False Niles Rumors Stir Campaign Politics

Trustees don't intend to oust department heads, and false rumors create an 'us against them' attitude for purely political reasons. This is a bright group of independent-thinking trustees.

The following Letter to the Editor contains the opinions of the author alone; Patch merely provides a forum for readers to express their views. 

When I first read George Alpogianis’ letters to the editor criticizing Louella Preston, the village trustees and myself, I was amused at the precision with which he echoed Mayor Callero’s unsubstantiated rants regarding the village trustees attempting to usurp his authority, a sinister plot to oust village department heads, and not getting in line and supporting everything the mayor wants to do (or not do). I then wondered who wrote this script for George and pondered if I should respond.

Once I recovered from my amusement at George’s copycat rant of the mayor, I felt it necessary to put George’s comments in perspective with a few observations of my own. While my comments are not meant to be a point-by-point refutation of George’s comments, a few of the major points are addressed below.

First, as a former village trustee (not “retired” as he calls himself) who was forced to resign his office because as a convicted felon he was not legally qualified to hold office, he has a lot of gall accusing the trustees in general and Louella Preston and myself in particular, of trying to “backdoor what is a state law.” When it was disclosed during his own campaign for trustee that he was a convicted felon and therefore ineligible under Illinois state law to hold elected office, he (and his mentor Mayor Callero) arrogantly continued to campaign for the office, and be sworn in as a trustee. It took the threat of a lawsuit by the Cook County States Attorney to throw him out of office to get him to follow state law and resign. His past actions show that he is a stout proponent of following state law only when it suits his purpose.

Second, no village trustee has ever mentioned or discussed the “ousting of department heads,” nor do we intend to do so. These false rumors were generated by Mayor Callero, and now perpetuated by Mr. Alpogianis in a transparent attempt to foment an “us against them” atmosphere within the management of the village for purely political reasons, and to distract everyone from doing their jobs for the residents of Niles. All of this commotion promoting these false rumors is nothing more than the commencement of Round 1 of the next election and have no basis in fact.

Finally, it’s nice to know that George is the self-appointed spokesperson for the “vast majority of citizens in our community and those of surrounding communities." Apparently Mr. Alpogianis and all others for whom he purportedly speaks want the legally elected village trustees to just be lemmings with nodding heads following all of the wishes of Mayor Callero. Apparently we are not allowed to have opinions of our own unless they agree with the mayor.

These are not the “good old days” in Niles any more. We have a great group of trustees who all work hard, are bright and independent thinkers and are dedicated to making Niles a great place to live and raise a family. George, stick to what you do best, running a very good restaurant with great service, and stop being used as a stalking horse by others with their own hidden agenda.

Jim Hynes is a Village of Niles trustee. 

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Pat Craig May 14, 2012 at 12:16 PM
I do not know Mr. Hynes. Neither am I a resident of Niles. I do, however know Mr. Alpogianis, and Mr. Hynes' political smear and character assassination on George, for Hynes' own political purposes tells me more than I want to know about Niles'. As far as George Alpogianis is concerned, there are many in this area who would testify to his generosity, desire to give back to his community and overall humanity. Although George needs no defending from the attack of a petty and wounded politician, I am sure his many friends and admirers will be quick to do so.
aj May 14, 2012 at 01:03 PM
I think this fresh independent thinking Board of Trustees has been a long time coming and the "good 'ol Boys" are having a hard time relinqushing all that control. It's nice to see various contingents of the village represented and not just the politically connected or seniors citizens. George did push an agenda to circumvent the law for his own benefit and it was wrong, but it was a great teaching moment for my teenagers to see how risky behaviors can haunt you for life and how loudly your actions can speak. Here's a novel concept, Put the politics to bed and run the village with the best interests of all its residents at the forefront. Be the example the rest look up to rather than laugh at.
Pat Craig May 14, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Do you also teach your teenagers about accepting responsibility for your errors? How about redemption, is that part of their education? Is it possible that an error made by another caused a questionable conviction not to be expunged? How loudly do Mr. Alpogians' actions of giving back to the local community speak? Does it matter that he supports many worthy causes? Does it speak to your heart that he honors fallen warriors and their families? Has Mr. Hynes led a blameless life? Have you? I certainly have not. Judge not, lest ye be judged.
Pat Tackett May 23, 2012 at 09:39 PM
I do not think anyone denied or criticized Mr. Alpogianis' generosity or desire to give back to a community. I do believe that it was a measured response to the insulting rant in his letter to the Editor. So yes, in keeping with your final comment, judge lest ye be judged. Even free speech under first amendment does not protect you from a reaction appropriate to your action - and Mr. Alpogianis' letter was insulting to the Trustees. I do not know Mr. Alpogianis but I have sat through the Board meetings when the contentious issues occured. Emotions were high, for sure. But as you stated your are not a resident of Niles. Perhaps where you do live the governing body gives blind allegiance to the Mayor. But we tried that in Niles once, and it resulted in a criminal indictment of that mayor. Preston and Hynes and several others are providing checks and balances long needed in our village goverment. For their efforts, Mr. Alpogianis likened them to a circus. That is his right but the mayor is also in that circus and yet Mr. Alpogianis made no mention of that!
Pat Tackett May 23, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Totaly AGREE! I view most of this group of Trustees as a good counterpoint to the Mayor's point. Now if they could just leave the dirty laundry in the Board Room. . . I do however think that most if not all of them have the best interest of the residents in mind. They are the ones dealing with the mess left over from the last regime. But to your point - put politics and whose the boss of who aside and get 'er done!


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