Monday, August 11, 2014

Mayor Getty Brings the Kelly Miller Circus Back to Lyons

Mayor Getty Brings the Kelly Miller Circus Back to Lyons

Kelly Miller Circus
Kelly Miller Circus
The Kelly Miller Circus is set to return to Lyons for two days of performances scheduled for Tuesday, September 2nd and Wednesday, September 3rd at Smith Park.
Famously known as “America’s One Ring Wonder,” the Kelly Miller Circus is one of the few remaining traveling circuses in the United States. Established in 1938, the circus will celebrate their 76th year of performances.
Mayor Getty, who worked diligently to bring the circus to Lyons for the first time in 2012, said he wants to ensure that the Kelly Miller Circus returns to Lyons every two years.
“The Circus is a memorable event which brings families and our community together,” said Mayor Getty. “I believe it is important that we continue to establish these traditions in our town.”
According to circus organizers, they recently decided to add the second day due to the high volume of first day ticket sales.
The Village of Lyons plans to sponsor the event and allocate all ticket proceeds towards the Parks and Recreation department.
Circus goers can look forward to seeing performances such as, The Sensational Trapeze Artist, Death-Defying Performers on a 40 foot High Wire, Balancing Acts, Fire Eaters, Hilarious Clowns, Jugglers, Tiger Tamers, Elephants, Llamas and more.
Kelly Miller Circus
Kelly Miller Circus
The Circus will perform at William G. Smith Park directly in front of the Village Hall on Lawndale Avenue. Each day two performances will be scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. rain or shine.
Advance tickets are $10 for adults (ages 12 and over), and $6 for kids (ages 2-11). Tickets are being sold at the front counter at the Lyons Village Hall.
Same day tickets can be purchased at the Circus for $15 (adults) and $7 (kids).
For additional information call Parks and Rec (708)442-4858 or visit
(Photos courtesy of the Kelly Miller Circus)

Kelly Miller Circus
Kelly Miller Circus

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lyons police officer promoted to Deputy Chief

Lyons police officer promoted to Deputy Chief

The Village of Lyons promoted Police Sergeant Matthew Buckley to the vacant Deputy Chief of Police position at the July 16th, board meeting.

The Village Board of Trustees unanimously approved Buckley's promotion at its regular meeting Wednesday July 16, which was recommended by Village Manager and Acting Police Chief Tom Sheahan.

“Matthew Buckley is a proven leader who has achieved much during his police career. He is a very dedicated to serving the public and I believe he is the best person for the job,” said Lyons Village Mayor Christopher Getty.

Getty’s comments reflected the views of all the board members who spoke highly of Buckley’s career as a police officer.

A recent graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Staff and Command, Buckley is a 16 year police veteran first entering service in 1998. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2011.

Buckley is a member of the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System- Emergency Services Team and attended class training #354 of Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. Here certifications also include: Field Training Officer; Evidence Technician; Breath Alcohol Operator; Rapid Response Instructor; Firearms Instruction; and National Incident Management Certifications . Buckley is also certified by Several State of Illinois and Federal agencies for dealing with Weapons of Mass Destruction.

(PHOTO CAPTION: Lyons Mayor Chris Getty,Deputy Chief of Police Matthew Buckley,
and Village Manager/Acting Police Chief Tom Sheahan.)


Monday, July 14, 2014

Mayor Getty joins Marine recruits for training at Veterans Park in Lyons

Mayor Getty joins Marine recruits for training at Veterans Park in Lyons

Lyons Mayor Chris Getty joins new Marine recruits at Veterans Park
Lyons Mayor Chris Getty joins new Marine recruits at Veterans Park
Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty participated in a monthly training event early Saturday morning on July 12th hosted by the Marine Recruiters of the Oak Park Recruiting Station.

Despite the heavy rainfall, Mayor Getty and more than 30 Marine Recruits gathered outside Veterans Park in Lyons for a monthly training session designed to prepare the Marine Recruits for the Marine Corps Boot Camp.

Staff Sergeant Jason Thomas, who also serves as a Village Trustee in Lyons, runs the Oak Park Recruiting Station and lead Mayor Getty and the Marine Recruits through a vigorous physical training session, which included a 3 mile cadence run, a series of crunches and pull ups and an additional timed mile and a half run.

“It is vital that Marine Recruits are both physically and mentally prepared for the Marine Corps Boot Camp, which is why these training functions for the Recruits are crucial,” Thomas said.

Lyons Mayor Chris Getty joins new Marine recruits at Veterans Park
Lyons Mayor Chris Getty joins new Marine recruits at Veterans Park
Thomas said that the village of Lyons is one of the recruiting districts assigned to the Oak Park Office and he was happy to hold the event there this month.

“It is great that Mayor Getty came out today to not only show his support for the recruits but to also witness firsthand what this experience is like,” said Thomas.

Mayor Getty did not receive any special treatment throughout the exercises and was pushed just as hard as any of my other recruits."

“It is a rigorous training that new recruits go through to prepare to become Marines. I was honored to be able to participate with the recruits in their training,” Mayor Getty said.

“Many of these recruits are either in high school or recently graduated and they already display the dedication, valor, and commitment of wanting to become a Marine and to serve our country proudly."

Lyons Residents, Kyle Duffek, 17, and Michael Lamiot, 17, are among the newest recruits to enlist for the Marines out of the Oak Park Recruiting Station.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lyons Car Show Impresses on Father’s Day

Lyons Car Show Impresses on Father’s Day 

More than 3,000 people attended the Village’s Annual Father’s Day Car show Sunday on Lawndale Avenue in Lyons to view classic and antique vehicles going back a century.

Highlights of the event included a display of more than 200 impressive cars, live music from the popular band the Redmond’s, beer and food from local vendors, an indoor craft show and various children’s activities.

 Car Show Organizer and Lyons’ Parks and Recreation Director Frank Torres said he was thrilled with large turnout of car show participants and attendees.

“Many people in the village look forward to this event all year long so it is important we give them a good show and a day filled with fun,” Torres said.

Mayor Christopher Getty, who attends the event every year with his family, said he was proud of the support village departments provided to the organizing and planning of the annual event.

 “Lyons is a great place to live and we want to continue to offer our residents memorable events and activities that they can share with their families year after year,” said Mayor Getty.

“Our employees work hard every year to support this event and other public events hosted by the Village of Lyons.”

 Getty said residents should look forward to next year as they aim to make the annual car show bigger and better.

 “We come to this event every year and each time we come were are always more and more impressed,” said Lyons resident Mike Shipbaugh.

Mayor Christopher Getty poses with the owner of one of the antique cars cited for its excellence at the Annual Lyons Father's Day Auto Show
Mayor Christopher Getty poses with the owner of one of the antique cars cited for its excellence at the Annual Lyons Father’s Day Auto Show


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mayor Getty and American Legion honor Fallen Soldiers during Annual Memorial Day Ceremony

Mayor Getty and American Legion honor Fallen Soldiers during Annual Memorial Day Ceremony

Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty and officials of the Village of Lyons joined the American Legion Post 699 to honor fallen members of the Armed Forces Monday, May 26th at the Village’s annual Memorial Day commemoration.

The annual ceremony, hosted by the Lyons American Legion, took place in front of the Eternal Flame Memorial Site in Lyons.

With more than 80 people in attendance, including the American Legion Rifle Squad, elected officials Clerk Dawn Campos, Trustee Dan Hilker, and Trustee Paul Marchiori, and American Legion Post Commander Benjamin Fuerst, the ceremony paid tribute to fallen members of the Armed Forces both past and present.

Members of the Lyons American Legion Post 699

“Memorial Day is more than just a picnic, a holiday or a time when families get together. It is a reminder that we can get together to celebrate our freedoms and enjoy our lives because other men and women in military service sacrificed their lives to protect our rights as Americans,” said Mayor Getty.

“Memorial Day is to remember those individuals who served in the armed forces and who made the ultimate sacrifice of giving their life while serving. These individuals gave their lives defending our country, defending our liberties, and defending our freedoms! Today we pause to remember those loved ones & heroes who never returned home. They sacrificed everything for us, for all Americans, and for our great country!”

Also in attendance was Lyons Trustee and current active duty Marine, Sergeant Jason Thomas. Sergeant Thomas placed the honorary wreath for display in front of the Eternal Flame. 

“It is evident by this Memorial Day Ceremony that takes place each year and the other ongoing efforts by Mayor Getty and the Village that Lyons is a community that truly supports our Military,” said Sergeant Thomas.

The ceremony also included the singing of patriotic songs by David Molinari, a bagpipe performance by Daniel Shevlin, and remarks from Mayor Getty. 

Post Commander Fuerst, who also served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event, closed by having the American Legion Rifle Squad fire four shots as a salute to all fallen service members.

The Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremony has been a valued tradition in Lyons for many years.


Cermak Family Aquatic Center Opens in Lyons for the Summer Season

Cermak Family Aquatic Center Opens in Lyons for the Summer Season

The Cermak Family Aquatic Center in Lyons is now open for the summer season, Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty announced Tuesday.
Located at 7600 w. Ogden Avenue, the Aquatic Center offers a variety of water-time fun for children 12 years or younger, including waterslides, cannons, geysers and a lazy river.
The Aquatic Center also provides other great amenities such as a state-of-the-art bath house with showers, lockers and concessions, certified lifeguards, play pads and ample parking.
Rich in history and named after former Forest Preserve President and Mayor Anton J. Cermak, the center was previously Cermak Pool, a staple in the community from the 1920’s until it closed in 2002.
After a six year renovation of the Forest Preserve, the Aquatic Center was officially opened to the public in 2008.  
“The Aquatic Center is fantastic addition to our active community,” Mayor Getty said. “Families can enjoy the beautiful forest preserve setting while they play and all at an affordable price.”
Admission to the Aquatic Center costs between $4 - $6 depending on the age of the attendee. It is free for Children 3-years-old or younger.
For additional information please visit:


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lyons residents support police reorganization at board meeting

Lyons residents support police reorganization at board meeting

By Staff reports

Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty
Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty
More than 200 residents of Lyons attended the Village Board meeting Wednesday night to show support for a re-organization of the Police Department that will save more than $650,000 a year and put police assigned to desk jobs on street patrol.

The majority of the attendees at the April 16th Board Meeting supported the Village reorganization.

“There are times when good leaders have to make tough decisions,” said Lyons resident Richard Balicki who attended the meeting. “I commend Mayor Getty for making these difficult choices while always keeping the best interest of the tax payers dollars in mind.”

Getty and the reorganization also received the support of former Lyons Mayor Marie Vachata who praised the board for working hard to manage the budget and provide a safe community for resident.

The reorganization will include laying-off seven police officers with the least seniority and experience.

Mayor Christopher Getty said that the lay-offs were forced on the Village by the Chicago-based FOP Union, which has demanded excessive pay increases of more than 12 percent but has rejected a reasonable increase of 4 percent made by the Village.

“We have been cutting spending across-the-board in every department. We spent more time carefully addressing the budget and excessive spending in the Police Department than any other department and have been negotiating with the Chicago-based FOP Union for nearly one year in 20 meetings,” Getty said.

“We thought we had an agreement a few months back but they flat out rejected everything.”
Getty said they wanted to increase the ceiling for police salaries from the current $88,000 to more than $101,400, calling it “unjustified and unreasonable.”

The salaries of the police officers are posted online for public viewing where they are posted every year as a part of the Village’s online transparency campaign along with other budget documents.

Getty said he knew the board’s decision for the police reorganization  would face some opposition. However, out of the 200 people at Wednesday’s meeting, there was only a handful of people who expressed their concern.

“The biggest issue we are facing with the police reorganization is the unnecessary and misrepresented propaganda that is being carried out by the Union and the opposition,” said Getty.

Getty said many residents were “turned-off by the Union’s bullying and fear-mongering” which tried to falsely claim that the village will be under-protected as a result of the reorganization.

“The truth is that Lyons has been safe and will continue to be safe. Some people want to turn this into political attacks and they don’t care about safety at all. All they care about is getting more pay,” Getty said.

Getty said that four supervisors will be assuming street neighborhood patrol duties. In the event that officers report in sick, the Lyons Police will do what they always do and use overtime to make up for any staff reductions.

Getty noted that FBI staffing guidelines suggest that communities have 3 police officers for every 2,000 residents. Lyons has slightly more than 10,000 residents and Getty noted that the reorganization will keep a fully staffed police force of 16 officers patrolling Lyons neighborhoods.

“I want to also thank all of the supporters who came on Wednesday and those who continue to support our village board as we continue to make Lyons a safe and great place to live,” said Mayor Getty.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Lyons seeks to reduce burden on taxpayers while strengthening services

Lyons seeks to reduce burden on taxpayers while strengthening services

By Christopher Getty

Mayor, Village of Lyons

The Village of Lyons continues to make government more responsive to taxpayers by tightening the budget and by ensuring that government services are more efficient, responsive and effective to resident needs.

During the past two years, the Village has reduced spending in every Department. This past month, we reorganized the police department reduced staffing to a full-time force of 16 police officers. We re-assigned four police supervisors and detectives from desk duty to street patrols.

The re-organization will reduce spending by more than $650,000 annually, but ensures that we have the manpower we need to maintain the high level of police professionalism and safety that residents in Lyons have come to expect.

The lay-off of seven officers came after the Chicago-based FOP Police Union refused to negotiate salaries and wages, and demanded salary increases that were unreasonable and unaffordable to Lyons taxpayers.

Currently, the starting salary of a Lyons police officer is $62,000. A Lyons police officer with 7 years of service earns more than $88,000. The FOP Union is seeking to increase wages to as high as $101,000.

The Village of Lyons has negotiated in good faith but the union has turned to fear-mongering and scare tactics, exaggerating the lay-offs, downplaying the costs they are demanding and falsely claiming that the Village will not be safe.

When I was elected mayor five years ago, my priority was, and still is today, to improve the safety and family atmosphere that makes Lyons the special community that we are, and to also control spiraling costs, tighten our budget and make our public services more efficient.

But their Chicago-based leadership and non-Lyons union membership do not care about the people of Lyons. They have made unreasonable salary hike demands and have refused to work with us to explore alternatives to laying off police.

The new Police reorganization reflects the FBI National recommendation for police staffing for communities the size of Lyons. Lyons has a population of 10,000 residents and 3,500 homes. The FBI recommends 3 police officers for every 2,000 residents.

We have more than enough police to protect our community. They are professionals, hard working and I respect them. Our community respects them and we support them and we pay them well.

I am committed to the safety of every resident of the Village of Lyons. That isn’t the issue, though. The issue is and always has been ensuring that we have a full contingent of police on the street and at a cost that can be justified to the taxpayers.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Lyons Police Chief Retires

Lyons Police Chief Retires

Lyons Police Chief Harley Schinker retired April 4th after serving in the post for four years. 

Devoting over four decades to Law Enforcement, Schinker spent 33 years as a member of the Chicago Police Department, working his way up the ranks to Commander before retiring.  

Prior to his 2010 appointment in Lyons, Schinker served as the Chief of Police in Long Beach, Mississippi. 

“I would like to my express my gratitude to Harley for his service and dedication to the Lyons community,” said Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty. 

“Schinker was critical to our continued success of maintaining a safe community.”

Getty said that the Village will carefully conduct a search for a new police chief that reinforces the commitment to the needs and safety of the residents.

In the interim, Getty said, Village Manager Tom Sheahan will serve as the public safety director assuming the duties of acting police chief until Schinker’s permanent replacement can be found.

“Tom Sheahan has proven to be a capable and reliable administrator who knows how to manage our government efficiently and effectively. Until we find the right person to lead our Police Department public safety services, I know Tom’s proven commitment to protecting our residents and families will serve us well,” Getty said.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Nine additional Firefighters hired by the Village of Lyons

Nine additional Firefighters hired by the Village of Lyons

Nine “Paid on Call” Firefighters are set to be appointed by the Lyons Fire Department this month increasing the ranks of the Village’s Emergency Response Team.

Lyons began the testing process for “Paid on Call” (POC) Firefighters at the end of 2013 and the chosen applicants are in the final stages of screening.

“POC’s play a vital role in our department and provide the manpower for shift coverage, emergency calls, community events and fire prevention activities” said Lyons Fire Chief Gordon Nord.’’

With the newly hired nine POC’s, Lyons will have 37 firefighters/EMTs total, with 31 POC’s and 6 full time contract employees.    

“Our basic goal is to have enough manpower and equipment to respond to the ordinary day to day responses within our village without having to rely on mutual aid exclusively,” Fire Chief Nord said.

Fire Chief Nord said he considered the testing process a great success and the applicants are given an excellent opportunity to serve their local community.

The Village of the Lyons is planning to reopen the enrollment process within the next six months to fill additional Paid on Call Firefighter positions within the department.

“Nothing is more important that protecting the lives of our citizens and having a professional and effective emergency response team ready to respond to emergencies,” Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty said.

“Our fire department does an outstanding job and the village supports its need to keep their department filled with an adequate amount of Firefighters and EMT’s to maintain their steadfast reliability and to ensure safety throughout the community.”

(Photo caption: Three members of the Village of Lyons Fire Department in full firefighting gear. Photo Credit the Village of Lyons)


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Lyons reaches new police contract: Will save nearly $800,000 and increases number of police on the street

Lyons reaches new police contract
Will save nearly $800,000 and increases number of police on the street

Lyons, Il – The Village of Lyons and members of the Lyons Police Union reached a contract agreement that will save taxpayers as much as $800,000 while putting more police on street duty, Mayor Christopher Getty said Sunday.

Under the new contract, which goes to the Village Board at its regular meeting Wednesday Jan. 15 for approval, the Police Department will remain “fully staffed” and no police officer will receive a pay cut.

Getty said the contract reflects “work rule concessions” in which detectives and supervisors will be given street duty.

“The biggest fear that was promoted out there was that there were going to be lay-offs and that would result in a reduction in police protection. But the bottom line is that we are able to save the taxpayers money and we have been able to put more police on the streets,” Getty said.

“We were able to tighten spending and a bring it into line with the needs of taxpayers. We made the Police Department more efficient by reducing administrative duties and putting more police on the street. In the end, that will mean our homeowners will see more police on the streets and an increase in community safety.”

Getty said that for example, detectives will assume street patrol responsibilities when needed, and that supervisors will also be spending less time in their offices and more time on the street.

The new contract calls for no salary increase during the first and second year, and a 2 percent increase for the next two years (3 and 4). Longevity or “bonus” pay hikes will be frozen for two years, Getty said. That agreement alone will save taxpayers nearly $100,000 each year.

Police Chief Harley Schinker said, “I’m pleased the village and the union have come to an agreement that ensures we will be able to continue to provide superior police and safety services to our residents.”

Getty said that Lyons has 25 police officers now, not including dispatchers, crossing guards or part timers. Some attrition through retirement is expected.

“The Union and the Village both agree that we can continue to provide the highest police service with 21 police officers,” Getty said. “The difference will be made up through anticipated early retirements as defined under the contract. And police will be on the street protecting our homes where the public expects them.”

The contract was approved by the Union Dec. 26. Getty said he anticipates it will be presented to the full board at their next regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 15.

Village Manager Thomas Sheahan said, “The new contract sets Lyons on the right fiscal path moving forward. It puts us on a strong financial footing while maintaining the highest police services.”

Financial Director Dan Denys said, “The new contract brings our expenditures in the police department in line with what communities our size are paying. It enables the village to strengthen our financial footing.”

“We always targeted a savings of around $800,000 for taxpayers through these work rule changes and the new contract and we feel that we have come very close to that number. That’s a win for every homeowner and taxpayer in Lyons,” Getty said.

Getty also noted that dispatchers now employed with the Village will remain with the village. New hires, he explained, will be employed in a new public-private partnership with the professional dispatching service, Kurtz Inc.

“Dispatchers will remain with village but new hires will work through Kurtz Inc.,” Getty said. “It’s a public-private partnership that will not impact police protection at all. But it will save taxpayers $400,000 over the next three years. Every dispatcher will remain and the only change will be through attrition.”