SAUK VILLAGE | For a municipal government that spent the bulk of the past four years engaged in political infighting, Tuesday was a welcome relief.
The transition to a new village government chosen in the April 9 election was peaceful and celebratory, with Village Hall packed with more than 100 family and friends of government officials to see their loved ones take oaths of office for terms running in most cases through 2017.
Even those people who are now former officials chose to leave on a high note, offering reconciliation rather than harsh words.
Offering his blessing to Village President David Hanks and the new Village Board, now-former Trustee Enoch Benson IV said, “The last four years have been a learning experience for me, and I feel blessed to have been able to serve in such a capacity.” Benson gave up his trustee post for an unsuccessful bid against Hanks and two others for village president.
Village Attorney Burt Odelson administered oaths of office on Tuesday to Hanks, Village Clerk Debbie Williams, incumbent Trustees Rosie Williams and Ed Myers, along with newly elected Trustees Lynda Washington and Jeffrey Morden.
All were chosen in the April 9 election to four-year terms, with the exception of Morden — who was chosen to serve for two years.
Hanks pointed out among the crowd former Sauk Village President Edward Paesel, who now serves as executive director of the East Hazel Crest-based South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association.
“There is history in this room,” Hanks said.
Village Trustee Derrick Burgess, who also ran unsuccessfully for village president, is still on the board. He said he plans to remain a presence within Sauk Village to ensure that officials work to better the economic development of the suburb.
“I will work with the (village president) in whatever way he sees fit,” Burgess said. “I have a rapport with a lot of businesses”