Tiffany Henyard is the New Thornton Township Supervisor

Tiffany Henyard is the New Thornton Township Supervisor.

Tiffany Henyard is the New Thornton Township Supervisor (Dolton, IL) — In an unprecedented and unexpected move, Dolton mayor Tiffany Henyard is the new Thornton Township Supervisor. The decision was made just before the midnight deadline on Thursday. Showing up simply to support the process, it took nine different votes and seven different candidates before the historic conclusion occurred. Video from the Lansing Journal showed Henyard shocked when she was nominated and screaming when her name was selected. She is the youngest, first female and first African American person to hold the office. 

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“I didn’t see this coming. This means I am truly blessed and everyone loves me. I am still trembling,” said Henyard, in the video.

According to Matt Dietrich, public information officer for the Illinois State Board of Elections, the township board of trustees had 60 days from the time of vacancy to call a meeting and appoint a permanent supervisor which would be by Thursday night. The board can appoint any qualified candidate that does not have a felony. They do not have to call a special election. However the statute also states “if a vacancy exists in any township office and the vacancy is not filled within 60 days, the electors at a special township meeting may select a qualified person to fill the vacancy and to serve until the expiration of that term.”

Dietrich confirmed that Heynard can hold both offices at the same time. 

“There is no conflict between someone holding those two offices where the office of mayor and township supervisor can be called incompatible,” said Dietrich. “We have an index from the attorney general of opinions that they have made on various offices.  They have never entered an opinion on a village mayor and a township supervisor so it is assumed the two offices would be compatible unless someone files a complaint with the attorney general office.”

While Heynard seemed surprised when interviewed about being the new township supervisor, she already knew she could hold both offices and can remain Village of Dolton mayor shortly after she was appointed.

Others who were nominated included Thornton Township Assessor Cassandra Elston, Thornton Township board members Jerry Jones and Joyce Washington, Phoenix mayor Terry Wells and Illinois State Senator Napoleon Harris.  In order for someone to be approved, they needed three of the four board members to vote yes.

“We have a young lady who has the potential to take this township to new heights. She will be good for this community,” said Jerry Jones, trustee who also wanted the position.

Previously the Thornton Township Board of Trustees had selected Joyce M. Washington as the township deputy supervisor in January before a permanent supervisor was nominated. Washington is the longest serving trustee, elected in 1997.   

Zuccarelli, 70,  Thornton Township Supervisor, passed away at his home January 3 at 1:18 p.m. South Holland paramedics responded and he was pronounced dead. He celebrated his 70th birthday in October. Elected Thornton Township Supervisor in April 1993 and awarded Township Officials of Illnois Supervisor of the Year 1996, 2007 and 2012, Zuccarelli became a political titan and mainstay in the south suburbs. Thornton Township was selected Township of the Year in 2004, 2008 and 2016.

Tiffany Henyard is the New Thornton Township Supervisor

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