BURR RIDGE - Republican House leader Jim Durkin is being challenged in the GOP primary by Burr Ridge Mayor Mickey Straub. Durkin's campaign literature attacking Straub has set off a firestorm as members of the Burr Ridge Village Board consider suing Durkin - their state representative.
Durkin's mailing suggests Straub oversaw tax hikes and poor fiscal decisions as mayor.
Straub is defending his village's reputation.
"As Mayor of Burr Ridge, I’m appalled one of our elected officials would make false claims against our well-governed village. What won’t Durkin do to get elected?"
Rather than acting with integrity and transparency, in the 20 years he’s been in office Durkin has only acted with his self-interest in mind, Straub said in a statement. Under Durkin's tenure, the state has raised income taxes, property taxes have skyrocketed, and Durkin passed controversial bonding legislation to the financial benefit of his law firm and the fiscal detriment of local taxpayers.
Burr Ridge board members are not happy with Durkin's claims.
Board member Zachary Mottl pointed out in a Tribune story that the village is collecting more in taxes but not because of rising property tax rates.
"Any increase Burr Ridge has collected is due to land we annexed and new houses, not because of an increase in property taxes," Mottl said. "We grew our village. We added new land. We added new homes. And anyone who says otherwise, they're outright lying."
Aaron DeGroot, an Illinois Republican Party spokesman, told the Chicago Tribune residents of Burr Ridge and the 82nd District have a right to know the facts about Straub's leadership.
"That is what campaigns are about," DeGroot wrote in an email to the Tribune. "Mickey Straub should not be using his taxpayer-funded Village Administrator and his taxpayer-funded Village attorney to fight his political battles — that needs to be on his dime.
“Village boards across the state, including members of the Burr Ridge Village Board, work hard in the best interests of their communities, unlike career politicians like Jim Durkin who are more concerned with winning elections than truly serving the families and taxpayers who need them," Straub said.
Board member Albert Paveza said he expects an apology by or during the next board meeting on Jan. 22, and if that doesn't happen, legal action might.