Several people have asked me to provide more background about the People Over Politics team being removed from the ballot. Additionally, several have asked me to provide a recap of what has been accomplished in the last 20 months. This update will provide both.
First, the People Over Politics team gathered over 1,200 signatures. Far more than the 645 signatures required. The part of the petition page that is in dispute is shown here.
We the undersigned, qualified voters of the Village of Orland Park in the county ofCook, and State of Illinois, do declare that is our intention to form a new political party in the political division aforesaid, to be known and designated as the People Over Politics Party, and do hereby petition that the following named persons shall be candidates for the offices hereinafter specified, to be voted at the ConsolidatedElection to be held on April 2, 2019.
THE NEW PARTY’S SLATE OF CANDIDATES IS HEREBY PRESENTED
|NAME||OFFICE||ADDRESS – ZIP CODE|
|William R. Healy|
Michael R. Milani
Cindy Nelson Katsenes
|8539 Fir Street, Orland Park, IL 60462|
11110 Laurel Hill Dr, Orland Park, IL 60467
10955 Persimmon Ct., Orland Park, IL 60467
The objection filed by the opponents of People Over Politics state that this is “confusing” because this could mean Fire Protection District Trustee, or Orland Park Library Trustee. In spite of phone calls from the opposition to our petition signers encouraging them to state that they were “confused”, the objectors did not provide a single affidavit or witness that indicated that they were confused when signing this.
The People Over Politics team used the form above for petitions as it is the suggested form from the Illinois State Board of Elections Candidate Election Guide for 2019. Specifically, the arguments for keeping them on the ballot were:
- The Illinois Municipal Code Article 3-1, Division 25 specifically states that the official name for the Office is “Trustee”
- The Village Clerk in its correspondence regarding a ballot lottery refers to the office of “Trustee” and the office of “Library Trustee”.
- Additionally, even if you thought this was confusing, the preamble is part of the petition and specifically says that the political division is the Village of Orland Park.
The Local Election Board consists of the Mayor, the Clerk and the most Senior Trustee. Since I circulated petitions, I recused myself. Ethically, I think this was the right thing to do. This means that Trustee Dodge replaces me. The date and time of the continuance for January 10th at 10AM, was set on January 2nd and all parties indicated their ability to attend. On January 10th, at the beginning of the hearing, the Village Attorney officially notified the attorneys that Trustee Dodge would not be in attendance, with Dodge telling him the previous day that he had a obligation that was a conflict.
The two remaining board members, Trustee Fenton and Clerk Mehalek voted 2-0 to remove People Over Politics from the ballot stating that there was sufficient reason to believe there was confusion over this petition. They did so even though they had circulated petitions for the other slate, that currently will now be the only slate on the ballot.
The People Over Politics slate is appealing to the Cook County Circuit Court. Now you know what I know.
The second question was what has been accomplished. In this election cycle you will hear that these things would have happened without me in office. However, I would challenge anyone who says that, to show you their platform prior to the last election that promised any of these things. My platform is still available at www.keith4mayor.com
First, there is one thing that I will not do, now that I have more information. That was to put a satellite police station in the mall. It is not necessary because we have complete access to the security system and office of the mall. Additionally, crime was down at the mall in 2017 by over 20% and is down again this year due to our evolving strategies. I wholeheartedly thank Chief McCarthy and the rest of the department.
The list of promises made and accomplished follows:
- Opt out of pension – this was done, saving taxpayers over $2.1 Million
- Term limit referendum – on the ballot for November of 2020
- Encourage market-based solutions for the Triangle – Chose Structured Development to develop the entire site
- Reduce waste, eliminate redundancies and employ resources more efficiently– Reduced the budget by approximately $4M since taking office and eliminated 18 full time positions in 2019.
- Pay down debt – reduced debt by over $38M
- Reduce property tax rates – rates down 13% since taking office
- Reduce the consent agendas – done
- Broadcast all public meetings – now on audio and Facebook live
- Prioritize development of the I-80 corridor – Pitched for Amazon Headquarters, currently have proposal for USDA headquarters
- Partner with neighboring communities to attract STEM industries to the region – started Chicago Southland Interstate Alliance with Mokena and Tinley Park to focus on I-80 corridor development.
- Work with Simon (owners of the mall) to encourage expansion and/or new formats to revitalize Orland Square Mall –AMC (expected opening summer of 2020) in the Sears anchor location and Von Maur (opening planned for November 2019) in the Carson’s locations. Additionally, Carson’s will be returning to the Carson’s home goods and we worked with the mall to upgrade lighting in the Macy’s parking lot.
- More aggressively encourage business retention/expansion program – Done and ongoing
- Work with existing retail and office centers to encourage capital improvements – Horton center & Seville Plaza
- Use tax incentives wisely to attract business – Von Maur & Porsche
- Coordinate more effectively with other government entities to ensure that roads are completed on time or that delays are less disruptive – 159th Street working group resulting in work continuing on weekends and in winter
- Include local business in planning process – Revamped and created new Economic Development Advisory Board
- Identify new recreational offerings – Work in progress, Concert Series and Hoedown. Also fought to keep theater program and modified arts commission in an effort to make it more effective
- Find alternative uses for facilities – In process – investing in upgrades to John Humphrey Complex
- Improve access and utilization of open lands and parks – started
I am certain that nobody agrees with me 100% of the time, but I am confident that I am focusing on and implementing what I promised! Imagine what could be accomplished with a team of people that work with me to get things done. This is why I am endorsing the People Over Politics team of William R. Healy, Michael R. Milani and Cynthia Nelson Katsenes!
Please support them Thursday night, January 17th at 6 PM at their upcoming fund raiser. More information can be found at www.people-op.com