Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Welcome to our New Village Manager in Orland Park

Orland Park has a new village manager, Paul Grimes. He's from Warwick, Rhode Island. As we like to say in Orland Park:

"Welcome. Watch the Geese. Get ready for long traffic delays. Don't take it
personal when the politicians ignore your needs. At least you'll get a rebate
check in the mail. Don't criticize our elected officials because most of them are thinned-skinned whiners!"

Grimes moved into one of the handful of homes impacted by the flooding we've had here that the Village of Orland Park stupidly purchased at outrageous market prices a few years back that they have been having a hard time re-selling -- certainly, they haven't been able to get the exhorbitant prices they paid. Oh? You didn't know the Village of Orland Park is in the real estate business?

Bitter? Sure. They bought my neighbor's house at some outrageous price after ignoring the flooding problems that other neighbors were having. I mean ignoring. It was all about helping certain families.

The home down the street finally sold, at way below the purchase price and after the village spent thousands to "fix it up."

The young family that bough it was directed to it by Orland Park Trustee Pat Gira. I'm glad a good family did move in there and Gira's help is much appreciated. Maybe the Village should put Gira in charge. She seems to know how to get things down around here. And she also seems to care. They deserve the break, though.

Grimes is living in the home "across the alley" (an old Chicago expression) from the home two houses from me that Gira's friends purchased. At least the village didn't turn it into a retention pond, a suggestion from the engineers they hired who never bothered to get their asses out on the street to find out firsthand what the real problems were. But why would expensive consultants get their hands dirty or deal with facts?

It took years and a lot of protests -- led mainly by several very active families on the other side of the street who really deserve the credit (hey, one of them should run for mayor) -- but the village FINALLY put in a new water drainage pipe system to drain off the water that was backing up from the nearby pond onto Windsor Drive creating a small lake.

WARNING TO THOSE PEOPLE BUYING HOMES: Don't purchase a home near one of those Duck/Geese ponds. They flood. Yea! And they backup and they will destroy your home. The damage to my home was over $40,000 and I took out a FEMA loan (high interest scam artists who sold it to a private mortgage lender who proceeded to harass me to refinance). What a disaster.

Having gone through the flood in Orland Park in July 1997, I can certainly feel for the people whose homes were lost recently in Iowa and in other parts of Illinois and around the country. The media loves to cover their suffering, but no one really cares about them. I hope they have real friends and family to help because the public won't help and the government won't help.

So welcome to Orland Park, Mr. Grimes. I hope you can improve the shoddy service we receive around here in Orland Park, and maybe start looking at everyone in the village as a citizen instead of just catering to Mayor Dan McLaughlin's family friends, pals and political cronies and election volunteers.

(My only concern about Grimes is his past work with United Healthcare. I hope UH is more concerned about the public than Humana and Blue Cross, Blue Shield insurance. Issues? Issues? I have issues!)

Ray Hanania

PS ... the one GREAT thing about Orland Park is our schools. They are the best.

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