Monday, June 23, 2008

Award winning Police Department needs grass mowed -- badly

I am a big fan of the Orland Park Police Department and its chief Tim McCarthy. We're lucky to have him. And I thinkt he village of Orland Park should feel the same way.

But, according to a few sources in the village's tight little political system, you have to wonder.

For example, last week, the Village of Orland Park Police won a prestigious award, taking first place in the Chicago Building Congress (CBC) 2008 Merit Award Program for Rehab Construction.

Orland Park was one of four finalists in the rehab category, including the Peoria Civic Center, Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Powerhouse and the Metropolitan Tower on the Park, a high rise condo conversion project on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The award was accepted by Trustee Patricia Gira, who I also admire for having an openness that is a bit rare among some of the village officials, Chief McCarthy and Deputy Chief Jerry Hughes. The award was presented at the Chicago Building Congress Award Program at the Union League Club.

The Village boasts the award, too, bragging deservedly, "The award celebrates the collaborative effort required by the building process and the impact upon the community at large. Judging was based upon the distinctiveness of design, quality of construction, positive impact on the surrounding community and safety record."

And, it's the Police department's second award. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) awarded the Police Department with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification last November. Orland Park is the only police facility in the country and the first project of this kind in the south suburbs to achieve the LEED Gold Certificate.

Well, if the village thinks so highly of the Police Department and its police chief, why is the village Public Works Department allowing the grass to grow so wildly around the building. It really looks unkempt. It certainly does not reflect pride in the Police Department and their new building to keep the property so disheveled.

Come on people. It looks like the Police Department is abandoned property, not award winning property. (Maybe the Police Department is just on a long list to receive sod and no one cares? So they're not cutting the weeds knowing they will eventually replace it with sod. Still, not good enough an excuse.)

McCarthy is well thought off not just in Orland Park but in the entire state of Illinois. Many insiders believe he still has an excellent future in regional politics (he could run for the U.S. Senate to succeed Barack Obama and do very well given his police credentials which are tops and his highly publicized bravery in defending President Ronald Reagan from an assassin's bullet -- which McCarthy took.

Actually, McCarthy is more thought of than Mayor McLaughlin, who rumors have it plans to not seek re-election. I newver believe rumors about Mayor's-for-Life like McLaughlin. They said the same thing about Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley before the last election, and of course, he did run for re-election and won handily.

Well, if McCarthy doesn't run for U.S. Senate, he can always fill McLaughlin's shoes if the rumors are right.

Ray Hanania

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