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.