SAUK VILLAGE | The people picketing Monday outside the Sauk Village Municipal Center weren't on strike. Rather, they were hoping to strike down a looming re-election bid by Village President Lewis Towers.
A group of 10 local residents affiliated with the People Looking for Answers Now group gathered Monday outside the municipal center, 21831 S. Torrence Ave., where they picketed to make it known they don’t want Towers to get another term as head of Sauk Village municipal government.
Those residents, many who regularly attend Village Board meetings and are among Towers’ most vocal critics, said their goal at this point is not so much to support any other candidate for village president.
They just want Towers out.
“We’re here to let it be known how (Towers) has harmed the village,” said PLAN group President Judy Cast. “Many of us have lived our lives here, and everything we worked for is being lost.”
While there is no official stance yet, she said many PLAN group members are likely to support the village president candidacy of current trustee Derrick Burgess, who narrowly lost to Towers in 2009. Although Cast said she personally is pleased that Trustee Enoch Benson IV — who has been Towers’ only ally on the Village Board — is also running for village president.
“We’re glad he’s running, because maybe it means we can get rid of both of them,” said Cast. She said her group has held events with senior citizens in recent days to get them on board with their campaign against Towers, who officially declared his re-election intentions on Saturday.
Towers said at that time he thinks the opposition he has received since being elected has interfered with his attempts to improve the village.
“What’s stopped me is the cheap political fights and strife of the small-minded politicians,” Towers said. “They have chosen to play trivial politics, instead of rolling up their sleeves and building a working consensus to tackle big problems.”
Towers said he will be running on a slate called the Citizens Empowerment Party, which will consist of himself, Dishawn King for village clerk, and Francine Anderson, Tariq El-Amin and Bernice Brewer Houston for trustee.
Both Burgess and Benson have previously announced their own slates of candidates for the April 9 election. Now, those slates are working to gather signatures on nominating petitions to put themselves on the ballot.
Those petitions must be filed with the village clerk’s office between Dec. 17-24, although Clerk Debbie Williams said Monday that her office likely will only be open from 3-5 p.m. on Dec. 24.
“As long as they’re present by 5 p.m., petitions will be accepted,” she said.