Opinion: Pekau continues his vicious personal attacks against Trustee Calandriello
Village President Keith Pekau continued his personal attacks Wednesday against Trustee Dan Calandriello who attempted to introduce board action to discuss possible short-term support for local businesses in Orland Park. Those businesses are suffering because of the difficulties caused by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
By Ray Hanania
Orland Park Village President Keith Pekau continued his vicious personal attacks Wednesday against Trustee Dan Calandriello who tried unsuccessfully to initiate a discussion he hoped would lead to village action to provide short-term support to local businesses.
Many small businesses in Orland Park are suffering economically because of the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic and restrictions imposed by Gov. J. B. Pritzker and Pekau’s apparent refusal to provide them with real substantive relief.
Pekau’s attack was included in another one of his regularly produced “eNewsletters” headlined under his Political Committee “Keith Pekau Mayor” in which he often attacks anyone who questions his public actions as an elected public official, including Orland Park taxpayers.
In the latest attack from Pekau’s Bully Pulpit, Pekau detailed his version of the Committee of the Whole meeting, which was audio taped, and then wrote this about Calandriello:
“In summary, over the last month, our trustees, staff and commission members have brought us many ideas and we have quickly implemented those that were fiscally sound and actionable,” Pekau wrote in his eNewsletter.
“When something is voted down 5 to 1 in this manner, with almost no comment, the other board members are letting the trustee know that they are quietly rebuking their fellow trustee.”
That’s Pekau’s inexperienced political opinion, of course.
Pekau continued, “It is clear that Trustee Calandriello wanted an agenda item so that he could have the floor to grandstand and play political games. This, while everyone else on this board has been working as a team without worrying about accolades or “air time”. Shortly after the meeting, an opinion blogger and paid spokesman, who hasn’t commented on our board meetings in months, wrote an article that was highly fictional in support of Trustee Calandriello. This whole affair was an orchestrated political attack that tried to undermine the village, its manager, other trustees and its mayor.”
Pekau continued his personal attacks against Calandriello, asserting, “Trustee Calandriello’s grandstanding and political games are nothing new. I have experienced it for three years starting with reviewing our volunteer commissions. Then it was the Pioneers, then it was trying to pass a restaurant tax (ironically, on the very businesses that he now purports “to care deeply for”), then on an entertainment tax and then the Pioneers again most recently. Also, as you may recall, he once went on a diatribe in board comments stating that I had destroyed the village’s reputation amongst many other comments that night.”
And Pekau wrote in bold face to emphasize this point:
“This is a shameful display of politics in the middle of a health crisis, the likes of which we haven’t seen for over 100 years. As I have stated several times, one’s character isn’t developed at times of adversity, it is REVEALED. “
Calandriello took the high road and looked down on Pekau’s attacks.
“While I don’t think political name calling and motive questioning is appropriate at this time of crisis, the Mayor continues to spread half truths and misinformation,” Calandriello wrote, noting that he has been talking about helping Orland Park businesses for the past month.
“I started conversations with our Village Staff in the middle of March regarding this topic and provided multiple ideas. This is a topic I feel passionate about and our businesses need the help now. The important point is not a particular idea, the important part is the policy difference between helping our businesses in the short term versus waiting for the stay at home order to be lifted.”
Calandriello added, “I was asking for a conversation about short term relief which was important to me and many others. We have a disagreement, that happens in government. I lost that vote and I’m moving on to continue to work for our citizens. Fighting about it does not help anyone.”
Trustees who opposed Calandriello’s idea to help local businesses were Trustees Cindy Katsenes, Bill Healy, Michael Milani and Jim Dodge. Dodge later said he tried to bring Pekau and Calandriello together, sometime prior to the meeting, but to no avail. Kathy Fenton was absent from the meeting for personal reasons.
As an award winning columnist and writer, I have criticized Calandriello in the past, too, and many of Calandriello’s allies. The difference, of course, is that Calandriello has class, and we agreed in the past to disagree because it is about the interests of the public and the taxpayers of Orland Park.
Pekau’s attacks are not only vicious but they are incorrect and inaccurate, and probably the worst I have seen in covering Chicagoland politics for some 45 years. (Compared to only 100 years that Pekau has been in politics.)
Calandriello had an absolute right to respond to Pekau’s diatribe at the end of the meeting, but when he tried, Pekau refused to let him speak. Pekau repeatedly told Calandriello “you are out-of-order.” None of the other trustees spoke up at all on the issue of helping small businesses or said anything about the Pekau’s lack of public decorum.
Pekau just can’t miss an opportunity to attack someone personally, a style that characterizes his ego and iron-fisted, tyrannical rule as Orland Park’s “accidental mayor.”
And then, there was Pekau’s feeble attack against me in his eNewsletter. He wrote, “Shortly after the meeting, an opinion blogger and paid spokesman, who hasn’t commented on our board meetings in months, wrote an article that was highly fictional in support of Trustee Calandriello. This whole affair was an orchestrated political attack that tried to undermine the village, its manager, other trustees and its mayor.”
“Highly fictional” Mr. Mayor? Most people who read my column know that the majority of it consisted of your public comments about Calandriello. I’ll try to make up for lost time, too.
Pekau apparently doesn’t believe that residents and taxpayers of Orland Park have a right to express their opinions, I guess. LOL!
Pekau’s attacks are purely political and intended as a political assault on the rights of Orland Park residents and taxpayers who question his abusive conduct. Why? Because that is all he knows how to do. He doesn’t know how to run government. He turns every criticism of his actions into a personal whine, hoping to attract sympathy for himself. The actions of a public political elected official paid for by the taxpayers ($150,000 a year plus $3,000 for the post of liquor commissioner) deserve to be scrutinized and discussed.
Click here to read the “highly fictional” column I wrote about Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.
Click here to listen to the audio of the “highly fictional” April 6, 2020 Committee of the Whole Meeting. It’s very entertaining and tells you everything you need to know about Pekau.
The original audio tape was deleted and edited by the Pekau Administration but here is the audio file that they can’t delete so you can see who is “highly fictional” and who is not. CLICK HERE
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