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I have heard and read people saying that our current Board is only focused on their personal agendas to help promote and advance their professional careers. I need someone to tell me of any Village Trustee in the history of Orland Park that advanced their career as the result of holding that position. A couple have taken a run at State level positions, but none have advanced nor performed their duties as a Trustee to advance their chances.
That being said, there are a few facts that Orland Park residents need to know.
1. Political Action Committee funding support against Dan McLaughlin was used in the 2017 Village Election? Fact. It is estimated that approximately $250,000 was spent against the previous mayor.
2. Carole Ruzich was the first person that Keith Pekau asked to run as a candidate on his slate for this election. So, when she turned him down, he began attacking her in every way he can, and even challenges her ethics and integrity. Fact.
3. In Keith Pekau’s role as economic development coordinator, the only initiative he can solely take credit for is perhaps AMC at Orland Square. All other initiatives were already being worked on and/or initiated by Village staff and the Village Board. Fact.
4. Keith Pekau continues to claim that he has declined the pension and that in doing so he is saving the taxpayers of Orland Park $2.1 million dollars. First, he could never receive that pension because as Tier 2 eligible, it would only apply after 10 years of service and would never go into effect with the term limits that have been agreed to. [Editor's Note: The Village Board has approved posing the question to residents via referendum in 2020, but no term limits are currently in place.] Secondly, it is not saving the taxpayers of Orland Park $2.1 million. The Village’s Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund contribution on a $150,000 salary over a four-year period would be approximately $72,000 which equates to $1.22 per Orland Park resident for that entire four-year period. Fact.
In closing, I sincerely hope that no one takes offense to this letter, and I respectfully hope that our mayor understands that this is not meant to be an attack on him, but rather a request for truthfulness and transparency. As a longtime resident of this Village, I ask why we can’t take this large community and change the atmosphere back to that of a community with a small attitude.
Orland Park resident
[Editor’s Note: Jim Gira is the husband of Orland Park Trustee Pat Gira]