Palos Township swears in new board
The Palos Township board swore in new members on Monday May 17, 2021, in a move to turn away from controversy and the ineffective and disruptive protestors who stymied much of the board’s efforts to support the community.
The newly sworn-in officials included:
- Colleen Grant Schumann, Supervisor / Chairman – Policy and Personnel
- Brent Woods, Trustee & Supervisor Pro-Tem / Chairman – Finance and Administration
- Tasneem Abuzir, Trustee / Chairman – Public Services and Health
- Pamela Jeanes, Trustee / Chairman – Buildings and Grounds
- Richard C. Riley, Trustee / Chairman – Technology, Information and Automation
- Robert E. Maloney, Assessor
- Gene Adams, Highway Commissioner
- Jane Nolan, Clerk
Community leaders praised the board for their diligence to not allow the protestors to distract them from their public service duties and with the election over have a great opportunity to refocus the community on the many great services that the Township provides to its residents, regardless of race, religion or national origin.
The meeting Monday began without the screamers and protestors who tried but failed to undermine the Palos Township board and to block the Township board from conducting business. Tasneem Abuzir ran with the backing of the organization while protestors instead endorsed another challenger who embarrassingly came in last place in the recent April elections.
The new board has a mandate representing not only the mainstream population but the vast majority of Arab Americans and Muslims who rejected the extremists protests and wild rhetoric that many felt embarrassed the Arab and Muslim community.
Many of the protestors who had targeted Sharon Brannigan, who did not seek re-election as a trustee, were not at the meeting Monday signaling that the Board may now have a mandate to move forward without the obstructionism of the protestors. Brannigan filed to run for Township Assessor against Robert Maloney, who is the Township Democratic Committeeman who had the backing both of Republicans and Democrats in the Township. But Brannigan still out performed in her vote over the candidate slated by the hate-driven protestors.
Schumann first swore in Nolan who then swore in everyone else one at a time during the board ceremony including Abuzir, the first Arab and Muslim member of the Township Board of Trustees. The four re-elected and newly elected trustees, Brent Woods, Tasneem Abuzir, Pamela Jeanes, Richard C. Riley, were sworn in together by Clerk Nolan.
The audience congratulated the new board as did many who logged in on the Zoom virtual recording that was operating for members of the public who did not attend the board meeting. Friends and family members of Abuzir, who were in the audience, presented her with flowers to express their support.
Political columnist and SuburbanChicagoland.com Managing Editor Ray Hanania praised the board members and said that for the first time in four years, the board will be able to focus on the needs of the community rather than on the disruptive and negative rhetoric and confrontation of the protestors, most of whom came to Palos Township from Chicago.
“The Board has a wide array of talent, a diversity that ensures that everyone in the Township will have full representation,” said Hanania, who writes each week for The Regional News Newspaper.
“The Township offers important services to the needy, to seniors and to young people. Without an effective Township the needy in Palos Township would not be able to make ends meet. The board members are all diligent, smart and conscious of their roles to be public servants. Tasneem Abuzir joining the board is a slap in the face of extremism and negativism which blocks public service and she reinforces the board’s commitment to public service.”
The Palos Township website is: www.palostownship.org.
The Palos Township offices are located at 10802 S. Roberts Rd. Palos Hills, IL 60465.