Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'll take the mayor's word he did not ask for any special treatment

By the time Mayor McLaughlin returned home from work on Tuesday night, after a nearly 5 hour drive and in one of the worst snow storms we'ved had in a while, it was close to 10 pm, he explained in an email. He said he shoveled his driveway, the way everyone did, and he said the street in front of his house looked like it was NOT yet plowed.

He insisted that he does not ask for special treatment, and I believe him.

Still, when I drove by his house (maybe around 7:45 after shoveling my driveway and trudging through my street that wasn't plowed until very late, too), I saw his side of the street WAS plowed. I also drove past the home of the village manager, but his street wasn't plowed, although, like I wrote, a plow DID go by and do an unusual thing, plowing down the intersecting street and then turning left instead of right onto his street -- who knows, maybe they don't know where the village manager lives yet.

But, like I said, it could very well be some overzealous village employee -- I've run into a few, and by the way they are very rude (I'd use another adjective but this is a family-read blog) -- or who knows, a neighbor with a huge street plow.

I had wished I could have checked out the streets in front of the homes of all the trustees, too, because while I focused on McLaughlin, it's the trustees who I really don't "trust." They refuse to be accountable, are always contentious, can't deal with any form of criticism whatsoever, and think that their (here's another spot for a bad adjective) doesn't stink.

Well, it does stink. They're not doing enough to explain things to the public. They're happy with the "happy talk" coverage. (I can see them posing with their index fingers pointing into their cheeks with big cheshire cat grins). Meanwhile, property taxes HAVE gone up. Village fees HAVE gone up. Attendance at village board meetings -- according to the dozens of people who reach out to me -- HAS gone down. (I'm not interested in hanging out there and taking their attitudes, either.) And the accountability on the village HAS gone down, too.

Politicians always think it is personal. It's not. I just want answers. I want explanations. I also want the village board meetings broadcast live on Comcast Cable instead of that junk that is now broadcast (and I'll skip over one of the biggest attitude employees in the village for now) on the village's channel.

I love the Village Web Site. (Although the email address for the village manager doesn't work. But knowing the MIS staff there, they will get on it right away because that's how they have always been, one team the mayor, the trustees and the village CAN count on -- of course, I say something nice about someone, and suddenly their careers take a dive. I criticize some goof who think's she is a "big shot" and she gets a career promotion.)

We're not stupid, just because we village residents don't hang out at the little restaurant parties and the fatcat contributors. Most of us in Orland Park are working families who are worried about how to pay the bills. A few are even struggling with their mortgages. We know what's going on and just because the "unTRUSTees" don't feel an obligation to give us real answers instead of the blah, blah, blah they write in the village newsletter, doesn't mean we, the citizens in Orland Park, don't see what's happening. We see it.

I'll give McLaughlin the benefit of the doubt on this one, but if I were mayor I heard that anyone plowed my street before the rest of the streets, I'd be hopping mad. And I would call in the uncle of the brother of the 19th ward resident whose cousin probably leaned on a pal who probably works in the village or the neighbor with a plow to clean the street, and I would read them the riot act!

Because people do what they THINK the government officials want them to do. If employees think they are supposed to suck up, they will suck up. But if they think the government wants them to do a great job -- and there are MANY employees at the Village who do a GREAT JOB, a few even reach out) -- then everyone who works for the village will do a great job, too.

-- Ray Hanania

By the way, many residents in Orland Park like this blog, even if Jim Dodge and a few of the other trustees do not -- maybe he wants to get a local reporter from a now crippled dommunity newspaper that is slowly doing a vanishing act to unfairly attack me in print (without even calling me for a comment) the way he did the last time I authored an Orland Park blog ...

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