By Jeff Vorva
Controversy took a back seat to snow on Monday night.
Recent Orland Park board meetings have featured tension and occasional yelling but on Monday night Village Hall was calm as the Board of Trustees took care of business.
While heavy amounts of snow pelted the Chicago area in recent weeks, Monday night’s storm had Mayor Keith Pekau channel his inner Tom Skilling.
“We received 20 inches of snow over the last two weeks and it will soon be 30 inches over 17 days,” Pekau said. “This is the first really big snow in my tenure.”
Pekau and other board members publicly praised the work of the Public Works department but some citizen have been known to grumble that the plows push heavy snow and ice toward the curb, which causes problems at the edge of their driveways.
The mayor said that the plows are designed to push snow to the sides and the streets are 28-feet wide. When there are 20 inches of snow on the ground, there is less space to work with.
“That is going to end up on your driveway – it’s going to end up on everybody’s driveway,” he said. “We all deal with it.”
Coincidentally, the board voted to implement a program that has been in the planning stages in recent weeks called the Snow Angels. It will provide assistance with snow removal to senior citizens and others who need it. Volunteers are needed and those who would like to help should fill out an online registration form on the village website or call 708-403-5000.
Those who need the service can also call that number or register on the website.
Recreation and Parks Director Ray Piattoni said it would benefit students fulfill service hours requirements.
Controversial decision tabled
The elephant in the room stayed silent during the meeting as action against former mayor Dan McLaughlin and some property deals he was involved in under his watch was tabled for a second meeting in a row.
Last week, Pekau wrote in an email that he and Trustee Cynthia Katsenses met with the FBI about the dealings.
Kastsenes made a motion to table a decision on authorizing Manager George Koczwara to execute a service agreement with the law agency of Hervas, Condon and Bersani, P.C. because of outside agencies reviewing this item. The move was approved 6-0 with Dan Calandriello abstaining.
After the meeting Pekau repeated that other agencies are looking at and “we are not doing anything on it right now.”
McLaughlin is running against Pekau in the April 6 election and Trustee James Dodge said after the meeting that the investigation and tabling of the investigation are being done for political reasons.
“Everybody knows it,” Dodge said. “They get to use it in their political literature. They are wasting public resources for their political literature. They are the political machine.”
McLaughlin issued a statement Tuesday and said it was a “petty distraction and a disservice to our voters.”