Sunday, October 19, 2008

School board races gearing up for Spring

Now's the time to get involved in local elections and I will be posting information on how you can file and run for local trustee spots in orland Park, Tinley Park and elsewhere to force our elected officials to be accountable -- they're not.

It's not hard to do and you would be surprised how easily some of these incumbents can be beat simply by filing your petitions and then reaching out to voters. I will showcase ALL independent candidates running for office in Orland Park here mainly because I feel the Village of Orland Park's Mayor, Trustees, the Clerk and the Village Manager have been unresponsive and are taking you for granted.

They don't care about you and they thinkt hat just because there is a new newspaper that publishes their press releases, they can tell you what they want without being accountable.

The biggest problems I see:

Lack of accountability. Mayor McLaughlin is not accountable and doesn't want to be. He is a Chicago Machine Democrat who doesn't care about the views of Orland Park residents. he only cares about his friends and supporters and if you question -- I didn't even say challenge just question -- his decisions, he will ostracize you, target you and villify you. (When I questioned his decision to avoid public input in the select of the Civic Center Director's position -- a very high paying spot -- McLaughlin lashed out at me. All I wanted to do was give Orland Park residents a chance to submit nominations for the post. The candidate they did hire is very good and the issue is NOT about her. It is about the PROCESS. Chances are she would have gotten the job anyway, but McLaughlin prevented the community from even having a voice in that high paying job.

Traffic in Orland Park is nauseating. The village has done a poor job of managing traffic, even with the widened LaGrange Road, a state project, traffic is horrible. One of the problems is McLaughlin and his village board mafia have stuffed the village with new stores helter skelter. Theya re ALL OVER the place. The benefit they promised was that the increased sales taxes from sales would allow the village to REFUND our village taxes.

Now, as you all know -- and the newspapers did a poor job of explaining this, your VILLAGE REBATE is being reduced significantly and you WILL NOT receive the full rebate back that you ALREADY PAID to the village. Instead, the village will be taking a significant portion of the rebate and using it to pay other bills.

So, the purpose of the increased retail development in fact has failed. McLaughlin was shortsighted and did not factor in the problems of the economy which didn't just happen this year. They have been hammering the village for four years. McLaughlin continued to paint a rosey picture -- knowing the local media never challenges his mistakes and poor judgment at all.

The taxes and fees HAVE INCREASED in Orland Park.

Just look at how much more you are paying in village taxes, even though your property value is plumetting. Blame it on the county if you want, but I blame it on the people we elected to represent us and who have done a POOR JOB of representing us.

The reduction in the rebate IS A TAX INCREASE.

It's not about how they explain it, as you might comprehend from the incomprehensible local papers. It IS about how much money you end up ACTUALLY PAYING. And you will be paying more because the Village of Orland Park took a specific action to reduce the rebate which means keeping money you paid that they said they would return to you.

It's a shell game in orland Park.

And, they have increased an array of village fees and those fees are basically tax increases. What is a "tax?" It is when they take money from you to pay for village services. They can take it through the corrupt Cook County and State of Illinois tax systems, or, they can take it from the services they offer you that you must pay money to receive.

As I have already detailed in past columns, the Water Bill continues to increase and the INCREASES DO NOT have to do with the price of water that we buy through Oak lawn and from the City of Chicago. The increases have to do with increases the Village of Orland Park has implemented on the bill itself, increasing the amount of charge the village charges to manage and administer the bill itself.

Then there are other fees that have increased int he water bill, too.

How much has the village lost in terms of the homes the village purchased, some from people the Mayor knew? The village has lost perhaps millions on those purchases and huge investments the village -- you the taxpayer -- paid to upgrade them because of the water damage caused by the improper and inadequate sewer and drainage system that has plagued this village for years and only was addressed when there was a catastrophic problem.

So, if you are interested in running for office, I am going to help you.

I will have an election law attorney available to help anyone whow ants to run for office. And, i will showcase your candidacies on my morning radio show program on WJJG 1530 AM which airs Monday through Friday beginning at 8 AM. Just go to for information.

Here's some basic info on the timetable for running for office:

- Elections will be held during consolidated elections on April 7. School
districts have recently released information on how interested residents can get
- The first day prospective candidates may circulate petitions is Oct. 28. Candidates may file nominating papers between Jan. 20 and Jan. 26 with their respective district office. Feb. 5 is the last day candidates can withdraw from nomination.
- To be eligible, candidates must be at least 18 years old on the date of the election, a United States citizen, a resident of Illinois and their school district for at least one year immediately preceding the election and a registered voter.

Ray Hanania

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