Happy New Year! To Hazel Crest residents, friends and family. I must say, 2017 was an outstanding year for the Village of Hazel Crest and Chicago Southland.

In 2017, I was re-elected as Mayor of the Village of Hazel Crest along with a Board of Trustees which brought on a new Village Clerk, Isaac Wiseman, Village Trustee Java Rogers, Village Trustee Marlon Rias and incumbent Village Trustee Kevin Moore. I would like to again thank the citizens of Hazel Crest for supporting and trusting the Village Board and me, to continue the work of moving our community forward.

In 2017, we held two “Peace with a Purpose” Forums; the first was hosted at Victory Apostolic Church in Matteson, IL and the second one hosted at Governors State University in University Park, IL.

As the Chairman and Founder of PWAP, I am humbled to work with members of the Southland Regional Mayoral Black Caucus, Southland Ministerial Alliance, the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association and the President of Governors State University. Together we were able to engage the Southland and bring residents, federal, state, county and local elected officials, first responders and community organizations to a roundtable discussion. Topics of economics, education, and safety issues were discussed along with causes and solutions.

As you review this issue of Now You Know, we have highlighted many of the activities, accomplishments, and outstanding events of 2017. The annual Hazelnut Festival was extended to three days and the famous, Chicken Wing Cook-off was added to the event. We received grants from Metra, Comcast and Com Ed, we added programs for our youth, seniors, families and our veterans.

2017 was awesome and we continued the tradition of being Hazel Crest Proud! Thank all of you for your support that has enabled us to move Hazel Crest forward.

Finally, I would like to make a special mention of the passing of my friend and political mentor, Rich Township Committeeman, MWDR Commissioner, Olympia Fields Library Commissioner, the God Father of the Southland, Tim Bradford.

Tim, I will miss your smile, your jokes and most of all your advice. You carried a lot of weight on your shoulders, that many people did not know because of how effortless you made it look and the way you did things. Your style made others around you stronger.

Thank you Tim for being my friend! Peace.

Vernard L. Alsberry Jr.
Hazel Crest Mayor