Norwood Park Township Supervisor candidate Tom Lupo disputing his slate’s petitions lacking notarization.