Monday, October 31, 2011

Cicero dedicates new Public Works building

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Cicero dedicates new Public Works building

Cicero – Town President Larry Dominick and the Town of Cicero board Thursday dedicated the new 30,000 sq. ft. Public Works Building at 1620 S. Laramie Ave.

The new building allows the Town of Cicero to consolidate all of its Public Works services through one location and offers employees more room to work and repair vehicles. The new building provides an easy-to-access, single location for Cicero residents to bring their concerns and requests for assistance. In the past, Public Works services were spread throughout the Town at more than five locations.

Dominick told the Public Works employees at the gathering that the new building will not only save money but insure that town services are provided more efficiently.

“I started working in the Town of Cicero at Public Works on January 2, 1970. I was fortunate to become the Public Works supervisor in 1976,” Dominick told the employees who gathered at the new building for the dedication.

“We had the worst trucks. I remember the first truck I had, the steering was bad. Everything was a stick shift. We had only one sweeper for the entire town and that sweeper would do the entire Town and it would take forever.”

Dominick noted that the Town today has four sweepers that clean the streets every week.

“The public wants us to clean the streets and now we can do it and keep them clean,” Dominick said.

Dominick said that the Town eliminated towing, in response to public concerns and he cautioned that he continues to monitor employees who are on the street working.

“I drive throughout the town to make sure everyone is doing their job. The public wants the streets and alleys clean. As some of you have found out, if I catch anyone not doing their job, I will send you home. That’s what the taxpayers expect. … Keep up the good work and be proud of your new building. We want to bring in a new attitude for our employees to be proud and to do your job for the people who pay us.”

Joining Dominick at the dedication was Richard Fahey, the union representative for Local 150, coordinated of town properties Craig Pesek and Public Works director Sam Jelic.

“By centralizing our operations and making the department more efficient, we will be increasing our services to the public,” Fahey said.

“The mechanics will have more room in their bays to keep the machinery working . The new Public Works building will provide lockers and showers and more for the employees, none of which was available in the past. The facility gives the town the opportunity to expand and better public works services to residents. It’s something to be proud of.”

Jelic told his employees that he is proud of the work they have done and the support the department has received from President Dominick.

“This is all a part of President Dominick’s vision for the Town of Cicero. Soon, we will be building an aquatic center with funds we expect to get from the State. This entire area is improving and growing with Unity School, this new Public Works building and the aquatic center we do hope will be announced soon,” Pesek said.

The new Public Works building is a part of a complex of three buildings located at 1620-34 S. Laramie Ave. Currently, the two other buildings house an assortment of other town services including the town’s Animal Shelter, a CSO station, Community Development, Grant Department and the Cicero Housing Authority.

The old public works building, located at 4920 W. 26th Street, and the adjacent former Town Hall building are expected to be sold in order to create a transit-orientated development that will operate in conjunction with the existing Metra Station located on the south side of 26th Street.

# # #

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

President Dominick praised for his continued safety of the Latinos in Cicero A new plan initiates to improve safety in Latino communities, through a $1.3 million federal grant

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President Dominick praised for his continued safety of the Latinos in Cicero
A new plan initiates to improve safety in Latino communities, through a $1.3 million federal grant

In the picture: Senator Martin Sandoval (D) (left) has given his strong support to Cicero’s President Larry Dominick (center) for his efforts in increasing security, the fight against gangs and crime in the Latino communities of Cicero. Accompanying the officials is Superintendent of Police Bernard Harrison (right), and officers of the Cicero Police Force.

Cicero, Illinois – Senator Martin Sandoval (D), has given his strong support to Cicero’s President Larry Dominick in his effort to increase security in the Latino neighborhoods,    for continuing the fight to prevent crime and gangs in Cicero.

“Once again I am proud to know that President Dominick continues with his priority to protect the safety of the Latino community who live in Cicero," said Senator Sandoval.

Given the continuing commitment of President Dominick, Cicero managed to obtain a federal grant of $1.3 million dollars to hire four (4) additional police officers for the next three years.

"Since being elected, I promised to fight the gangs with more intensity than previous administrations," said President Dominick. "I think we are succeeding and the federal government recognizes we are winning the war on gangs."

"Through our efforts in the past 6 years, we have significantly reduced gang activity and the number of criminal groups operating in Cicero," said President Dominick. "We also reduced the number of homicides at the hands of armed gangs." The statistics recorded one single homicide of this kind since early last year.

"The hiring of new police officers is a result of these federal funds, which will further facilitate our fight," said President Dominick, who before being elected in 2005, had a career as a police officer in Cicero.

Of the 2,712 grant applications received by the Federal Government, only 3 were awarded in Illinois: the Town of Cicero, the University of Illinois, and the City of Rockford.

In the case of Cicero, the federal grant amount is $1,355,252.00, which will cover the salaries and benefits of 4 police officers over the next three years.

For his efforts and many successes in the fight against gangs, the Town of Cicero was invited to the International Conference on Public Safety which takes place in Segovia, Spain, from the 19th to the 22nd of October, 2011. Cicero is proudly represented by Ismael Vargas and Deputy Police Superintendent Jerry Chlada.

"One of the key strategies has been linked with the private sector and with nonprofit agencies, in order for them to help us. It is the first time these non-profit community agencies have been invited to work with our town in the fight against gang violence. This is something new, it has never been done. It has helped in countless ways," said Chlada.

Meanwhile Vargas said, "We are very proud and honored to share our experiences, at a world conference in which all participants will try to learn the best methods to fight these street gangs."


Monday, October 17, 2011

Town of Cicero eNewsletter Oct. 17, 2011

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Town of Cicero E-Newsetter
Monday, October 17, 2011
On Thursday, October 13th, Cicero Police officers charged Eddie Ramos, 22,
in the June 6, 2010 murder of 15 year old Miguel Villalba. Miguel Villalba was 
a Cicero teenager who had worked with CeaseFire, a group that works closely 
with the Town of Cicero and the Cicero Police Department to confront 
street gang violence.

On Thursday, October 13th, Cicero Town Assessor Emilio "Emo" Cundari 
was joined by Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Dan Patlak for 
a presentation for Cicero residents seeking to appeal their 2011 property
 tax assessments.

Town President Larry Dominick Tuesday announced that the Town of Cicero 
as won a $1.36 million federal grant to pay for the hiring of four additional
police officers for three years.

Dominick told the Town Board that the new hires will help the Town 

increase its fight to eliminate street gangs.
On Wednesday, October 12th, a record crowd of hundreds of Cicero's senior
residents joined Cicero Town President Larry Dominick at the Cicero
Community Center for his annual Oktoberfest Dinner and Dance. Cicero's 
seniors were treated to a exceptional evening of dancing, excellent food, 
music and entertainment, raffles and much, much more.



Cicero Town News - October 2011
10/1/2011 1:00:00 AM

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cicero officials detail charges against Eddie Ramos in murder of 15 year old Miguel Villalba at press conference Friday 10-14-11

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Comments from Cicero Police Supt. Bernard Harrison statement:

The Cicero Police officers yesterday charged Eddie Ramos, 22, of 3407 N. Kenneth Street in Chicago in the June 6, 2010 murder of 15 year old Miguel Villalba.
The killing took place in Cicero at 1500 S. 50th Avenue at around 8:50 in the evening in the aftermath of a fight involving two groups of girls.

Miguel Villalba was a Cicero teenager who had worked with CeaseFire, a group that works closely with the Town of Cicero and the Cicero Police Department to confront street gang violence.

Many young teenagers in the West suburbs are constantly being harassed and pushed by street gang members. It’s part of our environment and we are working hard to change that. Miguel had been part of the JIP program and we had hopes for his success.

The Villalba killing is a tragedy and our grief goes out to the family but we hope the arrest and what we believe will be the conviction of the suspect for this murder brings some form of consolation to the family members.

No family should have to go through this and we, the Town President and the Cicero Police Department are working hard to prevent this from happening in the future.

This was the only gang related homicide in the Town of Cicero in the past 16 months. We’re hoping to keep it that way with strong programs. But we need the involvement of parents. They need to be aware of what their children are doing all of the time to prevent them from becoming involved with street gangs. President Larry Dominick has given me the mandate to impose a Zero Tolerance for street gangs in this community.

We will do everything we can to prevent these tragedies from reoccurring and we will not rest until we apprehend and incarcerate any suspects who are involved in such activity.

# # #

Comments from Town Assessor Emo Cundari, On behalf of Town President Larry Dominick:

One of our priorities is the safety of our citizens and we will not shy away from confronting and defeating street gang activity in our town. I am proud that our Police have been very professional and effective in defending the safety of our citizens against these street gang thugs. We have a zero tolerance for street gang activity in the Town of Cicero.
This was the only gang related killing in Cicero in the past 16 months … there were 16 killings in 2004, the year before Larry Dominick, a former Cicero Police officer, became the Town President. The number of killings have fallen steadily since.

The police promised the family they would continue to work on this case and it’s to the credit of the detectives that this case was solved.. It’s no consolation to the family which lost a young child like this and we all grieve with them. Hopefully his death and the solution of this case will help prevent killings from occurring in the future. The community needs to stand up and speak out against street gangs. The Town of Cicero will help anyone who finds themselves in this kind of a circumstance. We want to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.


Miguel Vallalba was a graduate of the JIP (Juvenile Intervention Program) and worked with the Cicero Police and CeaseFire to fight gangs. We had high hopes for him and we are saddened to see this happen. Our condolences go to his parents and family, mother Monica and father Juan Villalba of Cicero.

Ramos was arrested on Tuesday night. He went to bond court in Maywood this morning and the bond was denied. His next court date is Oct. 18 at Maywood.

Police Supt Bernard Harrison

Cicero Town Assessor Emo Cundari

Detectives involved in investigating and solving the case were
cited during the press conference for their dedication and their work.

# # #

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cicero wins $1.36 million grant to hire four more police officers

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  Ray Hanania
Oct. 11, 2011                          
                                                                             708-656-3600 x 855

Cicero wins $1.36 million grant to hire four more police officers

Cicero – Town President Larry Dominick Tuesday announced that the Town of Cicero has won a $1.36 million federal grant to pay for the hiring of four additional police officers for three years.

Dominick told the Town Board that the new hires will help the Town increase its fight to eliminate street gangs.

“When I was elected to office, I made a promise to fight the street gangs and do more than what was done by previous administrations. I think we are doing that and the Federal Government recognizes that we are winning the war against street gangs,” Dominick said.

“Through our efforts during the past six years, we have significantly reduced street gang activities. We have reduced the number of street gangs operating in the Town of Cicero. And, we have reduced the number of gun-related killings by street gangs.”

Dominick said that last year, the Town had one street gang related murder and this year, there has been none.

“The additional police we can now hire as a result of this grant will strengthen our ability to fight street gangs,” said Dominick who was also a career Cicero police officer before being elected Town President in 2005.

The Federal Government received 2,712 applications for the grant money, Dominick said. Only three agencies were selected in Illinois. The awards went to Cicero, the University of Illinois and the City of Rockford.

“What is says is that the government recognizes the hard work we are pursuing to fight street gangs and believes investing in our community will have an impact and bring results to strengthen safety,” Dominick said.

The grant amount is $1,355,252 and will cover the salary and benefits for four police officers over the course of three years.

In a related story, the Town announced that it has been invited to detail Cicero’s successes in fighting street gangs by the International Congress on Public Safety which convenes in Segovia and Madrid Spain Oct. 19 – 22, 2011

Cicero will be represented by Ismael Vargas and by Deputy Police Chief Jerry Chlada.

“Ever since President Dominick was first elected in 2005, he has made a public commitment to fight street gangs,” said Town Collector Fran ReitZ.

“One of the keys is to engage the private sector and non-profits to help us. That’s the first time non-profits have been invited to work with the Town to fight street gang violence. It’s never been done. But it has help tremendously.”

Vargas told the Town Board that he and Chlada will detail the efforts Cicero has made to combat street gang activities.

“We’re very proud by this honor and to tell our story to a conference of people from around the world seeking to learn about best ways to fight street gangs,’ Vargas said.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cicero launches business committee

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Cicero launches business committee

The Town of Cicero launched the Cicero Business Association representing more than 100 of the town’s local community retail and business establishments.

The CBA, which is being organized by former Cook County Commissioner Mario Moreno who will serve as chairman, held its first meeting in September to meet and greet new members at an informal lunch at the Town of Cicero.

Town President Larry Dominick welcomed the businesses and said that the purpose of the new CBA is to strengthen the role of local businesses in the Town and explore ways to support their needs.

 “We want your input. We want your views. We want to make the Town of Cicero as supportive of business as possible,” Dominick said.

“I know you need support and that is what we want to provide, helping you.”

Dominick told the gathering that the Town of Cicero wants their feedback on how the Town can be more helpful. He said that the Town has a particular concern with businesses that violate laws regarding the sale of alcohol.

“I have only one concern and that is with the liquor establishments. If they sell liquor to young people, we will crack down on them. When a business sells alcohol to a minor they are not only violating the law but creating a circumstance in which a young person might cause an accident or the loss of their own life,” Dominick said.

“But for the most part, our businesses follow the law, work hard and provide a foundation for the Town’s strong economic situation. The Town of Cicero is better off than most other municipalities in today’s economy but we want to do as much as we can to help you succeed even more.”

Dominick said that the Town will only be successful if the businesses in the Town are successful.

“This effort is going to be a real service to you and we appreciate all of you coming here today,” Dominick said.

Moreno said that the committee would announce details of upcoming meetings and together would work with retailers and businesses to develop programs and events to strengthen the business climate in the Town of Cicero.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Svengoolie writes about the amazing response at the Houby Daya Parade

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Svengoolie writes about the amazing response at the Houby Daya Parade

Our favorite Berwyn celebrity Svengoolie (Rich Koz) wrote a nice piece on his web site about the Houby Day parade and his participation as our phenomenal Grand Marshal.

Here it is:

The Houby parade Sunday, as I said, was also amazing- a picture-perfect day, a HUGE turnout- and, once again- the support of the people of Cicero and Berwyn (yes, Berwyn!) for yours truly was almost overwhelming! We finally got to meet Ray Hanania, former Sun Times reporter and now spokesman for the Town of Cicero, as well as town president Larry Dominick- and got interviewed by Lisa Aprati, to whom I confessed I always enjoyed her interviews with some of the top names in wrestling when she worked for Comcast. I may not have had a championship belt- but I did have a lovely sash to wear, proclaiming me “grand marshal” of the parade. My arm got a real workout, as I threw approximately 200 rubber chickens to the crowds along the parade route! I couldn’t believe how crazy the crowd was to get those chickens! Somehow, I managed to adjust my rate of launching perfectly, as we ran out of chickens right as we arrived at the end of the parade! It did get warmer than I expected it’d be, with the bright sun- and we narrowly avoided a ”beard mishap” or two, thanks to a couple quick stops for some spirit gum re-application…
After the parade, we spent some time meeting people, signing their chickens, and taking pictures- it’s always kind of funny to see how some people still haven’t gotten the hang of using their cameras or cell phone cameras!(Believe me- I’m just as lost on how to operate many current technological marvels!) We also got to meet the current mayor of Berwyn- Robert J. Lovero- a very nice guy, who actually seems to like me (unlike the previous mayor, who was pretty much the ONLY Berwyn mayor who wasn’t a fan…) and- got to chat the  guys from the band  American English- a Beatles tribute band that really does a phenomenal job! If you ever get the chance to see and hear them, you’ll be amazed at how well they capture the sound of the Beatles. I got to say hello to the crowd from the stage, and thank them for all their support for all these years.

Here is the link to Svengoolie's web site. Click here. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Property Tax Seminars in Cicero Township for Taxpayers

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Property Tax Seminars in Cicero Township for Taxpayers

Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Dan Patlak is announcing a seminar that will be offered to taxpayers seeking to appeal their 2011 property tax assessments.

This seminar will be hosted by Cicero Township Assessor Emilio “Emo” Cundari and will educate taxpayers on how to file and present evidence for a successful appeal.

“Property taxes are high enough already without having to pay extra because of an inaccurate assessment,” Patlak said. “Our office is here to assist property owners who are over assessed.  The seminars are designed to clarify the assessment appeal process.  Taxpayers who make a convincing case for assessment reduction will receive the tax relief to which they are entitled”.

The seminar includes a presentation by Commissioner Patlak outlining the overall appeal process, followed by an opportunity for taxpayers to work with staff from Commissioner Patlak’s office to address their specific questions. Representatives from the Cicero Township Assessor’s Office will also be present. The seminar is free to the public and there is no fee to appeal at the Board of Review. Taxpayers are asked to bring a copy of their most recent tax bill.

Taxpayers in the township of Cicero may appeal from Friday, September 23, 2011 until Monday, October 24, 2011.

The seminar will be held at the time and location shown below:
Thursday, October 13, 2011
The “New Cicero” Community Center
2250 S. 49th Avenue
Cicero, IL 60804
6:00 PM
Appeal forms also may be picked up at the Cicero Township Assessor's Office at 4949 W. Cermak Road or at the Maywood Courthouse located at 1500 Maybrook Drive. Taxpayers may also file an appeal online by visiting our website at

The Cook County Board of Review is a quasi-judicial agency responsible for adjudicating assessment appeals for all property in Cook County.  Last year the Board reviewed more than 380,000 appeals. Commissioner Dan Patlak represents the 1st District of the Cook County Board of Review, which encompasses 90% of Suburban Cook County and the 19th and 41st Wards of Chicago. 

For a map please consult the Board of Review District Map.

Please contact Commissioner Patlak’s office at (312) 603-3644 or Cicero Township at (708) 656-3600 x 224 with any questions.

For more information, please visit

Sun-Times finally publishes response to their misleading stories on the "hot dogs" but edits out most important facts

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The Chicago Sun-Times FINALLY published the Town of Cicero's response to their scurrilous accusations -- it's not really reporting that they are doing but rather political activism to help the critics of Town President Larry Dominick.

The letter to the editor appears in today's Sun-Times. (Click here to read it.)

Of course, they published the same day they published another really ridiculous slam against the Town of Cicero, dredging up old claims by foes of the Town that were published in a local political tabloid handout sheet.

But although the letter was tough, they left out the most important part of the letter, because it exposes their failure to get their facts right.

Here is the link to the full letter that was sent: (Click here to read it.)

And here is the paragraph they edited significantly leaving out facts that challengedtheir misleading story on the purchase of "hot dogs" for the opening in 2008 of the Community Park that the Sun-Times didn't bother to cover.

Instead, over the past six months, the Chicago Sun-Times has filed two dozen FOIA requests and published a dozen derogatory stories including one that falsely claims the town spent $26,000 for hotdogs when in fact the money was spent on an assortment of sandwiches, chips, pop, cookies and treats to feed 6,000 Cicero residents at a four-day festival celebrating the opening of an important new community park that the Sun-Times was invited to cover but chose to ignore. And it has published equally false columns by Carol Marin whose aversion to Cicero is notorious.
The people of the Town of Cicero see the amazing positive changes but they also see the deterioration of the Chicago Sun-Times from a professional newspaper into a politically motivated campaign tabloid with a maliciously one-sided election agenda.