Orland Park Public Newsletter - Fall Winter 2017

WWW.ORLANDPARK.ORG | FALL WINTER 2017 | 1 | FALL WINTER 2017 | WWW.ORLANDPARK.ORG VILLAGE BOARD LETTER FROM THE MAYOR Pictured (l to r) Trustee Michael Carroll, Trustee Patricia Gira, Trustee James Dodge, Mayor Keith Pekau, Village Clerk John Mehalek, Trustee Carole Griffin Ruzich, Trustee Daniel Calandriello, Trustee Kathleen Fenton Keith Pekau Mayor John C. Mehalek Village Clerk TRUSTEES Kathleen Fenton Development Services, Planning & Engineering James Dodge Mayor Pro Tem; Technology, Innovation and Performance Improvement Patricia Gira Parks & Recreation Carole Griffin Ruzich Finance Daniel Calandriello Public Safety Michael Carroll Public Works Calendar 2 Stellwagen 4 Veterans 6 Home Sweet Home 8 New Village Manager 10 Holiday Safety 14 Winter Wonderland 18 Winter Readiness 20 Baseball 4 All 22 Finance 24 TABLE OF CONTENTS I am often asked what it’s like to be mayor of Orland Park. Well, I can tell you that it’s pretty exciting, with positive developments and some amazing moments. It’s an exciting time for the village with a lot happening in town. There have been changes to the village board and we recently announced the appointment of a new village manager who oversees the nearly 300 full time and more than 700 part-time and seasonal staff along with the village’s $149 million budget. You may have seen in the media that the Village of Orland Park submitted a response to Amazon’s request for proposals for its second North American headquarters. Orland Park is a viable option for Amazon to consider because the community has so much to offer and our I-80 Corridor would be an ideal location. We’ve been working closely with the Will County Center for Economic Development and the State of Illinois. Orland Park’s proposal has received support from other municipalities, legislators, organizations and individuals and we’re grateful for everyone’s help with putting it together. During my time in office, the Village of Orland Park has experienced many positive developments. We are building a stronger relationship with the owners of Orland Square Mall. As you know, the mall has been the economic anchor for Orland Park for many years. They have made several investments including the installation of a new camera system and new outdoor LED lighting. Orland Square recently announced the addition of a new restaurant, Texas De Brazil. The Orland Park site will be the third Texas De Brazil location in the state and has an anticipated opening in 2018. As part of the changes to the mall, updates to the bus stop will be made and a new layover location was added between Lowe’s and Staples. This occurred with cooperative efforts from Pace Bus, Orland Square Mall and the Village of Orland Park. Outside government entities are creating challenges for the village. The State of Illinois passed a budget that puts an additional burden directly on you via the income tax, but also indirectly burdens you with funding cuts to local communities including Orland Park. Cook County has passed many new laws aimed at both our residents and business, including the sweetened beverage tax. I remain committed to working with our Cook County Commission to repeal this tax. The village exited its involvement with the 9750 project by accepting a buyout offer from the developers Flaherty & Collins. This will reduce our debt by over $50 million and will give us more financial flexibility in the future. I have been witness to several amazing moments. The teamwork displayed by our village staff made the Taste of Orland Park a huge success with our largest crowds to date. Also, a young high school student named Zachary Stack started a not for profit called Orland Park Baseball 4 All to build a field to be 100% accessible for ballplayers with disabilities. In addition, every day there are people volunteering their time for amazing organizations in Orland Park. Nowhere was our community’s passion for giving more apparent than during the relief efforts for the hurricanes that battered Texas and Florida. In 24 to 48 hours, we were able to take the hurricane relief from an idea to actual collection, organization and readying for shipment. Thank you to all of our amazing staff for their hard work making this happen and to all of our Orland Park residents and businesses for their generous donations! I specifically want to thank Jennifer Peterson and Tom Morgan for all of their hard work coordinating these efforts. I look forward to serving you for the next several years and pledge to continue helping our residents and employees work together to keep Orland Park a leading-edge community for the years to come. Sincerely, Keith Pekau Village President