Former Mayor Tyrone Ward on his past and what the future may hold

Former Mayor Tyrone Ward on his past and what the future may hold
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Former Mayor Tyrone Ward on his past and what the future may hold (Robbins, IL) — Former Mayor of Robbins Tyrone Ward talked with The Southland Journal tonight about his history, his advocacy, and his future in politics and education. Ward, who served two terms as Mayor of Robbins, recently lost his reelection bid to current mayor Darren E. Bryant. Bryant was formerly a village trustee.

Ward’s Career

Ward graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in business, specializing in human resources. From there, he returned to Robbins to begin his professional and political careers, working for the village for several years in different capacities. In 1992, Ward was elected to the Robbins Park District Board of Commissioners. He was soon chosen to be the Park District’s President. When asked why he originally chose to enter the political world, Ward said, “I have always been one to abide by the saying, ‘If you see something wrong, do something about it.'”

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At this time, Ward also started his first job offer in the field of education. He worked as a substitute teacher before making his career in education a full-time one. Ward worked as an educator and administrator at Thomas J. Kellar Middle School in Robbins since about 2001 until 2019. He also made it a point to continue his own education, so he attended Governor’s State University and received two Master’s Degrees in Education, first in Curriculum and Instruction and the second in Educational Leadership.

Tyrone Ward first became mayor in 2013, being elected for the job after longstanding mayor Irene Brodie stepped down from the post. “One thing that I can tell you is that as mayor, you have got to move forward. I thought of what I could do to move Robbins forward instead of worrying about the past, and that’s what I did,” said Ward. According to Ward, the best part of the job – and the part he misses most – is connecting with the people. “It’s about the people. I like connecting with them, with the community.”

Ward also made a point to respond to allegations of his administration allegedly misappropriating $1.6 million in village funds. “That was never proven. It could have been a mistake or miscalculation [in accounting]… where is the forensic accounting they [the new administration] keeps talking about?” He also had a piece of advice for the new administration: “I would tell them to stay focused and not allow the outside have too much influence what they’re doing for the village and the people.”

While serving as mayor, Ward was also president of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association and president of the Southland Regional Mayoral Black Caucus. He said those roles were interesting and led him to meet and connect with many different people.

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Ward Today

Now, Ward is focusing on working with the community. “What I am focusing on right now is my community work with my family’s foundation,” he said. “The foundation has provided food, turkeys for Thanksgiving, toys, clothing, and more for Robbins and the Southland.” He now wants to see the foundation grow. “We’re working on some things with the foundation now that will be even more beneficial to the Southland.”

Ward also recently took a job with Cook County Commissioner Deborah Sims, who has announced she will not be seeking reelection. “I am going to be working with her to reach out to the community and leverage some of my network,” said Ward. When asked if his new role is something of a community outreach coordinator for the commissioner, he said, “Yes, just like that.”

The former mayor is currently uncertain of what the future holds for him. He is not sure if he wants to get back into the political arena or go back to working as an educator again, but said that all options are open. “Right now, I’m just taking it all in.” He did note, however, that running for elected office again is absolutely not out of the question. “It’s only been a few months. There are a lot of opportunities to run for office, and I have looked a bit, but I just don’t know yet.” It appears that, at least for now, Tyrone Ward is resting his laurels and focusing on his family’s foundation and his work with the commissioner.

Former Mayor Tyrone Ward on his past and what the future may hold

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