No special treatment for bus company in Ridge

Richlee Vans must pay for failing to buy vehicle stickers on time

By Kelly White

The Chicago Ridge trustees voted last week to uphold its vehicle sticker penalty as it pertains to a company that operates 300 vehicles registered with the village.

The Village Board voted 4-2 against a request by Richlee Vans to waive the late payment fine that in accordance with a village ordinance is double the amount of the original vehicle sticker fee. Trustees Jim Saunoris and Dan Badon voted in favor of granting the waiver.

The ruling means Richlee, 9901 Sayre Ave., owes $12,000 for vehicle stickers that would have cost $6,000 had they bought them by the June 30 deadline. Richlee requested the village waive the penalty after the company failed to purchase 300 of the $20 stickers by the deadline. The fine doubles each month the party fails to purchase the necessary sticker or stickers.

“We collect penalties from residents when they are late purchasing their vehicle stickers and I don’t see a difference in this situation,” Trustee Mike Davies said. “I’m against the wavier.”

Alderman Jim Saunoris disagreed, citing the amount of the fee. He suggested a 10-percent penalty of $600 dollars.

“We’re here to help people not crucify them,” Saunoris said.

A Chicago Ridge resident in attendance told the board before they voted that he opposed granting the waiver to Richlee.

“I disagree with waiving the penalty fee,” said Andrew Bruce, 24. “If I’m late getting my vehicle sticker, I would be charged a penalty. I don’t see why there would be exceptions for certain people or companies.

“If the fee was waived or lowered for Richlee, and word got out about it, everyone who received a penalty this year would be running up to the Village Hall trying to get the same waiver or their fee refunded,” Bruce continued. “It would be more of a headache than it’s worth. Everyone should just have to adhere to the same rules, without any exceptions.”

If everyone who was late purchasing a vehicle sticker took the time to write the village a personal letter, there would be debatable exceptions, Davies said, adding that it is most fair to everyone for the village to just adhere to the ordinance. This is especially aimed to benefit the residents that are cautious to purchase their vehicle stickers every year on time, he said. 

Richlee Vans provided busing for persons with special needs and has operated in Chicago Ridge since 1978. Richlee was the first corporation to operate a busing company dedicated to special needs.