As a former Village Trustee, I have a unique perspective on the upcoming mayoral race and wanted to give you my insight.

I was a Village Trustee for many years when Dan McLaughlin was mayor, and while Dan and I are both Democrats, the best choice in this upcoming election is for Orland Park voters to keep Keith Pekau as our Mayor.

To be direct, Keith Pekau has done everything he said he would do when he ran for mayor, and he is a wonderful example of good government right here in our community. On the other extreme, Dan McLaughlin is an example of bad government and should not be our mayor again.

Let’s quickly look at the record. Dan McLaughlin is a career politician. For over 30 years, McLaughlin used his elected positions in Orland Park to enrich himself and his friends using taxpayer dollars. His poor oversight of large capital projects like the Sportsplex, Ice Rink and Triangle Redevelopment resulted in a significant waste of tax dollars. McLaughlin brought Chicago-style politics to Orland Park.

You already know he engineered the change of the mayor’s position from part-time to full-time with a 275% salary increase and tried to increase his taxpayer-funded pension by $2.1 million. But did you know he arranged for the hiring of his political allies to lucrative government positions and frequently conducted village business behind closed doors? Thousands of taxpayer dollars went directly to his friends and allies. McLaughlin even hid his ownership interest in property in the village while presenting a petition to develop the property. I frequently got into trouble with McLaughlin for asking “too many questions” at village board meetings.

Contrast that with Keith Pekau’s record as our mayor. In just 4 years, he lowered his salary and made the mayor’s job part-time again. He refused to a village pension and eliminated lavish pension benefits for Orland Park elected officials. He also instituted term limits, eliminated patronage hiring, and ushered in a new era of transparency in our local government by streaming board meetings online.

We cannot afford to go back to the failures and corruption of Dan McLaughlin. We have made way too much positive progress over the last 4 years to simply throw it away.

From one Democrat to another, I am asking you to support the entire People Over Politics team of candidates: Keith Pekau for Mayor, Gus Lekas for Clerk, and Sean Kampas, Joni Radaszewski, and Brian Riordan for Trustee.

I encourage you to learn more about them to see why they’re the right choice for Orland Park.

Sincerely,

Ed Schussler
Former Village Trustee, Orland Park