Mapleton board member under fire for controversial racial commen

Mapleton board member under fire for controversial racial comments

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MAPLETON, Ill. (HOI) -- -

A Mapleton Village board member is facing some backlash over comments some are calling racist. The comments were made at a public meeting regarding road projects, back in May. 

In an audio recording of the meeting, board member, Alice Dailey is heard saying this about teens at the Hollis Park Recreation Center, "I'm sorry, we have too many colored people coming into town on Tuesdays and Thursday nights to play ball down there."

Dailey went on to say, "I mean, the other night there was one other breed in there. I mean, they're not having a problem, but when they leave there they're rowdy and they're all gung ho and, they're gonna, somebody's gonna get hurt up here, because you cannot see up that hill..." 

Talking about road projects, Dailey called for detour signs in the area. 

25 News went to Dailey's home to ask her questions about the remarks. After someone answered the door and saw our reporter, the person immediately shut the door. We wrote down our contact information and a request to call us, and left it at Dailey's door. Wednesday, we did not get a response from her. 

Board members held a meeting Tuesday night calling for Dailey to be permanently removed from her elected position. 

One of the members who wants Dailey off the board is Brad Rusterholz. 

"Besides the comments she made, that's not everybody in this village. We welcome...if these kids want to come and play basketball all day, we welcome that. We don't care what color they are," he said. 

We reached out to the other board members for comment, but did not get any responses Wednesday. 

Mayor Carl Bishop declined to go on camera, but told 25 News he's against racism. 

Rusterholz said at the board's next meeting in August, Dailey's removal will be a top agenda item. 

He also said she's been removed as Mapleton's finance committee chair. 

As for the rec center, 25 News reached out to the executive director. He said the kids at the rec center are not, "rowdy," disagreeing with Dailey's statements. 

In response to Dailey's comments, the Hollis Park District posted this statement to Facebook: 

"In response to today's article in the Peoria Journal. We here at Hollis Park District welcome all people to use and enjoy our facilities and parks. The comments made in the article in no way represent the views of the Hollis Park District or it's staff.

Executive Director
Jim Robertson"

Later, Jim Robertson told us he received many phone calls throughout Wednesday evening having people ask him and his colleagues at the Park District if they were racist. 

His response was that everyone is welcome at the park district.

"we are not involved with the Village of Mapelton the whole incident here is unfortunate. We just want to get the message out there that the park district  is not affiliated with the village we just reside within the village boundaries. We just want the public to know that everyone is welcome in our park district," says Jim Robertson the executive director of the park district. 

To listen to the full audio recording of the May 25th Mapleton board meeting regarding streets and alleys, click here. The comments addressed by this story start about 44 minutes into the recording. 

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