Village of Burr Ridge sends cease-and-desist letter to Durkin's campaign
The village of Burr Ridge is demanding that House Republican Leader Jim Durkin’s re-election campaign, “Citizens for Durkin,” halt mailing a flier that contains “false and misleading” information about the village’s fiscal health and the competency of its governing officials.
The letter from the village, dated Jan. 9 and also sent to the Illinois Republican Party, is asking for a written statement correcting earlier campaign statements and an apology.
Village board member Albert Paveza told the Chicago Tribune that he expects an apology by or during the next board meeting on Jan. 22, saying if that doesn't happen, legal action might follow.
Burr Ridge Mayor Mickey Straub is challenging Durkin (R-Western Springs) in the Republican primary.
In the political fliers, the Durkin campaign claims Burr Ridge is plagued with unbalanced budgets, hefty property tax hikes and fee increases to bail out Chicago. The cease-and-desist letter, signed by Burr Ridge Administrator J. Douglas Pollock and the village's attorney, Scott F. Uhler, states that the claims are not true.
“We have received numerous complaints and inquiries from Burr Ridge residents regarding this information,” the letter states. “Complaints come from those who know this information is false; inquiries come from those who are led to believe that our Village is not being governed responsibly. Thus, it is clear that your false statements and lies are defaming and damaging to the residents, elected and appointed officials, and staff of the Village of Burr Ridge.”
On the budget front, the Durkin fliers say that Burr Ridge has enacted "four unbalanced budgets" since May 2013.
Village officials wrote the budget consists of 12 separate and distinct funds.
“While these funds will often show a deficit for a single year, such an occurrence does not represent the lack of a balanced budget; rather it simply means the Village has spent money saved in previous years for anticipated expenses,” the letter said.
The Durkin people also claim that the village has "hiked property taxes 1.6 percent" since May 2013.
“Once again, this is false and misleading,” the letter said. “We have always been in full compliance with the tax cap laws imposed by the State of Illinois.”
Finally, Burr Ridge officials wrote that the Durkin claim of raising fees to bail out Chicago – if they are interpreting the allegation correctly -- is “absurd.”