Niles Sister Cities splits from village
Updated: April 22, 2013 2:45AM
The Niles Sister Cities Association has officially seceded from the Village of Niles and it will remain a 501 C-3 private corporation.
“The village was running it,” said Sister Cities President George Alpogianis. “It was being run as a commission.”
“I don’t think it was being run properly,” said Alpogianis, who described it as a “vacation club” for some village officials.
Since it has been separated from the Village of Niles, the corporation would have to petition the village board if they wanted support for an event, such as the annual Taste of Sister Cities. Village Attorney Joseph Annunzio said that the Sister Cities has been putting on the event without the village’s assistance.
Now that the association has separated from the village, Alpogianis said that Commander Dennis McEnerney has stepped down from the Sister Cities board, because he is a police officer for the Village of Niles. Annunzio has also stepped down from serving on the Sister Cities Board.
“We’re sort of asking them to hold tight until we look at the bylaws and see what changes we need to make,” said Alpogianis.
The goal is to get other people from the community to be more involved in the association, including someone from Culver Dist. 71, the Niles Chamber of Commerce and the Niles Public Library.
“We’re not sure if we’re going to expand on the board or create an advisory board,” said Alpogianis.
The newly appointed board of directors consists of Alpogianis as president, Dave Laske as first vice president, Julie Genualdi as second vice president, Elizabeth “Cooky” Kraus as secretary and Yee Kim as treasurer.
“I think someone from the board or the mayor should be someone that sits on the board of advisors,” said Alpogianis.
Alpogianis said that one of their major ideas is to add a sister city in Korean and Germany.
“They are two very large populations I don’t feel are represented in our village,” said Alpogianis.
Alpogianis said another idea is to create a German style Christmas market and invite people of all ethnicities to participate. He said they would also offer holiday storytelling.
“We’ve got a lot of great ideas,” said Alpogianis.
Alpogianis said they are trying to get people from all parts of the town involved in the Sister Cities Association.
“We’re trying to expand it out to our community,” said Alpogianis.
The newly organized Sister Cities Association will meet at 6 p.m. at the Niles Public Library on the fourth Monday of each month.~.