Saturday, March 19, 2011

Candidates for Village Trustee and Fire Protection District to cut salaries if elected

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Candidates for Village Trustee and Fire Protection District to cut salaries if elected

You can tell which candidate is backing the Fiscal Voices for Orland Park slate in the April 5  elections. Fiscal Voices is a coalition of pro-taxpayer candidates running for the Orland Park Village Board and the Orland Fire Protection District.


They include Fire District Candidates Dr. Blair Rhode and Christopher Evoy, whose signs are being ripped down across Orland Township, are members of the Fiscal Voices for Orland Park slate. While the Orland Fire Protection District incumbents have been raising taxes faster than they have been ripping down Rhode and Evoy campaign signs, Rhode and Evoy have promised to return their monthly stipend if elected to the Fire Protection board.

The monthly $250 fee may not sound like much, but that's $3,000 a year. And while it doesn't off-set the huge taxes that the Fire District has imposed on taxpayers over the past four years -- it's now knocking on $30 million a year -- the proposal to reject their wages for their service symbolizes how serious they take the issue.

And, as I mentioned, you know who is backing them, Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Gorman who led the fight to repeal the oppressive one per cent sales tax imposed by former County Board President Todd Stroger. In fact, Gorman's persistence forced the board to repeal the tax and even convinced the commissioner whose vote made the tax hike possible in the first place, Larry Suffredin, to change his mind. (Had Suffredin voted against the Stroger sales tax in the first place, it would never have passed.)

Rhode and Evoy are made from the same anti-tax mold as Gorman, and that's fresh air in Orland Township and Orland Park where taxes have only increased -- again, faster than campaign signs are being pulled down in the village and that's pretty fast. (There should be a law on how fast a campaign sign can be torn down by opponents. Oh yea, there is. It's called destruction of private property. It was an issue in the last countywide elections when former County Commissioner Tony Peraica lost re-election when he was accused of ripping down signs of his opponent and now Commissioner Jeff Tobolski.

Rhode explained the decision in a release Saturday night: "We decided to run because the Fire District's expenses are out of control. Taking any money in this financial climate would be wrong."

I couldn't agree more. 

Evoy also charged that incumbent Trustee Salvatore R. “Bob” Cacciato has campaign signs that say they are backed and paid for  by the fire union, arguing "This is exactly what's wrong on this Fire Board. How can any candidate take money from the very union they are expected to negotiate against?"

Evoy is noting that the Orland Fire Protection District has to negotiate salaries and union wages with the fire union. Seems a little odd to me. I've reached out to Cacciato for his response.

Evoy added, "I also will lead by example and refuse any pay whatsoever. This election is about the people of Orland Township."

Cacciato is the running mate of Orland Fire Protection District President Patrick Maher who withdrew from the election.


Village Trustee candidates John Brudnak, Steve Williams and Molly McAvoy Flynn have also followed closely in the footsteps of Liz Gorman. They have proposed that they will take a pay cut of 10 percent when elected and will take another 10 percent cutback "if  the current economic climate doesn't get better."

In a release Saturday, Brudnak said, "Now is the time to let actions speak and to get the village back running the way people want and deserve."  

Flynn agreed adding, "In tough times elected officials must lead by example, we can't cut the tax rebate out and charge higher fees while still taking a full salary,that's hypocritical in every way." 

Williams agreed with his running mates saying, "Talk is cheap but actions speak volumes."

When contacted, Gorman praised the decisions saying, "This is exactly why we are backing these Five candidates. The steps they are taking by volunteering to do this really speaks to there moral and ethical character. I am honored and proud to have my name associated with their campaign."

Brudnak, Williams and Flynn are challenging incumbent village trustees Ed Schussler, Pat Gira and Carole Ruzich


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