Friday, June 12, 2009

Responsible financial management in Orland Park?

I have received dozens of emails and heard many comments from Orland Park residents who are outraged that the Village finance department and village Manager Paul Grimes, and some of our arrogant village trustees, decided to wait until AFTER their re-elections to disclose that the village was in a financial mess.

I spoke with Mayor McLaughlin and he assured me before the election that things were tough in the village because of the downspiraling economy but we would survive. Now, he looks foolish. And so does the staff of the village, where some of the complaints have originated over the past week.

I am shocked, but not surprised. It is politics as usual in Orland Park. Mislead or even lie to the voters and paint a rosey picture before an election, and then when the election is over and you don't have to worry about repurcussions, casually let the cat out fo the bag.

Pathetic! I think Village Manager Paul Grimes should apologize for this lapse in judgment and failure to make this all public 10 WEEKS AGO! I also think Trustee Kathy Fenton who just ran for re-election should also apologize to the voters for allowing this to sneak past everyone, and she suddenly now shows concerns for the village's financial situation. It's phony!

Over $12 million in capital improvements in the village have been put on hold, we are now being told.

The newspaper reports are sketchy at best and not one reporter has a handle on how bad the situation really is. Is it $2 million or $3 million that had to be cut fromt he budget? How big is the budget deficit?

Mayor McLaughlin owes it to the people of Orland Park to put together a proper and complete statement and tell us precisely how bad things are. Put it in numbers and maybe issue it with the press releases that are always filled with happy talk, good news and events.

That's your job. Don't sit back and let Grimes do all the shuffling and waffling and obfuscation, mayor. Put together a detailed report on how bad things are and distribute it to the residents of the village. You are only making things worse letting it trickle out piecemeal through some incompetent village underlings and colleagues.

Give us the full picture!

-- Ray Hanania

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