Oak Lawn clerk running as indie in spring election

By Laura Bollin

Oak Lawn’s village clerk has announced she will run for re-election next spring as an independent.

Jane Quinlan announced her plans at a campaign party on Aug. 22.

“I’ve been clerk for eight years next spring, and there was never a time when I didn’t think I would be running,” Quinlan said last week.

Quinlan has decided to run as an independent to stay out of “negative politics” in Oak Lawn, she said.

“After being clerk, I think it is in the best interest of the village if I run as an independent candidate,” she said. “I think it will bring a positive spin to Oak Lawn politics. There has been a lot of negativity, and a lot of discontent, and I don’t want to get involved in that. Maybe if I run as an independent, it will be a good thing for the village of Oak Lawn.”

Quinlan, who has lived in Oak Lawn for 51 years, was first elected to the Village Board in 2005 as a member of Mayor Dave Heilmann’s Unity Party. She ran on the Unity Part ticket again in 2009 with Heilmann and village Trustees Tom Phelan, Alex Olejniczak and Thomas Duhig; however, she and the three trustees split from Heilmann about three years ago.

As village clerk, Quinlan is Oak Lawn’s official keep of records; registers people to vote; distributes liquor licenses, permits for special events and temporary handicapped parking placards; and helps with homeowner appeal decisions. She has an “open door” policy when it comes to helping residents, she said.

“Many residents come to see me, and I want to take the time to see them,” Quinlan said. “Even if I think it is a small issue, they have taken time out of their day to come to the village clerk’s office, and it is a big issue for them. I always treat it that way, and I help them as much as I can. I make time for people.”