Putting People Over Politics

Before Keith Pekau ran as an outsider to clean up our local government and get Orland Park moving in the right direction, career politicians had run our village for their own benefit. The village was careening towards a fiscal cliff with depleted reserves, an unbalanced budget, and out-of-control spending. Former Mayor Dan McLaughlin and his trustees had exploded our village’s debt from $12 million in 1998 to $111 million in 2016. Over 40% of our roads were in poor condition after years of underinvestment. And the village was only investing in a single park every two years.

Meanwhile, the career politicians and their allies were getting rich off our tax dollars. McLaughlin and his trustees voted unanimously to hike his salary a whopping 275%, which increased his pension by $2.1 million with our hard-earned tax dollars.

That’s why Keith Pekau’s election four years ago made the political insiders nervous—the gravy train was about to end. We’re putting an end to the political games and obstruction in Orland Park. We eliminated the lavish pension benefits for elected officials, lowered the mayor’s salary back down to $40,000 a year making it a part-time position, reduced the pay for trustees, instituted term limits, eliminated patronage, and increased transparency.

Now there’s a new mindset and culture in our local government, one that’s focused on doing the right thing for our residents and small businesses.

As a result, we’ve been able to lead Orland Park through this pandemic with a balanced approach. Agreeing with the CDC that it is necessary to keep our economy moving to fund and protect our health care system, we’ve worked to protect lives and livelihoods. While the state has taken a more extreme approach, we’ve taken a data-driven, science-based approach that is pragmatic and realistic. We have found ways to allow people to continue to live their lives while taking smart and safe precautions.

Even as we continue to navigate the pandemic, we must continue to look to the future. Orland Park is one of the best places to live, work, and play, and we’re working every day to keep it that way.

We are driving economic development so we can create good-paying jobs, grow revenue for the village in place of increased taxes and fees, and provide opportunities for our families looking for activities right here in our vibrant community. We are cutting spending, balancing our budget, paying down debt, and lowering taxes. We are keeping our families safe and our neighborhoods secure. And we are investing in improving our roads, infrastructure, and parks.

Because of our leadership, Orland Park is primed for success long into the future. We cannot afford to go back to the failures and political games of the past. Stand with us so we can continue to work cooperatively to move Orland Park forward. Vote for our People Over Politics team: Keith Pekau for Mayor, Gus Lekas for Clerk, and Sean Kampas, Joni Radaszewski, and Brian Riordan for Trustee.