Monday, March 28, 2011

Library board choice: more politics or literary independence

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Tom Dubelbeis is running for the Orland Park Library Board. Voters should reject his candidacy.

Dubelbeis, if you remember, is a consultant who works for the Orland Park Fire District and was a campaign strategist working with Pat Maher, the outgoing OPFD President.

I know that because it was Dubelbeis who called to introduce me to Maher, the poor guy. I had barely had a conversation with Dubelbeis before that meeting, but I got this feeling that he was telling Maher that he was an "insider"  who knew people and could hook him up and help with his election.

Dubelbeis' pal, Maher, had his lunch handed to him by Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman in the county board race last November. Maybe Maher's loss reflects Dubelbeis' great campaign work.

The Orland Park Fire Protection District has the distinction of being one of the most overtaxed agencies in Illinois. Fire Departments in other communities provide professional services for as little as $4 million and $8 a year. But not in the Dubelbeis Fire Protection District, which slams the taxpayers for more than $30 million in taxes ... to do what? Buy big brand new SUV's so the fire battalion chiefs can drive their families around to baseball games and stores outside of the township?

Maybe Dubelbeis wants to do for the Orland Park Library District what he is doing for the Orland Park Fire Protection District?

Dubelbeis was a political consultant for Pat Maher, and he supports Maher. Maher has serious issues in his past that were brought out during the November elections in his failed bid to unseat Gorman. If you want Maher's allies controlling the Library Board, go ahead and vote for Dubelbeis. But if you think the Orland Fire Protection District is a bottomless pit of tax spending, and you want the Library to be something better, you should reject Dubelbeis' candidacy.

There are some great alternatives running for the Library Board. The library board has seven trustees and three seats up for election Tuesday April 5.

They include George Sims, Denis Ryan, Brian Wydajewski, Bassam Abdallah, Julie Ann Craig, Renee Poppie and Nancy Wendt Healy.

Don't put your library board in the hands of politicians.

-- Ray Hanania

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