Letter to the Editor: Video gambling isn’t something residents want

One has to wonder what the mayor of Niles is afraid of.

He has a board of trustees that is almost always in agreement with him. He has put a number of committees in place and filled them with his personal appointees. He has dissolved or decimated a number of long standing committees and has removed or discouraged some long

serving well-qualified residents who dared to take a position different from his own on village issues.

And yet, in spite of this tight web of control the mayor has, he found it necessary to slip in a very controversial agenda item (video gambling) under Old Business at the May Board meeting without any chance for public comment. Only when he was challenged did he at the last minute allow anyone present at the meeting to comment. The trouble is, only a handful of residents knew that video gambling was to be voted on.

There was no notice in any newspaper nor any statement at any village board meeting about any upcoming video gambling discussion. In fact, at the March budget hearings a statement was made that the village wasn’t rushing into or even considering having video gambling as part of the proposed budget.

In 2011, the board of trustees voted “no” to video gambling. In 2014, the mayor formed a task force to study the issue but due to strong public opposition, he never called for a vote. When Niles residents were surveyed they listed video gambling as one of the top five things they did not want in Niles.

The voters believed the mayor when he promised them that he was going to be open and transparent with them. If he were pursuing something of a volatile nature that could have long lasting effects on the village of Niles (video gambling?) surely he would give us the chance to be heard in a publicized forum before a vote was taken.

That’s open government. That’s transparency. That’s respect for the electorate. That’s not Mayor Przybylo. 

Rosemary Palicki

Former Niles Village trustee

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