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Ombudsman Part two of two 02/2013

  As we wrote last week, we agree with political candidate Patricia Ryerson Kelly on an important point: namely, “Our residents deserve better. We deserve a real newspaper.”

  Quite so, and the newspaper that has shown Ryerson Kelly great love, along with her friends, is worth “reexamining,” to borrow the term the anonymous Ryerson Kelly Internet fans are fond of using to entitle their counterfactual rants.

  When Trustee Greg Martin sanctimoniously waived the previous Sunday’s Daily Herald in the air upon launching the coordinated attack on Mike Kelly on Tuesday, November 15 (the meeting was recorded), he was also waiving the byline of reporter Jessica Cilella who, along with her fellow staffers, hammered Kelly day after day. When readers reacted negatively to the bizarrely disproportionate, relentless, and widespread coverage of Kelly’s late (but paid in full) property tax payments, the Daily Herald’s editor, John Lampinen, actually felt obliged to comment with an opinion editorial. He offered irrelevant praise of Cilella, writing that he was “indeed proud of Cilella.” Lampinen went on to claim that “Cilella is a caring, conscientious and dedicated young reporter, the kind of fundamentally good person any employer would want to have on the staff.”

  Well, not this employer. Not this staff.

  Be sure, we discuss this particular subject with great discomfort, as we find it generally distasteful to comment on the workings of another publication. But, there appear to be two very different versions of political reality in Bartlett right now, and that makes it fair to question everyone’s motives, not just The Examiner’s.

  Ms. Cilella—in addition to her extensive trivia writing on when, exactly, Mike Kelly paid his property taxes—has written several stories casting Ryerson Kelly in a very positive light since Airdo appointed her to the village board last April. Though this does not, by itself, prove rank political bias and political motivation, it cannot be considered by itself. Not when her Facebook friends include Ted Lonis and Austin Hopkins.

  Lonis, it must be remembered is Ryerson Kelly’s other opponent for Bartlett’s village presidency (the other being Kevin Wallace). As we wrote in January, Lonis’s position as Democrat Party Committeeman in Wayne Township and Ryerson Kelly’s political connection to Chicago Alderman Danny Solis (friend of Richie Daley, Rahm Emmanuel, and Mike Madigan), raised the question of a calculated vote-splitting effort to ensure Ryerson Kelly’s victory.

  Perhaps things are more innocent than they look, but what about Austin Hopkins’s relationship with Cilella? Hopkins has not only his record of opposing Mike Kelly, he also is a paid consultant to Ryerson Kelly’s current campaign. Ryerson Kelly’s D-2 Quarterly Report filed with Illinois State Board of Elections shows that Ryerson Kelly twice paid Hopkins $400 in the last quarter of 2012, alone.

  And that’s not all. Ryerson Kelly may also owe Hopkins more money since her last payment in mid-December. Bartlett village records show that Hopkins filed a request with the village on December 28, digging for political dirt on Ryerson Kelly’s true opponent, Kevin Wallace. Hopkins asked for Wallace’s “home business occupation permit,” probably hoping to find that Wallace ignores village permitting requirements like Hopkins’s other friend, Greg Martin. Among Hopkins’s other concerns seems to be whether or not Wallace paid his “water and sewer” bills on time every month since moving into Bartlett 20 years ago. Hey, it worked on Mike Kelly.

  In the end, it is for you, our reader, to assess the veracity and motives of this publication, as well as those of its detractors and their associates.

  The Examiner is published in Bartlett. It is written and edited by serious professionals who live in Bartlett. Our publisher, editors, and reporters pay taxes here, raise their families here, and have a vested interest in discovering what is good and bad for the village. Contrary to the complaints of the Ryerson Kellys, Hansons, and anonymous bloggers of the world, we are dedicated to serving the best interests of Bartlett. Our loyalty is to the community—not to political cronies or power-seeking friends and family.


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