Perhaps Melissa Moran’s strongest qualification as a potential member of the Oak Lawn Village Board is her experience dealing with first-grade behavior.
The St. Germaine first-grade teacher made it official last week by announcing her candidacy for village in the upcoming April 2013 election,
In a press release, Heilmann said Moran would be an asset to the village and that her integrity is beyond reproach.
“People are very concerned about the fighting,” her running mate, the mayor said. “I believe that Melissa is a very bright individual. She is teaching children and focusing on the values you want your children to be raised with here in Oak Lawn.”
The daughter-in-law of former Oak Lawn fire chief, Tom Moran, Melissa and husband, Marty, are the parents of 13-year-old twin boys and a daughter, 9.
“I grew up in Chicago, but I’ve been with my high school sweetheart since we were 15,” she said. “He was an Oak Lawn resident. That being the case I spent as much time in Oak Lawn as Chicago.”
This is Moran’s first time running for public office.
“It was a time consuming process to decide if it was the right decision for my family,” she said. “For years my husband and I have been unhappy with the things happening in Oak Lawn. We support the mayor. Things weren’t moving with the vision that he had. It was the perfect opportunity to help move the mayor’s vision along.”
Moran said with the village clerk being the only full time position on the village board, it was important for the mayor and village clerk to work as a team.
“They’re not working together,” Moran said of Quinlan. “They’re on opposite ends. She’s not supporting the mayor. For me, I believe that in order for the Village of Oak Lawn to be at its best, the mayor and the clerk need to work together.”
Moran said residents need to be able to count on the village clerk to relay their messages to the mayor or trustee.
The Queen of Peace High School grad holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in secondary and elementary education from Saint Xavier University. Moran currently teaches first grade at St. Germaine School.
“They are like little sponges. They have so much desire to learn anything you present to them that they want to learn more,” Moran said of her pupils. “They’re a wonderful audience to share what I know. They’re thrilled to be in school.”
Moran is actively involved with her parish as well as volunteering her time for a number of community activities. She’s been an assistant coach for Oak Lawn Girls’ Softball, a special recreation program volunteer, teacher mentor, a past Green Team member, and volunteered at Alvernia Manor Nursing Home.
Development and public safety top her list of concerns, as does the mayor’s.
“Especially now with the recent activity in Oak Lawn,” Moran said. “I want to remain in Oak Lawn with my family. We purposely moved to Oak Lawn and I want my children to be able to come back to the community.
“It’s necessary for these changes to happen if that’s going to the case,” she added.
Heilmann said that residents needed to receive a “positive response” when coming to the clerk’s office.
“You need one vision to put forward and work together,” the mayor said. “Not working against and excluding the mayor from secret meetings, and filing lawsuits against the mayor.”
Heilmann was referring to two informational forums held by Quinlan and four village trustees two years ago when it was discovered that signatures on a petition to change the village manager form of government had been forged. Not all of the trustees nor the mayor were invited to those forums.
Quinlan was also part of a lawsuit against the mayor to recoup remaining campaign funds from the former Unity Party war chest, the slate Quinlan ran on with Heilmann in 2005 and 2009. That lawsuit got tossed over the summer.
“Those are the things that pull you away from the bigger issues for the good of residents,” the mayor said.
Contact Melissa Moran at email@example.com for more information about her campaign.