Constantine "Connie" Xinos is the president of the home-owners' association in a gated community in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook. He dislikes being near poor people (he successfully blocked a permit for a senior's home, stating, "I don't want to live next to poor people. I don't want poor people in my town"). He reportedly worked to elect an Oak Brook village council who would shut down the town library, which he also campaigned against. When local kids showed up at town meetings to ask that their library be left open, he is quoted as saying, "I don't care that you guys miss the librarian, and she was nice, and she helped you find books;" and to the library staff to "stop whining."
The librarians are now attempting to unionize under the Teamsters.
Sydney was upset and "her little friend was in tears" after Xinos spoke at the meeting last week, says mom Hope Sabbagha.
"I wanted that kid to lose sleep that night," a grinning Xinos says Wednesday, as he invites me for a nearly two-hour interview in his Mercedes-Benz in the gated Oak Brook community where he lives. "This is the real world and the lesson, you folks who brought your kids here, is if you want something, pay for it..."
A poor kid who grew up in Berwyn and worked in his dad's cafeteria in Chicago, Xinos went to law school and served in the Marines. Xinos says he speaks for Oak Brook's view of the Teamsters when he says, "Nobody here likes those kind of people."
Xinos, who says he never had children in part because he wasn't sure he'd be able to support them, sprinkles the F-word throughout his conversations. He dismisses a recent library event involving dogs with a blunt three-word rant in which he bookends swear words around the word "that."
Ugly battle has librarians in Oak Brook turning to Teamsters (Thanks, Lynn!)
(Image: A dome and skylight brighten the center of the Oak Brook Public Library, Marcelle Brightfirstname.lastname@example.org)
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.