The video above is the continuation of the now infamous September 22 meeting of the Village of Oak Brook, Illinois Citizens Finance Advisory Committee. It is the part where the discussion of a firefighter’s death in a neighboring jurisdiction is discussed. More on that in a moment.
As we first told you on Saturday, a member of this same group, Constantine Xinos, earlier in the meeting called for the firing of one Oak Brook firefighter each month until there are pension and staffing concessions. Xinos said, “Firemen, like cops, are street people. They only understand civilized force. That’s what they understand. You fire ‘em.” (That audio is in Part 1 at the bottom.)
Xinos said he did not regret his statements.
“I regret nothing,” said Xinos. “You have to get people’s attention.”
It’s working. Just ask 17-year Oak Brook fire veteran and local union president George Grodek.
“We’ve dedicated our lives to the village of Oak Brook,” said Grodek. “To hear someone say because they don’t want to pay a property tax they’d like to ruin my livelihood and family’s wellbeing is just shocking.”
“I think what you heard at that meeting was frustration with a union contract that doesn’t give us a lot of flexibility,” said Oak Brook Village Manager Dave Niemeyer.
This is the same Connie Xinos who also had a public battle with an 11-year-old girl over library funding. I guess Xinos won that skirmish, because he brought the girls friend to tears. He later told the Daily Herald:
“I wanted that kid to lose sleep that night,” a grinning Xinos says Wednesday, as he invites me for a nearly two-hour interview in his Mercedes-Benz in the gated Oak Brook community where he lives. “This is the real world and the lesson, you folks who brought your kids here, is if you want something, pay for it.”
Shortly after the fire department discussion at the September 22 meeting the recent death of Hinsdale, Illinois Deputy Fire Chief Mark Johnson was brought up. This rapidly evolved into laughter as the group discussed the mortality of one of the committee members.
Mike Ward at Firegeezer has been working hard and doing some digging on this issue. Mike found the letter from Associated Firefighters of Illinois President Pat Devaney to Village of Oak Brook President John Craig. Devaney and others identify Craig as also being at the meeting. Here’s an excerpt from the letter: