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Meet Oak Lawn Mayoral Candidate Tom Karones

Patch logo Patch 2/23/2021 Lorraine Swanson
a man and a dog sitting on a sofa: Thomas "Tom" Karones is running as a write-in candidate for mayor/village president of Oak Lawn. © Tom Karones Campaign Thomas "Tom" Karones is running as a write-in candidate for mayor/village president of Oak Lawn.

OAK LAWN, IL — Thomas “Tom” Karones is running as an official write-in candidate for village president/mayor of Oak Lawn in the 2021 consolidated election. Tom has resided in Oak Lawn for 64 years and is retired. He decided to run for mayor because he didn't want to see his opponent run uncontested.

Name: Thomas Karones

Age (as of election day): 91

Office Sought: Oak Lawn Village President/Mayor

Party Affiliation: Not applicable.

How long have you lived in Oak Lawn?

Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?

No

Education: Bachelor of Science, electrical engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago.

Occupation: Currently retired. In my 59 years of working, I have done engineering, design, sales, marketing, training, management and assembly. I have worked for two government agencies, plus my two years in the Army where I also did work in my field of expertise.

Campaign Website: Thomas Karones for Oak Lawn Village President

Previous or current elected or appointed office: Not applicable.

The single most pressing issue facing Oak Lawn and this is what I intend to do about it.

There are many unanswered questions regarding the various land deals done by the current board that still need answers. I would call for a full investigation into them by an outside council.

What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?

I have no affiliation or obligation to any political organization that could influence my actions on matters pertinent to serving the people of Oak Lawn.

If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency) ?

I feel that a number of the actions of the current officeholder were not done for the betterment of Oak Lawn, but for the betterment of third parties.

Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.

The problems that are ongoing with our police and fire departments should never have occurred. The treatment by the Village of our senior citizens has not been what would be expected of a community such as ours. There are many comments I have heard about bad alleys, excessive flooding and poor responses to complaints about rat problems, all of which need to be addressed. Also, the 911 system should be revisited and returned to the control of the Village rather than contracted out.

What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?

Over the years I have been a Commander of an American Legion Post, which involves holding a number of offices before becoming Commander. I was President 3 times of my church's youth organization before being elected Chairman of the citywide organization. At the same time, I was serving on the church board and co-editor of our church quarterly magazine. Here in Oak Lawn, I was Cubmaster of Pack 3700 of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church for 7 years and also assisted with Troop #3700 activities. This, plus my experience in my work field, where I was responsible for handling technical and organizational problems on a daily basis qualifies me to be able to be the President of the Village Board.

Why should voters trust you?

Throughout my life I have prided myself on one thing. I have always been honest. What you see is what you get. I will have an open door to all the residents of Oak Lawn. I will listen to you and if I find merit in your comments and suggestions I will follow through with them to the best of my ability.

If you win this position, what accomplishment would make your term in office as a success?

Restoring a good relationship with our police and fire department, with a feeling that everyone in the village has a voice in what happens here.

What are your views on fiscal policy, government spending and the handling of taxpayer dollars in the office you are seeking?

I think the finances of the village should undergo a full audit by a NEW outside auditor. This should be done any and every time there is a change in administrations. Just to keep everyone honest!

Do you support Black Lives Matter and what are your thoughts on the demonstrations held since the death of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake?

No I do not. I consider them a terrorist organization the same as the KKK. The demonstrations went from demonstrations to riots and looting. Both are completely unacceptable in modern society, or should be. There is no excuse for such violence, none.

Do you think the current board has done enough to support racial equality, and if not, what specifically should be done to do so?

I am unaware as to what the present board has done to support racial equality. I have neighbors of many backgrounds, and we all get along. The problems I hear about seem to come from outside of Oak Lawn and our police seem to be doing a great job of keeping the peace.

What are your thoughts on the national and local coronavirus response? Do you favor a measure such as limiting operation of non-essential businesses and restricting indoor/outdoor dining? And do you favor a local mask mandate?

Since we have a statewide mandate I see no need for a local one. Regarding the limiting of the operation of so-called non-essential businesses very heavy-handed and misguided. Why can major chains stay open and small local stores be forced to close? I grew up in a neighborhood grocery store in Chicago and I feel for all these small business owners. I feel Gov. Pritzker has acceded his authority and has done great damage to the small businesses here in Illinois.

What are your thoughts on the state and local coronavirus vaccine distribution, and how do you think local governments should work together to handle vaccine rollout?

I'm 91 years old, and I'm still waiting to get an appointment. Vaccines need to be made more readily available to those who want/need it the most.

Is there any reason you would not serve your full term of office, other than those of health or family?

None, and by the grace of God I would serve my full term.

The best advice ever shared to me was:

Be honest, and be fair. Words from my Greek-born father and echoed by my Austrian-born mother. They have always been my idols.

What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?

As I have said before, what you see is what you get, plus 91 years of having lived through the Great Depression, World War II, Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam, Gulf Wars, 9/11, and all the wars and conflicts since. I am basically a Conservative, which comes from having lived through so much. I believe in equal opportunity to apply in all directions. My greatest goal here is to make Oak Lawn as wonderful as we all believe it can be!!

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