Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Orland Trustee Pat Gira plays politics while ignoring her responsibilities to village taxpayers

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Village Trustee Patricia Gira is engaged in a transparent political game to promote her allies in the upcoming spring village elections. That's good to see, considering that she has spent her entire public career closing her eyes to the problems of her political pals.

Gira is angry that Pat Maher, the son of Village Clerk David Maher, was thrown out of office in the last election at the Orland Fire Protection District. Gira and Maher ran together, her for village trustee -- a seat she barely won -- and Maher to use the OFPD as a base to launch a career to higher office.

Neither really cared about the public's interests.

For example, Gira has been sending out letters to senior citizens in Orland Park inciting them tp fear using lies and exaggerations. Gira claims the OFPD is weighing closing Fire Station #6.

Not only is that an outright lie, but OFPD President Jim Hickey publicly stated that he opposed any proposal to close a fire station. In fact, it wasn't the OFPD board that brought up the issue of "closing Fire Station #6." It was in fact Pat Gira who brought up the idea?

Why would she do that when she knows that is a lie?

Well, she is using fear mongering to incite the community and to confuse seniors about the facts. She wants to build up a challenge against the OFPD in the next election in the Spring in the hopes of electing her allies to the board.

Gira ignored than nearly $2.6 million that the OFPD cut from the budget of the Fire District, the budget that her ally Pat Maher rammed through the board in January 2011. 

Gira was silent over the fact that the OFPD for the first time in FIVE YEARS has a budget UNDER $30 million.

But she did complain that the Fire District has "three public relations consultants." Not true, of course. When Gira and Maher were running the Fire District, the OFPD had four media consultants and PR consultants.

The new board under Jim Hickey, however, cut the costs of the PR workers saving more than $12,000 a year. The OFPD pays $36,000 a year for a PR consultant (me) compared to the $48,000 that Gira and Maher paid before I was hired.

Of course, Gira is hoping to incite fear and raise phony issues hoping you won't ask, for example: "How much does the Village of Orland Park which has raised property taxes how many times over th eyears, pay for public relations and PR?"

I've sent an FOIA under the Village of Orland Park's so-called transparency program to find out exactly how many hundreds of thousands the village is paying. We'll see how they respond and I'll publish it here.

It is a shame that Pat Gira is using her public office in the village to run her election strategy against the Orland Fire Protection District. Her letters are signed by her Village Title and are being sent as a Village Trustee. Is the Village of Orland Park paying for that electioneering? Maybe the Cook County State's Attorney should investigate if any village money or resources are being used by Village Trustee Patricia Gira to pay for her political campaign against the Orland Fire Protection District.

In the Spring 2011 elections, Orland taxpayers declared they have had enough with lying and cheating elected officials. They forced Maher to quit the race after his lies were exposed. Pat Gira backed him and distributed his re-election literature. 

Not only did they vote against Maher but the majority of Orland Park voters voted AGAINST PAT GIRA in that same election. She barely got 40 percent of the village vote. Nearly 60 percent of the vote went to someone else rather than Pat Gira. She doesn't even have the backing of a majority fo the residents. She knows this is probably her last term in office so she has decided to throw mud, as she did in the last election, and attack the integrity of the Orland Fire Protection District.

CANDIDATE/PARTY     ......................................................% .....................Votes

Edward G. Schussler (Orland Park United)          14.25                        2,616
Patricia A. Gira (Orland Park United)                      13.65                       2,504
Carole Griffin Ruzich (Orland Park United)            12.05                        2,211

(Their votes add up to 39.95 % of the total votes cast)

I'm not going to let that happen. I'm not going to let selfish Pat Gira undermine the will of the voters who spoke loud and clear and demanded that the new OFPD better manage spending and taxpayer dollars. They demanded the OFPD cut budget spending to prevent taxes from increasing as they have in the past.

Gira is really a disgrace. That she would fear monger and incite seniors especially into believing that Fire Station #6 will be closed when she knows that is a lie and she knows that she manufactured the issue to create fear and concern, is disgraceful.

-- Ray Hanania

More reading:

Click here to read Village of Orland Park breaks promise to refund property taxes to offset Sales Tax increase

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