Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hey, McLaughlin is the mayor I guess -- when it comes to getting your street plowed in Orland Park

(I'll be talking about this one on my radio show this morning. WJJG 1530 AM Radio, and on the Internet ... click HERE to listen ... 8 - 9:30 am this morning)

I guess when you are the mayor, people tend to do favors for you. Like, when you are an employee of the Public Works Department and you are a) told to plow the mayor's street or b) you do it because, hey, he's "da mayor."

You know where I am going with this, right?

I came home last night around 6:45 pm and saw that my street wasn't plowed. (It was plowed later on that night, one side, across from my side.)

So I figured, I'd go check some of the other streets in town, like the one in front of Village Manager Paul Grimes' house, and also the street in front of the mayor's house. Well, a plow went past Grimes block, but not in front of his house. (Grimes is new, so maybe the drivers don't know where he lives.)

But Mayor McLaughlin has been around for a while, on Oakley Street, and they know where he lives. And so do his neighbors. I drove down 143rd and when I got to Oakley I turned and saw it wasn't plowed. Neither side. I kept driving to 144th street. Same thing. In fact, those two blocks were much like the rest of the village. Very few streets were plowed at all.

And I then I got to 145th Street, the start of the mayor's block. Wow. I couldn't believe it. I looked and saw that his side of the street -- let me repeat that -- his side of the street was plowed clean. The person who plowed the street didn't do the whole street, but started at 146th street and plowed north on the right (east side). You could see the clumps of snow that form when plowed snow splashes on the curb side. The street was smooth, easy to drive on.

(My street when I went to check on McLaughlin's street.)

Whomever plowed continued to the end of the street to 145th, and then crossed but then stopped plowing right at the beginning of the corner of the block.

Now, in fairness to the mayor, his driveway wasn't plowed. And I didn't see the plow truck, although a neighbor who tipped me, did. Big. Red. Village property.

Did the mayor order his street plowed? Or, was it just an enthusiastic employee trying to suck up. It's an election year, after all.

But you would think that a good mayor would want to make sure that before his street is plowed, maybe you might try plowing at least half of the rest of the side streets in Orland Park, which were a real mess.

Keep in mind that 159th and 143rd are plowed by orange Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) trucks, not red Village of Orland Park (VOP) trucks.

"Usually, they plow the whole street, both sides," one neighbor near the mayor said as he snowplowed his own driveway. "Yep. That's the mayor's house. Right there. Two stories. Beautiful, huh?"

Just my thoughts exactly. Beautiful!

(I emailed the mayor asking for his comments. If I get a response, I'll post it, in fairness, after all. Until then, I have to go out and finish cleaning the street in front of my house. Although who knows, after I'm done cleaning the driveway, a plow will come by and pack it back full of snow.)

(McLaughlin's street.)

-- Ray Hanania

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