Complicated process for a simple construction

This past June, Gloria and I decided to replace the fence in our backyard. We live on a corner so the fence runs along the public sidewalk. The old fence meandered a bit and was built long before the sidewalks were replaced in the1980s.

A new land survey indicated the public sidewalk was on our property by as much as 3 inches. I took detailed pictures of the surveyor’s marks and sidewalk, plus a copy of the survey and sent them to former building director Michael Boyle requesting to cut the sidewalk to make way for a new fence. For some unknown reason, he personally came out to my house and did all his own measurements only to come up with the same results. This was Visit One.

Mr. Boyle told me the sidewalk “situation” had to be addressed before he would issue any permits, so Gloria and I went down to his office to work out the details. Being fussy about craftsmanship, I offered, at my expense, to have a contractor I trusted cut the sidewalk. Conceding that the sidewalk was on our property and pleased we would pay for it, Boyle now told us we had to get permission from Martin Tellalian, commissioner of Public Property, to make the cut. When I talked to Commissioner Tellalian, he gave the go-ahead but questioned why this was even a big issue. Going back to the building department I was told to get the permit in my own name since I was building the fence myself. Done.

Visit Two: Once we cleared away the old fence, we had the sidewalk cut. Our guy did a perfect job. Early the next morning, Building Inspector Jeff Rinker shows up at our door to tell us we were in violation of our permit. I promptly called director Boyle, who told me I was in violation because I did not specifically name the concrete cutter on my permit and that I would be in violation until I came in to the building department, pay another $25 and have the cutter’s name added to the permit. I did.

Visit Three: This one expected. As required by code, the holes for the new fence posts had to be 42 inches deep. Mr. Rinker returned, measured the holes and gave the go-ahead.

A week or so after we poured the cement for the new posts, I get a call from Boyle. He asks me if I ever got permission to cut the sidewalk from Commissioner Tellalian. I told him Tellalian called me with the approval. Boyle said the approval would not be official until he got something in writing from the commissioner. I e-mailed Tellalian and he took care of it.

Whew! All this for a simple fence. I sure am glad I was not building an addition. I can only imagine what Gaetano’s must have gone through.

Steve Backman
Forest Park

In memory of Mike

The 5th Annual Michael Luisi Memorial Golf Outing was held Sept. 17 and was again a big success. The weather was perfect and a good time was had by all while celebrating Mike’s life. This event would not be possible without the support of sponsors and I’d like to thank the following businesses and individuals who sponsored this year’s event:

Downers Grove FOP, Currie Motors Chevrolet, Mohr Oil, Naperville FOP, Thiesse Plumbing, Schiller Park FOP, Military & Police Supply, Captains Cove Restaurant, Berwyn FOP, River Forest FOP, Trackside Liquors, village of Forest Park, Shortstop Lounge, Healy’s Westside, Aurora Police Sergeants Association, West Suburban Chiefs of Police, Greenless Filter, Aurora Association of Professional Police Officers, Riveredge Hospital, Waldheim Hospital, Chapple Construction, McDowell Truck Parts, Carol Stream FOP, In Loving Memory of Bill Smith, Forest Park National Bank, Mahoney Express, Duffy’s Tavern, Consolidated Auto, Oak Park FOP, Zimmerman-Harnett Funeral Home, Highland Park Police Benevolent, Grill Investigations, Local Ironworkers Union #1, Rush Oak Park Hospital, Security Partners International, Forest Park Fire Department, Famous Liquors, Melrose Park FOP, American Courier Service, Select-A-Fee Realty, David M. Preiwisch, The Beer Bistro, Wessels Construction, Ferrara Pan Candy, Wal-Mart, P.J. McNamara, Doc Ryan’s, Burke Beverage, Starship Subs, Louie’s Grill, Kmart, Flavour Cooking School, Dan McCollum, Spotless Carwash, Shortstop Lounge, Blue Max Coffee and Premier Car Wash.

Tom Hall
President, Forest Park FOP