Set the way-back machine, Sherman.
A long time ago – somewhere around 30 years ago – I was covering the growing communities in the northwest suburbs – Wheeling and Buffalo Grove to be exact. Wheeling was seemingly more established than its neighbor to its north, but was still dealing with growing pains, a new population and commercial development and redevelopment.
Hackney’s was a destination – so too was Le Francais.
They’re both gone, as is Don Roth’s, but Wheeling, which once dubbed itself as the “Village With Feeling”, continues to deal with the usual issues facing suburban communities.
While Wheeling looked for feeling, and a way to buy an airport (it is no co-owner of what used to Palwaukee Airport, but is now Chicago Executive Airport), Buffalo Grove was kicking its development into high gear. It annexed 867 acres for residential and retail development, struggled to find a way to attract businesses somewhere else besides Dundee Road, and had a core of solid, hard-working staff members and elected officials.
Fast forward to Big Animal Grove. The 867 acres is well developed, the village has some of the top schools in the country – and it is still looking for a way to attract commercial and retail businesses to the community. Some things never change.
One thing that has not changed is the quality of its staff and elected officials. Sure, not everyone is perfect -- like the trustee who wanted the police to enforce the ordinance governing the height of lawns, but everyone has their pet peeve.
But every so often things get interesting.
In 2009, voters in the village elected Lisa Stone. In November 2010 she was recalled – the first elected official in Illinois to be recalled.
But why? Probably because of her disruptive behavior, acrid comments and disrespect for proper decorum by an elected official.
And even though she has been recalled, her onslaught of attacks and boorish behavior continues.
Case in point.
There’s now a police report on file because Stone noticed the village’s web site was not functioning. So what?
So she called Village President Jeff Braiman.
At 2:30 a.m.
Why? Because of his expertise in the Internet? Because he has access to the village’s servers at home and can magically reset the web site?
Of course not. Because the ongoing feud Stone has with village hall and anyone who does not agrees with her has reached a new level of surrealism.
The action of contacting a public official in the middle of night for a frivolous reason makes one thing clear. Lisa Stone’s antics are not funny. To paraphrase the late Rod Serling, they have gone beyond the fifth dimension known to man" leaving in their wake any semblance of respect, logic and now, decency.
The story, to no surprise, made the local media with a wide range of comments and reaction.
But why? My guess is this is not the first time someone has received an annoying phone call about a seemingly ridiculous topic.
Because it’s Stone. Her stint as a village trustee put her in the public spotlight, a role she seems to cherish, and also made her a public figure. Once ousted by the recall, you would figure she would accept her fate and move on.
Not quite. Stone continued, make that continues, to dwell away at her pet causes – water safety, pedophiles and whatever else may come her way on any given day. And while they may seem like good causes, Stone’s approach is to rip, shred, antagonize and harass people to no end.
Her latest harassment of Braiman is what has escalated this to a new level. Beside the untimely phone call about the village web site being down at 2:30 a.m. (by the way, sources tell me it was due to routine maintenance) Stone had, according to the police report, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, “showed up at his office in Arlington Heights. Braiman said Stone wanted to give him her business card for her sex toy business.” Seriously.
The fact that Stone may have a business dealing with adult novelties (not frozen novelties, although some adults are frozen) is up to her. She is probably not the only person in the village who has ::ahem:: a unique business. But she’s in the spotlight and given her outlandish comments and accusation, she inherently put a target on her.
In an age where, as pundits like to say, “sex sells”, anytime a public official or public figure is somehow remotely connected to sex in any way shape or form – it become news. Stone's erotic entrepreneurship has done just that. She’s not the only municipal official who has raised a few eyebrows because of their off-hours endeavors . Back in the early 1970s, the mere speculation that a Lincolnshire trustee had posed for a Chippendales-like calendar, leaving his chip and dales uncovered, led to his leaving the board and slowly fading away.
So in addition to being known for her caustic, sarcastic, rude and otherwise questionable behavior, she now carries the tag of dealing in the adult pleasure business, which is generally not very mainstream.
Don’t be surprised if Stone vehemently defends her business and continues her verbal and media-comment assault on Braiman. She will have a hard time repudiating the information about the 2:30 a.m. request for tech support because, as noted in the police report, the investigating officer called her “explaining the nature of this report.” Stone, according to the report understood.
That given, she apparently also understands the curt, blunt and straight forward response she received from Braiman’s wife, who, according to police reports, said “How dare you call, go to hell”, and hung up the phone. Face it, at 2:30 a.m., anyone in a sound sleep being awakened by an adversary because a web site is down.
Stone apparently doesn’t get it. She told the Daily Herald that she was so upset with Ms. Braiman’s response that – ready – she “..is considering filing a complaint about Braiman's wife. "I'm going to come in and file a complaint about her," Stone said. "She shouldn't tell me to go to hell."
Let’s see, Stone provokes the response, which is the result of one her nasty comments, and then gets upset when people respond accordingly and wants to file charges.
I can’t imagine that happening.
Oh wait, yet I can. Because she did the same thing to me in June. In brief, after a Village Board meeting, she flipped me off, which resulted in a blunt and terse two word response from me, and then she went bonkers. Charges were not filed and the case was closed.
But her road show of venom, disrespect and distraction continues.
Does anyone gain anything from it?
Only Stone who continues to try and posture herself as the knight in shining armor who is constantly being kicked aside.
But maybe there’s a reason for it.