Two departing Island Lake trustees had become political foes of the mayor

  • Mark Beeson

    Mark Beeson

  • John Burke

    John Burke

 
 
Updated 5/3/2019 2:42 PM

Next week's Island Lake village board meeting will be the last for two trustees who were frequent foes of Mayor Charles Amrich and his allies.

Board members Mark Beeson and John Burke are stepping down effective Thursday. Neither ran for election in April.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"You kind of get a little burned out with some of the stuff that goes on," Burke said.

Beeson said he "could use some time off for myself and my family."

Beeson described Burke as "a partner" on the board and said accomplishing goals was easier because they worked together.

Burke and Beeson will be replaced Thursday night by Richard W. McLaughlin Jr. and Chris Carlsen, who were elected to 4-year terms in April.

Trustee Will Ziegler, who had been appointed to the board earlier this year, also was elected to a 4-year term.

Thursday's meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. at village hall, 3720 Greenleaf Ave.

Beeson initially was a political chum of Amrich's, running as part of the mayor's victorious slate in 2013. He quit in 2017 after one term but was appointed to fill a vacancy later that year.

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Burke was appointed to the board in 2014 and won election to a full term in 2015.

Over time, Beeson and Burke frequently found themselves at odds with Amrich and others at village hall -- especially last year.

Beeson and Burke were among the trustees who objected to Amrich and then-Police Chief Anthony Sciarrone giving an exclusive towing contract to a politically connected company without informing the board.

"I didn't like that at all," said Burke, who preferred the three-company rotation that previously had been in place.

Beeson and Burke also wanted to fire the village's information technology specialist in a cost-savings move, but they didn't have enough support on the board.

Last September, Beeson and Burke took then-Trustee Sandy Doehler's side when Amrich and three trustees voted to publicly reprimand Doehler for her behavior during the village's Independence Day parade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

At that same meeting, Beeson and Burke voted to hire an attorney to investigate allegations of harassment within the police department. Both subsequently voted to fire Sciarrone as a result of the investigation, and he was ousted.

Burke said he's proud of the work he and Beeson did to build up public events in town, especially an outdoor concert series and the annual Lakefest bash. This year's Lakefest has been canceled, though.

Beeson called the expansion of community events an accomplishment, too. He also is proud of the board's effort to tighten the budget during his first term, which allowed officials to spend money on needed street repairs and other projects. The village has been struggling to generate enough revenue this past fiscal year, however.

Amrich couldn't be reached for comment Friday about Beeson's and Burke's pending departures from the board.

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