Dolton residents frustrated with Village Hall restrictions as corruption controversy embroils leaders

“They do not believe in transparency. They are treating us like subjects rather than citizens"

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Dolton residents are speaking out in frustration over new restrictions at Dolton's Village Hall, with many saying it's among the distractions from a larger corruption controversy surrounding Mayor Tiffany Henyard and the village's leadership.

Terry Tilden-Overstreet stood in the rain outside Dolton’s Village Hall filling out paperwork Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m a senior and I’m disabled,” she said. “I did not know I could not go into the building.”

The village hall now has restricted access.

A small entryway with four seats is the only place where residents and business owners are allowed. Trustee Kiana Belcher said she learned about the restrictions last week via social media.

“Myself and another trustee came here and noticed the restricted access,” she said. “At the time, there wasn’t even any chairs."

Belcher said the move greatly impacts the village's large senior population.

"We have a lot of seniors out here, and to have them standing in the cold and rain, it is just not cool. To limit access for everyday business that has to be taken care of, it is a problem," Belcher said.

Several residents gathered outside Village Hall Tuesday afternoon, speaking out against local leadership while calling the new restrictions a deflection.

“They do not believe in transparency. They are treating us like subjects rather than citizens,” resident Dan Lee said.

Another resident feels the move is tied to another controversy regarding a trip to Las Vegas involving village leaders, including Henyard, in addition to continued controversy over misuse of public funds.

“This is a deflection from what is really happening in the village, with the money and what happened in Vegas,” resident Thelma Gant said.

“The village is being run like a dictatorship,” resident Barbara Parker said.

Dolton officials offered the following statement to NBC Chicago:

"Access to the Dolton Village Hall has been restructured to protect our staff due to the overwhelming amount of threats of violence as a result of the continuous misinformation portrayed by the media and internet bloggers who are using Dolton as a means to generate ratings and revenue ie. clickbait.  Our staff and elected officials have received several disturbing communications via email, social media, phone calls and visitors from across the country. As such, our security protocols have changed. Residents and business owners are able to conduct business by visiting our front office, payment center, calling our various departments directly and calling resident service line at 708-849-4000. The safety of our staff elected officials and residents is our top priority and we will continue to work with law enforcement to monitor this situation as it progresses."

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