SAUK VILLAGE | Mayor David Hanks announced Tuesday night that he will not seek re-election in April, 2017. This comes as Trustee Derrick Burgess has planned an announcement to declare he is a candidate for Mayor on Saturday 2pm at the Village Café 1699 Sauk Trail, Sauk Village. One thing is certain, in May, 2017, Sauk Village will have a new mayor.
Hanks will become the second mayor in Sauk Village to serve only one term as his predecessor Lewis Towers resigned during his first term with just 6 months remaining on his term in 2012.
Hanks also vowed he would not run for Mayor at that time and endorsed Derrick Burgess only to abruptly "change his mind" going back on his word.
Hanks' administration has been plagued with controversy during his time in office. In 2015, all of the candidates Hanks backed for Village Trustee lost including two incumbents, Jeff Morden and John Poskin. Hanks also received a petition of no confidence signed by 652 residents calling for him to take action or resign from office. The Sauk Village rank and file of the Police Department filed a letter of No Confidence in the Administration of David Hanks. There are currently pending two Federal lawsuits filed against David Hanks by village employees claiming he has retaliated against them and discriminated against them because they are women. To date, Hanks had not addressed the concerns voiced by the resident of Sauk Village.
At the end of Tuesday's Village Board Committee Meeting Hanks read awkwardly from a prepared statement "Tonight, I’m informing the residents of Sauk Village that I will not be seeking re-election as your Mayor and will be retiring from politics at the end of my term in 2017".
Hanks did not state why he decided to not seek re-election but many residents point to the fact that the Village has been under a Federal Investigation following the scandal of James Greigel, the Village Treasurer who is charged criminally by the Federal Government and is awaiting indictment for embezzling money from the Police Pension Fund. The Village also is being investigated for improper use or application of a Federal Grant according to documents filed in Federal Court. "Hanks has been feeling the heat" one long-time resident said.
Hanks called his appointment of Robert Kowalski as one of his best achievements calling Kowalski the "best" chief of police Sauk Village has ever had to chuckles by many longtime residents.
Village Trustee Lynda Washington-House is joined by Rosie Williams-Baig, who have voted in lockstep with David Hanks since taking office, have announced they are running for Mayor. Williams immediately announced she was running on an internet blog. Wiliams-Baig was covered in controvery along with her mother with the Travelgate scandal soliciting money from village vendors to take a so-called personal trip to Washingto DC. Williams-Baig said she too would retire from politics in 2017, but like Hanks she apparently has "changed" her mind too. Washington and Williams seats are up for election and should either lose they will not be back on the Village Board and they cannot run for both Mayor and Trustee. Nomination petitions are currently out as of Tuesday.