More debate on the Village of Mount Prospect’s term renewals
For the second time in a few weeks, Mount Prospect elected officials debated the reappointment of individuals on various committees.
In November, village administrators Peggy Pissarreck and Teri Gens criticized Mayor Paul Hoefert for not appointing an African-American woman who applied for the finance committee, but instead chose William Grossi, a Caucasian man who already held the post of village administrator.
During the village board meeting on December 7, where the trustees were introduced with the reappointment of Don Olsen to the Planning and Zoning Commission, and Robert and Patricia Usnik to the Sister Cities Commission, Gens challenged Olsen’s reappointment and advocated for more women in the village roles with more diversity.
âIn today’s globalized world everything is changing at a very rapid rate and women qualified to participate only increase the economic strength of the village because of the different perspectives and skills they bring,â Gens said. .
Gens said the village government, whether elected officials or appointed leaders or staff, should reflect the residents it represents.
“How long do excluded residents have to keep knocking on the door to be allowed in for a chance to serve and participate?” ” she asked.
Administrator John Matuszak said he appreciated his comments, but noted that when people apply for village commissions and committees, race, sexual orientation and gender status are not asked, adding that asking would be illegal.
“I understand what she is saying, but we have to be careful when we take these roads,” he said.
“I have made it clear that I will not deny people who already sit competently and honorably on our committees,” Hoefert said. âWhether it’s a man, a woman, a black or a white, it doesn’t matter. If I serve and serve well, I’m not going to not propose them for a new term for that reason alone. It’s discriminatory. â
Hoefert added that Olsen and the Usniks served honorably and competently and that is why he advanced their appointments to the village council.
“When there are open positions, I am more in favor of finding diverse candidates, but also capable candidates,” added Hoefert.
In the end, the village council approved the renewals, but Gens was against Olsen’s reappointment.
Gens also voted against Grossi’s nomination in November along with compatriot Pissarreck.
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