Chicago suburb of Harvey: A financial mess

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Harvey is a scandal plagued suburb that's drawn the attention of Illinois' Attorney General and the FBI. But the problems in Harvey don't just affect residents there. They also affect people living in Chicago.

FOX 32’s Political Editor Mike Flannery attended a City Council meeting in Harvey Monday night.

Mayor Eric Kellogg's been at the center of much of the activity. He refused to talk to FOX 32 News, so we couldn't ask why he's blocked the city council from holding any committee meetings since last April.

A four member majority of the seven member council opposes the mayor, but that includes Alderman Lamont Brown, a felon convicted of drug dealing and stealing a car. A court challenge could kick him out of office.

The council majorities refused to authorize paying any bills since April, but the city comptroller said Monday night that he's doing it anyway.

Mayor Kellog's critics call him high-handed, and one-cause of Harvey’s financial mess.

Ald. Christopher Clark claims Mayor Kellogg's administration does so little about Harvey's epidemic of abandoned homes that he and others have had to organize volunteer clean ups on their own.

Clark also said that if the mayor would allow the City Council's committee process to function, aldermen could tackle what he calls the ugly reality of Harvey.

"The reality is that it's high property taxes, abandoned homes. It's trash and debris all over the place. It's potholes, no sidewalks, no curbs. No jobs, high unemployment, low education, that's the problem in the City of Harvey," Alderman Clark said.