Saturday, December 13, 2008

Orland Park has one of the region's best web sites

Although Orland Park may suffer from Elected Official arrogance and lack of accountability, it does have one of the best and most informed web sites in the region.

The web site is:

The latest service among much of the information available on the site includes a new feature that allows you to sign up for notices from very specific village agencies and interests. I went there, signed up, and immediately got confirmation that I was now subscribed to 25 services -- notified by 25 emails, which might be much.

Yet, the web site offers comprehensive menu of information. It's well designed. Efficient. Full of information.

Of course, the web site can only offer what the village officials want it to offer, and th efact is the village is not vewry good about being honest or forthright about issues and controversies int he village, like the property tax hike that will soon take effect because most residents don't seem to really care about the rising property taxes, and rising village service fees across-the-board.

Still, you can't blame the web site managers or the MIS department for that. They do what they can with what they have and they are doing a great job.

If you need information, visit the web site.

Someday soon, hopefully, the Village Clerk David P. Maher will do a better job of providing public information through the web site. Right now you can get the agendas of meetings online. But, the minutes of meetings seem scant, and run about a month behind the actual meeting. And, in truth, as a journalist for 32 years, I have found that village officials always skewer what they report about controversial public meetings, always making themselves look better than they are.

Hey, maybe instead of the excessively repeated self-promotion ont he village Comcast Channel that we get over and over an dover again, maybe we could have a live broadcast and repeat broadcast uncensored or our village board meetings. So few people attend now, why would they? It might open doors to all kinds of problems if you watched how our Mayor Dan McLaughlin conducts his meetings. It might push citizens to want to get involved, and I don't think that is really what our elected officials want.

(Most of the trustees are so arrogant and unresponsive. They only respond to those who support them and like them, not to those who question their actions. Why should they, right? They are working for themselves, not the best interests of the village or its citizens.)

You can't trust your elected officials to be honest. You have to force them to be honest by vigilant monitoring of what they do. And for most of us who work for a living, also policing our politicall unscrupulous elected officials can be a fulltime and unwanted job.

-- Ray Hanania

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