Update: Chicago Heights Mayor David Gonzalez Wins 'Person of the Year'

The nominees are in. Let us know who should be the person of the year.

Updated at 12:16 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 31.

Chicago Heights Mayor David Gonzalez took the top honors for Person of the Year, with Margaret Burns-Westmeyer and the Rev. Walter Mosby pulling in tons of votes as well.

Let us know what you think about the mayor's win!

Below is a list of all the nominees and the reasons they were nominated.

Police Chief Michael Camilli - "He works very hard every day making decisions to ensure that Chicago Heights is as safe as it can be, so that it's a place where children can play in the streets without the threat of danger or harm. Not to mention, that is is a very respectable man who can say that he truly cares about his work after 35 years in service. Chicago Heights is lucky to have him."

"Bringing police duties back to the fundamentals with such initiatives such as 'walking the beat' and bicycle patrols (which the business owners and citizens loved) during the summer to securing the funds for the new 911 center and seeing the rebuilt through."

Mayor David Gonzalez - "After the death of his best friend, Alex Lopez, he picked up the torch and continued the late mayor's legacy of public service. Not an experienced campaigner, Gonzalez put together a grassroots group of at least 20 candidates and led nearly all of them to victory. This ensures that we will have top-quality representatives in all facets of local government. He has also joined the Illinois Tollway Authority board of directors, bringing prestige and, hopefully, business opportunities to the Southland. Mr. Gonzalez is a rising star in the area and we should all be proud of him."

Rev. Walter Mosby () - "For the past five years his church has fed and helped  homeless people in Chicago Heights."

Ald. Willie White - "The late Willie White did so much for this city and got so little in return. Coat drives, turkey giveaways...you name it, Mr. White took care of his ward and his city in any way he could."

Dorothy Hajdys-Clausen (Advocate of Repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell')- "Ms. Hajdys-Clausen really showed strength and courage by standing up for what happened to her son. She helped change national laws and really made a difference for the better."

Margaret Burns-Westmeyer (Chicago Heights Beautification Committe) - "Very outgoing person, willing to giver her time to help out the community!  Volunteers to work with children at the once a month, and has worked at it for several years!"

Joe Faso (Local Business Owner and Former Alderman) - "Dedication in bringing light to the integrity of Chicago Heights politics."

Father John Siemianowski (St. Agnes Parish) - "He gives of himself tirelessly everyday all year long, often moving between two parishes. Both and . He is in touch with the kids in the community and the sisters he assists in the running of both churchs and St. Agnes School." 

Fernando Desiderio - "Started non-profit group called Second Ward Alliance for Community Advancement. Volunteered his time coaching soccer to Garfield Elementary students. Comes to and mentors troubled students. He also is a Marine Corp Reservist."  

Pete Petrouski - "Has worked hard to promote Historic Preservation, is the chair of the , worked hard to organize clean up efforts and 100 year celebration for . Does this work selflessly and truly with the best interests of the community in mind."

Ellen Castro (Customer Service Supervisor/Outreach Specialist at the City Clerk's Office) - "She is always kind, nice, helpful, and available if you need her or have a question or problem."

This poll closes at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30.

Roberta December 28, 2011 at 02:54 PM
My vote is for Fernando Deziderio. He works very hard on his own time for the betterment of the community. His establishment of the Second Ward Foundation, his work with the Garfield students coaching soccer, as swell as bringing holiday joy to three different schools by having Santa visit has been amazing! He was my former student st Garfield and his time, talents, and resources to make lfe better for the children of Chicago Heights have been outstanding! He deserves this honor!
Fernando Desiderio December 28, 2011 at 04:15 PM
I mean no disrespect when I say this, but you shouldn't get rewarded for doing a job you're supposed to do anyway. Department heads, public officials and city workers are supposed to do this kind of stuff anyway. Guys like Pete Petrouski have nothing to gain from the things they do to help this city.
Wendell Mosby December 28, 2011 at 05:08 PM
My uncle Walter Mosby has one of the biggest heart's in the world and what he has been able to do without much financial support is nothing short of a miracle. He has continued the legacy of my late grandmother June Mosby, by putting the community first and knowing he'll be blessed for it. Walter Mosby is Chicago Heights and I am proud to be able to work with him fulfill God's plan for him.
Frank Mikky December 28, 2011 at 05:08 PM
I believe Hayley Pelock should be person of the year. Her story captivated us this past year.
Susan Paus December 28, 2011 at 07:25 PM
This looks like a popularity contest.
kimberly barnes December 29, 2011 at 12:01 AM
Rev. Mosby, he's a rare asset to the community! His generosity of time and effort falls short of a saint! God bless his love and focus to help his own!
JuanRaymon December 29, 2011 at 04:38 AM
I couldn't agree more. Thanks for everything you and all the other VOLUNTEERS do for this city!!
Fernando Desiderio December 29, 2011 at 05:12 AM
Thanks J.R, I'm a Park Commissioner though. It's my job to help kids and their families regardless. I was speaking more towards Pete Petrouski. That guy coordinated the McEldowney Park Cleanup to perfection. He just wants to see this city get back on the right path and is doing his part with nothing in return. Even the late Willie White went above and beyond his duties as an alderman. I wish people could see or even hear about the impact he had on the lives of others, mine included. Guys like these two deserve this award. Thanks for your support.
jason amos December 29, 2011 at 12:50 PM
The Mayor. NOT!! Margaret Burns has my vote,she donates time to the city to better it,not for her own gain. Thanks Margaret if we had more people like you we would be a lot better off.
Ward 1 Resident December 29, 2011 at 05:21 PM
Willie White should be Person of the Year. Mosby is trying to show he has support hoping that he is our new Alderman. I hope the City can see that he is packing the votes to show the Council he should be the next Alderman. Hey Wendell , Are you helping your Uncle trying to get him selected? My vote is for Willie White !!!!
Wendell Mosby December 29, 2011 at 07:11 PM
Ward 1 Resident. Regardless of the fanfare, my Uncle and the Mosby family will continue to provide opportunities for the children of Beacon Hill (Ward 1) and beyond. Moreover, this is not to take away from the work of anyone else but you need to give credit when and where its due.
Ward 1 Resident December 29, 2011 at 07:54 PM
Over 2000 votes? Please . Hey Patch , hope you check the IP addresses. Willie is the real favorite and Mr Wiggins is a good replacement.
Say no To Jason Amos December 29, 2011 at 08:52 PM
Can they Check the IP's Ward 1 Resident? Im sure Jason Amos has to be tired by now. He should have 1000 votes for Burns before the end of the day. The Mayor , NOT !!! Amos , NOT!!! PETE , YES !!!!
Ward 1 Resident December 29, 2011 at 09:04 PM
My Uncle and the Mosby family...? Isn't it time you quit patting yourself on the back? I don't know how the Alderman White gets replaced. But if the Mayor or Clek get to decide and choose Mosby, then they lost my support and my families support too.
Margaret Burns-Westmeyer December 29, 2011 at 09:29 PM
Hello to all. I am very honored to be on this list, and thank you for your votes. The time I volunteer at the library with the after school kids really is its own reward. When a parent tells you that their child is now excited about science and learning, and is getting better grades -- well it really doesn't get any better than that : >) So if you are considering a vote, please consider Dorothy Hajdys-Clausen. What this person accomplished took true faith and fortitude, and she took a tragedy and made something positive happen. I voted for her, I hope you will too. She changed not only our city, but our nation.
Susan Paus December 30, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Aww Margaret, so sweet and humble! You do an awful lot yourself too... it doesn't say how you are in charge of our Chicago Hts. Beautification Committee, nor all the work you put into THAT. I agree with Jason! :-) I'm really sorry for the Ward 1 residents' loss, and hope for the best for you all.
Winston Wolf December 30, 2011 at 07:29 PM
May the best man or woman win!
jason amos December 30, 2011 at 09:29 PM
Or Wolf.
JuanRaymon December 30, 2011 at 09:47 PM
Of course! Pete really is an inspiration through all his work, the park looks great!!!
Winston Wolf December 31, 2011 at 12:10 AM
Wow, a great win for the Mayor. Looking forward to reading the feature story on his busy 2011!
mr lahey December 31, 2011 at 04:36 PM
only one certain fact...there at least 1207 pure idiots in this town
Josh Deabel December 31, 2011 at 08:05 PM
Look forward to seeing the good work performed everyday behind the scenes by all the wonderful people on this list continue in 2012. It is the selfless work of these and other nameless people in the community that make this town special. We ALL win under their good graces! Happy New Year!
jason amos January 03, 2012 at 04:13 PM
What has Mr Gonzalez done to deserve this award?Nothing for the city,can someone explain. Give me atleast one reason.
jason amos January 03, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Chris that 2011 story should be short.
Winston Wolf January 03, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Jason, my nomination gave plenty of reasons and I am happy to see that Mr. Gonzalez ended 2011 with another victory. I know that you were part of the opposing party last year, but I implore you to put the past behind you and join in working for a better tomorrow.
Tom January 03, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Jason get out your waders, it's getting pretty deep in here.
Winston Wolf January 03, 2012 at 09:53 PM
The thIng is, even with hateful comments from the Toms and Jasons of the world, the mayor stays positive and continues to give his all to the community. He demonstrated that same fortitude when attacked during the mayoral race. This is truly a well-deserved honor.
jason amos January 04, 2012 at 05:48 PM
What has he done! Again you can't answer,why?Not what you think because you can't think. I want facts of how he has improved the city.
Winston Wolf January 04, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Again, that is not my responsibility and the insults are bot necessary. We obviously have different opinions, and that is OK. I am pleased that a majority of voters sided with me, just as they did this past April!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something