The Village Board, at its regular meeting on Monday, July 12th, voted to award a contract for the completion of the annual roadway maintenance program to the project low bidder, Fiala Paving Company. This will enable the work to be completed later this summer, pending resolution of the current labor union strike. A motion to adopt the resolution awarding the contract to Fiala was carried by a 4 to 3 vote, with Village President Robert Napoli casting the final tie-breaking vote.
The contract award was previously considered by the Village Board on April 12th. However, prior to any Board action, both the Village Attorney and Village President advised the Board that they were professionally involved in an unrelated matter pertaining to property believed to be owned by James D. Fiala. Village Attorney William Hennessy stated, “I do not believe the relationship constitutes a conflict of interest, but nonetheless, I want to divulge all information to this Board.” After discussion, the Board decided to defer the vote and requested additional information from staff. Although the item was discussed during several subsequent meetings, uncertainty persisted among the several Board members on whether a conflict did indeed exist.
On June 24th, the Village Ethics Officer was sent a report and asked to make a determination. On July 2nd, after full review of the matter, the Ethics Officer rendered the determination that since James D. Fiala no longer holds any personal interest in the paving company it would not be a violation of the Willowbrook Code of Ethics if President Napoli were to participate in any official function, duty, or vote regarding the matter.
President Napoli, after casting the final vote, stated again that, “I cannot approve of a Board action that needlessly expends over $17,000 of public funds at a time when the Village is struggling financially to provide services to the community.”
The $191,689 project will further the Village’s annual roadway maintenance program by re-paving 1.9 miles of streets within the Village’s northwest quadrant. Once IDOT approves the construction contract, the project should commence in early August and should be completed within three weeks time, weather permitting.