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Alderman's Lack of Residency in Ward Causes Rumblings Among Residents

Ald. Dan Ensing currently doesn't live in his ward—and some residents aren't happy. Fellow aldermen and Mayor Hank Kuspa addressed the issue at a Nov. 13 meeting.

An alderman's change of address has some residents in a tizzy, prompting Oak Forest City Council members to take a closer look. 

Ald. Dan Ensing (5th Ward) was forced to relocate to a different home outside of the ward and Oak Forest, after the termination of his apartment lease. The move caused several unnamed residents to question whether Ensing currently meets the city's residency requirement to serve as an alderman.

“I've been hearing rumblings about this information for over a year,” said Ald. Chuck Toland (4th Ward).

Toland added that he had previously spoken to Mayor Hank Kuspa twice about the issue and that both times the mayor told him that Ensing did still meet the city's requirements.

During the city council's Tuesday, Nov. 13 meeting the council addressed the issue and determined, with the help of the city's legal council, that though Ensing does currently live outside of the city, he still meets the residency requirement.

“My understanding is, that after reading the packet that this is perfectly legal, for an alderman to move out of town, out of his ward or even out of the town,” said Ald. Rich Simon.

The council agreed that the lease termination was unexpected—according to documents, the lease was terminated due to the sale of his building to a new owner, who chose not to extend the lease—and that since it is Ensing's intent to find new housing in the ward, that he still met the requirement.

“As long as his intent is to come back,” Simon said. “What I'm saying is, that should put any grumblings to rest.”

Ensing said the matter is moot because he and his wife are currently looking for a new home in the ward, and already have a timetable for their return.

“My wife and I are looking at selling her townhome after the first of the year,” Ensing said. “After the holidays, we're looking for a house to rent temporarily in my ward, or buy a permanent house. … We're hoping to do it by the beginning of the summer.

"We've set a one-year timeline.”

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Ken Barry November 14, 2012 at 01:38 PM
That was Chuck Toland not Mark Keating
Lauren Traut (Editor) November 14, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Thanks, Ken. I've updated the story.
chuck toland November 14, 2012 at 03:42 PM
And it was Rich Simon not Alderman Muscarella.
Lauren Traut (Editor) November 14, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Thanks, Chuck. Also updated. Our apologies.
Just the Facts November 15, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Ruth, Ruth, Ruth. Where are you to comment on this story like all the others? Funny when it is your family.
Roberto valadez November 15, 2012 at 02:59 PM
HAHAHAHA you are soooo right.
OF Resident November 15, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Wow, Gordon is running for Mayor again????? He's got my vote! He did a hell of a better job then the last two morons that were elected! Let me guess, you were a Kelly supporter?
OF Resident November 15, 2012 at 07:18 PM
It’s real easy to make comments and talk shit about people when you use a false identity! One thing I can say about Ruth, at least she doesn't have a problem signing her name to any of her posts. You people should take some lessons from her!!! Oh, and for the record, my name is Colleen.
Ruth Ensing November 15, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Thanks Colleen. The legal position is what the city has to support; not the person and I think that is what they have done. This nonsense is why so many positions do not have opposition in elections. Why would someone but themselves and their family out there? There probably isn't a single anonymous blogger that even attends a council meeting much less run for office. If you want to come after me, go ahead. At least after 37 years of living nothing surprises me anymore.
Michael M. November 16, 2012 at 02:04 PM
I attend the meetings and most know who I am. I did miss this meeting though due to work obligations. My question is where does he live and how long has he been living outside of the ward? Is residency governed by state law or by city law?
Roberto valadez November 16, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Hmmmm 37 years of living?? Kinda young?
Christina Long November 17, 2012 at 04:20 PM
OF Resident, actually I was a Kelly supporter, I was never a Gordon supporter. Morons? this is how you address people who you aren't supportive of. What has drawn my attention to this election is that there has been very little, if any controversy with Mayor Kuspa and the Alderman, No Stealing, No Lying, No Cheating, No Puppeteers, in the papers, websites or out on the streets, as the past has shown, you always can't make everyone happy, that would be impossible, but what I have taken into great consideration is the support Mayor Kuspa has from the Alderman, a long with their supporters "The Community" It takes a Village and I have watched our community grow because of the bonding that's tied everyone together these past four years, I have watch how the majority of the council and supporters are hard working, giving families who put forth a great deal of effort to help each other. I honestly feel that Mayor Kuspa and Council members have shown Oak Forest that a happy medium is possible, this shows me that there is much more growth for Oak Forest's future.
Michael M. November 18, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Christina, you left out how they love to spend your money. For example, they love to give your tax dollars to private businesses so that the business can buy a new sign, or paint their building, or have landscaping installed. Aren't you glad that "happy medium" allows you to pay for corporate welfare?
Michael M. November 18, 2012 at 09:07 PM
I am still curious as to what city Ald. Ensing is living in and how long he has been living outside the city and ward. Who regulates the residency rule, the state or city?
Christina Long November 19, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Michael M, I have no problem with my tax dollars going toward the betterment of private businesses in our community, this show me that our government is looking out for the local businesses in our town, I would rather see these improvements then have our tax dollars go toward some wasteful entity. Now if our government were giving our tax dollars to the big businesses such as CVS, Walgreens, Food for Less, etc, that would be a different story, but helping out our local businesses, is perfectly fine with me along with many others...
OF Resident November 19, 2012 at 02:36 PM
You are absolutely correct, there has been NO nothing from Mayor Kuspa!!!
Christina Long November 19, 2012 at 02:55 PM
OF Resident, Please elaborate on what, if any good Patrick Gordon did to better our community during his term. Why would he want to subject himself and his family to the same scrutiny he was faced with in 2005. I can't see how he could even get enough signatures to file, not to mention all the baggage he has. It's been almost eight years sense he lost the election, to much time has past. If Gordon does try to file, I think he would only be doing it because he couldn't bare the thought of Mayor Kuspa running unopposed, this also goes for any other past Mayor's who might want to try to challenge Mayor Kuspa, this could only mean one thing, that Mayor Kuspa must be doing something right, if the only opponents to file are past Mayors, I consider this the same as Mayor Kuspa running unopposed.
Michael M. November 19, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Well Christina, your tax dollars do and will go to Walgreens, CVS, Food for Less and any other business in Oak Forest. All businesses in OF are eligible. They give our tax dollars to the private business, then they turn around and raise our water rates, add another tax on us to pay for the shortfall that they have; maybe we wouldn't have to add the tax or raise water rates if they didn't waste our money. If you have no problem with your money being used for private business, then write them a check from your personal account, don't ask the rest of us to pay. I am serious about that, go to any business in OF and give them a check, I bet you won't do it. I have my own business, I pay for my own improvements, why should I have to pay for another business?
Christina Long November 21, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Michael, you may be correct in saying that All businesses in Oak Forest my be eligible, but that doesn't necessarily mean the corporate businesses will apply for these breaks, more then likely not. Maybe if more people supported our local businesses, they wouldn't have to apply for these breaks. I no longer have kids in our school districts, but I'm not complaining about the LARGE Portion of my taxes going to their education. I'm thankful for the water bill that I have to pay, this means I have plumbing. We're living high on the hog compared to others who have NOTHING. I would love to be able to write them a check, but now I don't have to because it comes right out of my taxes. I understand what you are saying, my thought is to stay on the positive side of life. Just because life doesn't seem just or fair doesn't give us a free pass to complain about it. As I have always said to my kids, life is not always fair, but you have to find a way to deal with it the best way you know how and continue to move forward and most of all be grateful and cherish what you have (our health, our family, our freedom, our privileges, not what we think is owed to us, I feel very blesses because it could all be taken from us in a split second.
Michael M. November 21, 2012 at 03:28 AM
It is being taken from you. Your money is taken from you and distributed to business. You do not have the choice to decide for yourself. These are not tax breaks that I am talking about; this is actual money, a check written from the city to the business, up to $10,000.00 for signs, or painting or whatever they need basically. Your tax money is for services that benefit the community, fire, police, schools and roads, etc. When the money is diverted to private businesses, that means they have to raise your taxes to cover the difference. How much do you want to pay in taxes? How much is too much to pay for water? Do you know why they raised the water bill? It was because citizens did not use as much water as they had budgeted, thus creating a deficit in the water dept budget. Now let's think about that; they force us to conserve water, odd and even watering, and if you violate that you have to pay a fine. Then when we do follow the ordinance, and it creates less water used, they decide to raise our rates. So they make the dumb rule, we follow it, and we pay for it; we are always paying for our politicians mistakes. If you want to pay more then just write them a check, but I prefer to keep the money I earned. I was raised to either accept the way things are, or try to change them, and I am trying.
Michael M. November 21, 2012 at 03:31 AM
What do you mean by corporate business? Almost all businesses are corporations, it doesn't matter the size. I have my own business, I have no employees, but I am still a corporation. Do not confuse corporation with the size of the business or the amount of employees or money they have. Almost every business in OF has taken advantage of the Facade Improvement program.
Christina Long November 21, 2012 at 05:51 AM
We obviously have two completely different views, so I see no piont going back and forth with you, just to prove my point and visa versa. This Thanksgiving I'm thankful for all the little things we take for granted. I really don't have to give my opinion, most of the time our opinions aren't needed or wanted. We only have authority over our own finances, we don't have to give our opinions regarding how others manage theirs, we offen complain, while judging about how we think others waste their money, but we are often being wasteful in areas that we are blinded to by our pride. Have a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Michael M. November 22, 2012 at 06:43 AM
Christina- The city is not managing THEIR MONEY, THEY ARE MANAGING & SPENDING OUR MONEY, you have the right to complain and you should complain. if you do not watch what your government is doing, then you are complicate in their failure.
NANCY GRACE November 25, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Glad to see sidewalks are finally coming along, now for some evergreen trees and light posts on the north end of Central...
Tony Fiorenzo January 24, 2013 at 04:04 PM
How about that $400,000 stone sign they agreed to have built by the train station and then tore down not long after. RIDICULOUS!!!
OF Resident January 24, 2013 at 04:20 PM
You can blame that on good old Joanne Kelly! She only tore that down because it was put up by the Gordon administration. And just think, now she is going to be handling all the cities money come April. This town is screwed!!!
Tony Fiorenzo January 24, 2013 at 04:31 PM
As far back as I remember this town has been run by unscrupulous morons. The park district embezzled all that money many moons ago. The former fire chief was stealing equipment and had to resign. On top of it, these politicians disgust me, acting as if they are above the fray. Give me a break. Karma's a bitch. They are what's wrong. They are the problem.

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