FALL WINTER 2017
FALL WINTER 2017
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
John C. Mehalek
Planning & Engineering
Mayor Pro Tem; Technology,
Innovation and Performance Improvement
Parks & Recreation
Carole Griffin Ruzich
Home Sweet Home
New Village Manager
Baseball 4 All
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
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.