Monday, March 20, 2023

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Local Voices: Thornton Township concerns


Submitted by Sherry Britton

I and many others have concerns with Thornton Township and the way things are progressing. We have expressed these concerns to our elected representatives. Our elected officials and administrative support staff should know exactly what they should be doing. Ignoring the residents, business owners, and constituents is blatant “dereliction of duties.” (Dereliction of duty is a person’s purposeful or accidental failure to perform an obligation without a valid excuse, especially an obligation attached to his or her job.)

The residents will not allow the Township Board to support this administration’s gross negligence with spending. We will not allow the Board to support this Administration’s mishandling of hirings and firings.

Every single action that occurs falls on your heads as the legislature of the Township. It is your “fiduciary responsibility.” (The primary responsibility of fiduciaries is to run the plan solely in the interest of participants and beneficiaries and for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits and paying plan expenses.)

Fiduciaries must act prudently and must diversify the plan’s investments in order to minimize the risk of large losses. They must uphold the laws and ordinances of the township, which has not been done thus far from what myself and others have witnessed.

Transparency is not this Board’s nor Administration’s strong suit at all. This must change as we will get the judicial system involved.

I am presenting several questions to this Thornton Township Board and Finance Director, giving you an opportunity to redeem yourselves for not doing your due diligence in our battle to help our communities within the Township.


  1. Robert Hunt, Financial Director of Thornton Township: What exactly did you do to earn a $60K pay increase?
  2. What is the last recorded date that Thornton Township was on a ballot or referendum for discontinuance of township organization?
  3. Did the board vote on the layoffs that were supposedly due to financial hardship in Thornton Township?
  4. How was it decided which people would be laid off?
  5. If Thornton Township is in financial hardship, who is paying for all the parties, hiring of new employees, gas giveaways, etc.?
  6. Why weren’t those making salaries of $100k+ laid off? In the real world, those individuals would be laid off first to save the most money.
  7. What do the people who laid off Thornton Township counseling staff know about the township’s counseling services? Were questions asked about terminating the free counseling we have offered our residents for so long? Do they know there are no counselors left?
  8. Why is mental health now being talked about? Did they ever ask to review employee job descriptions? Are trustees aware that I kept 10 years of statistics on a monthly basis?
  9. Where are the incoming calls for counseling now being redirected to?
  10. Do our trustees know that Dr. Weems is the only remaining psychologist, and he has plans to divert services to his own agency?
  11. How is it that many salaries were cut prior to the layoffs, yet other staff received increases?
  12. When the HR Attorney from DelGado group reviewed job descriptions and duties, why did he not have the actual job descriptions? Is that how the layoffs were justified, as the job descriptions that were provided did not accurately reflect the positions?
  13. How is it necessary to purchase so many iPads, laptops, and cellphones without proper budget or inventory of such equipment? Why do some members of the Administration need multiple iPads and Macbooks?
  14. How is it justified to purchase technical equipment for Dolton employees with Township funds?
  15. Did anyone vet Shawn Jackson and his relationship to the Senior Adviser?
  16. What are the township’s internal financial controls if only one signature is allowed? (Henyard was taken off Dolton check writing by a judge.)
  17. What are the qualifications for grant program directors? Grants from all forms of government are public knowledge, so what grants have been awarded to the township? Are the people administering the grants GATA compliant, which is a requirement for state grants? All grant dollars have to be accounted for, so who, what, when, where, and why where these grants applied for, under what justification? Where is the submission plan to show what the grants would be used for and how the money will be distributed, including “grant manager” salaries if paid from the grant?
  18. What was James Vaselli (Tiffany Henyard’s private attorney) doing at the board table during the appointment of supervisor? Was he asked to sit at the table? If so, who asked him? Why was he needed when the Township had their own attorney sitting there?
  19. Did James Vaselli attend the closed sessions where the appointment and other business was discussed?
  20. Why is there electioneering happening during work hours involving Township employees?
  21. Why is the township supervisor endorsing candidates when we have a Committeeman?

I have compiled these questions on behalf of Concerned Residents of Thornton Township.

I submit them respectfully in the hope that public outcry will encourage the various agencies we have contacted to respond and help us,

Sherry Britton

Local Voices
Local Voices
Local Voices is The Lansing Journal's version of “Letters to the Editor.” The opinions posted here are those of the writers, and posting them does not indicate endorsement by The Lansing Journal. We welcome input from fellow residents who have thoughtful things to say about topics that are important to our community. Submissions may be sent to [email protected] with “Voices” in the subject line.


  1. Thank you for asking these questions. I am very concerned about our townships future. I just didn’t know who to contact or what to do.

  2. Thank you so much Ms. Britton. You have clearly done your homework & asked important questions.
    Have you contacted the Better Government Assoc.? A few years back they did an expose on shenanigans in Calumet City.
    They may already be aware of the situation. Worth a try. A major newspaper at the time covered the story.
    Again, I thank you & applaud you for your courage to ask the questions everyone should be asking. Stay strong.

  3. Thank You for asking these questions ! It was 29yrs of solid leadership that made ZUC who he was and a Leader at Thornton TWP , elections won , positive progress , accountability and an insistence the residents came first ! Sadly in 1yr you have his replacement spending on self promoting trips , unqualified employees , felons , tens of thousands on meals at rest on the Twp Card , one example $ 3300.00 at THEO’s in Indiana in only “ 6 Weeks “ last winter 2022 ! That money is Tax Money to be allocated to the underserved ! I’m just touching the tip of the Iceberg friends look into the TRIPS , SECURITY DETAIL COST and how much MONEY IS SPENT ON DOLTON ONLY ! Sad , very Sad !

  4. I agree with it all, I have discussed some of these very same question with my Dolton neighbors. I do not see much progress. No services are really being done for the residents of Thornton Township. Fraud???? I have been waiting 2 years for a sidewalk to be repair on city property, still waiting. When I call for any services offered, I am told my name will be put on the list. Never a return call from the township.

  5. This is really sad people that’s sitting on these earthly positions are doing wrong by God peoples.. Thornton Township will never be the same since Mr. Zuc has left us . I’m always happy when someone gets a position & do right by the people. There’s no way the government is going to allow this mess to continue every organization has a watchdog nobody can get away with wrongdoing.. Just know there’s a time & place for everything.. It’s time for all crooks & they croonys to go… We must stand together for the people of Thornton township & the staff… It’s time for the new people to go…


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