Friday, April 1, 2011

Two leaders headed for mayoral contest release their endorsements: Gira goes off deep end in Letter to Southtown

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Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin and the candidate who is most likely to challenge him for re-election in two years, Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman both released their endorsements for Tuesday April 5 election.

McLaughlin's letter to residents supporting the Orland Park United Party dropped today. It reads:

"Because this election is so important I wanted to write and ask your consideration for candidates that I know are dedicated to improving our community and are running for the right reasons. Many of these candidates are experienced with many years of service to the community and some are new to public service bringing fresh ideas and a new energy.

"Please vote on April 5th and please consider the following candidates:

Village Trustee
Patricia Gira
Edward Schussler
Carole Griffin Ruzich

Library Trustee
Denis Ryan
Tom Dubelbeis
Bassam Abdallah

District 135 School Board
Joe LaMargo

District 230 School Board
Rick Nogal
Oatrick O'Sullivan
Kathleen "Kathy" Quilty

Orland Fire District
Salvatore "Bob" Cacciato

"I have also enclosed a card with these candidates listed which you may bring into the polling place as a reminder. Orland Park is a great community. Let's keep working together to make it even greater. Thank you for your consideration.

Daniel J. McLaughlin

McLaughlin is not only the mayor but he is also the Democratic committeeman of Orland Township. Gorman is the Republican committeeman of Orland Township. I like both Gorman and McLaughlin, and it's good to see McLaughlin at least picking up from my suggestion that the Orland United Party should change their innocuous slogan, adding the important phrase "Orland Park is a great community. Let's keep working together to make it even greater."

Here is the slate endorsed by Liz Gorman for the Fiscal Voices of Orland Park and the newsletter she distributed this week:

Village Trustee
John M. Brudnak
Molly Flynn McAvoy
Steve Williams

Orland Library Trustee
Julie Ann Craig
Renee Poppie
Faith Swanson Pavlick

School District 135
Tina M. Zekich

MVCC Unexpired Term
Lisa Zynalski

MVCC Trustees
Susan Murphy
John R. Coleman

Orland Fire Protection District
Blair Rhode
Christopher G. Evoy

Here's the newsletter Gorman mailed:

Gorman Newsletter Page 1. Click image to view larger image.

Gorman Newsletter Page 2. Click image to view larger image.

Gorman Newsletter Page 3. Click image to view larger image.

LaMargo is the village deputy clerk and Cacciato, running mate of former candidate Patrick Maher, is an incumbent. Tom Dubelbeis is a former village trustee and was one of Maher's campaign strategists for the failed bid for Cook County Board commissioner.

Gira's strange letter in the SouthtownStar

Gira wrote a scathing letter attacking Liz Gorman personally that appeared in the Southtown Star. Click here to read the link.

The accusations against Gorman are vicious, never mind the FACT that Gorman was re-elected to office with one of the highest votes ever from Orland Park for the Cook County board district, slamming Patrick Maher who is Gira's friend.

I am not sure what Gira is talking about though, except that the letter seemed like a gratuitous attack at Gorman's personal financial issues which were wildly debated and the voters brushed aside as inconsequential. Frankly, Gorman has done so much to defend the rights of taxpayers that whatever mistakes she may have made regarding her own personal finances are insignificant and irrelevant.

She seems to be defending an employee at the village, but Gira doesn't give the employees name. And she says Gorman did something, but doesn't explain what she did. I gather though that the person Gira is defending is filling in for someone at the village hall and she wrote a letter criticizing Gorman and Gorman may have responded, which is her right.

I have received a lot of mailers from the Schussler-Gira slate but I haven't read about what they hope to do when re-elected, explained why the village had to raise fees so high or why the village eliminated the homeowner's property tax rebate, which was promised to us in exchange for the local Orland Park sales tax hike.

When you are in office, the responsibility is on the incumbent to explain policies. And there hasn't been much explaining going on around Orland Park by its village officials in a long time.

- Ray Hanania

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