When Keith Pekau was elected mayor four years ago as an outsider, it made the political insiders nervous, for good reason—they knew the gravy train was about to end. Since then, we’ve put an end to the political games and obstruction in Orland Park. Doing the right thing made Mayor Pekau public enemy number one to the career politicians, and they’ve attacked him constantly over the past four years. But no one ever said it was easy to take on the political machine.
Over the last four years, we’ve restored good government in Orland Park. We eliminated the lavish pension benefits that career politician McLaughlin and his allies had provided themselves with our hard-earned tax dollars. Mayor Pekau kept his promise and led the charge to lower the mayor’s salary back down to $40,000 a year, making it a part-time position. We reduced the pay for trustees, because serving in local government shouldn’t be about getting rich off taxpayers. We instituted term limits for our local elected officials to put an end to career politicians. We eliminated patronage and put in place a public, transparent hiring process. And we increased transparency by making our board meetings public and digitally accessible, shining a spotlight on decisions that had previously been made behind closed doors.
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. We no longer have career politicians lining their pockets at our expense. Instead, our community leaders are working cooperatively to move Orland Park forward. People are stepping up to serve for the right reasons without personal agendas, like our People Over Politics team. And we are bringing our village together to make Orland Park the community that our citizens expect.