Brillson family responds to Mrozinski claims

Our mom, Sheila Brillson, taught us that service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth. In the campaign for County Commissioner, her record of service is a key distinction between the candidates. But in a recent letter, Republican Commissioner Rich Mrozinski falsely claimed that she “only wants to get a paycheck and not really earn it.”

Our mom has proven throughout her career that service is never about the “paycheck.” In 1977, she became a teacher in our local schools. She served on the City Council and in 1996 became the first female mayor of Michigan City. Over two terms, she recruited new companies, created the Senior Center and Safe Harbor, and battled polluters. She has always worked hard and helped people through difficult times.

Despite her record of service, Mrozinski now attacks our mom for “abruptly” leaving and “only recently” returning. He is referring to her carefully planned decision to resign as mayor in July 2003 instead of January – a decision she made to spend more time with us. After almost 16 straight years in office, she knew that we had made sacrifices for her to serve. Her decision was for us. So that we could start our new school in August instead of January. So that we could see her at dinnertime again. It wasn’t an easy decision – her “bittersweet” farewell address is still online – but one we stand behind.

Mrozinski knows this. And he knows that our mom has always been a part of this community. But he has decided that politics, and his support for Connie Gramarossa, are more important than decency and truth.

We support the candidate with the experience to lead at this important time. We ask the voters to give our mom, Sheila, another opportunity to serve.

– Michael Bergerson Jr., Brendan Bergerson, Leila Brillson, Patrick Bergerson, Kara Bergerson, Mary Sinead (Bergerson) Werner


Firefighters are our heroes

An open letter to the Kankakee Volunteer Fire Department:

Being a firefighter is not an easy job. When the alarm sounds there is not much warning to get dressed and be prepared for any kind of emergency: Vehicle accidents, first aid trauma, house fires, injuries of all kinds. You are our heroes!!

Thank you for teaching the children why fire prevention is important; how to stop, drop, and roll; and how to test a door for heat. It is important for the children to learn these lessons, and bring them home to their own families.

Thank you for constantly running towards what others run from. Thank you for being there for some many people, and for saving so many lives. Thank you for staying on site until dangers are controlled.

Thank you for all the training hours you spend to be able to handle dangerous situations.

Thank you for the many times you have missed a family meal or get-together to respond to the call.

You, the Kankakee Volunteer Firefighters, make an incredible difference in our lives. For your service and sacrifice, we are both thankful and proud.

— Carol Lode and the Rolling Prairie Business & Community Association

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