Palos Park board’s personal attacks continue on social media
By Ray Hanania
When a group of residents went to the Feb. 27 Palos Park Board meeting to express their views on the expansion of a parking lot for Wu’s House at 123rd and LaGrange Road, several of the trustees personally attacked them.
It was a deplorable display of arrogance from elected officials whose salaries come from those very taxpayers they demeaned. Wu’s wants to nearly double parking on a beautiful and lush tree-filled lush property next door.
The plan to increase parking was unanimously rejected by the Plan Commission, but the Mayor and Trustees apparently don’t care about the public process or the expertise of the Plan Commission members.
It’s become important because one of the speakers against expanding Wu’s House parking is Ronette Leal McCarthy who is running for mayor of Palos Park, to replace the surly retiring mayor there John Mahoney. Mahoney sounded annoyed that residents would have an opinion about their tiny little hamlet of only 4,900 residents.
Also running for mayor is Mahoney’s colleague and friend, Nicole Milovich-Walters who sat silently through the meeting not addressing the controversy or the abusive nature of Trustees G. Darryl Reed and Dan Polk. Read my March 15 column or watch the video of the meeting yourself (on my website at Hanania.com). Reed and Polk represent the epitome of what public officials should never become.
Worse is Milovich-Walters, who wants to be mayor and leader but didn’t address this important issue during the meeting. When the controversy exploded on social media, her friends continued the personal attacks against the plan’s critics — and also against me for daring to write about the deplorable conduct of Palos Park’s elected officials.
As the silence began to hurt her campaign, Milovich-Walters wrote a letter at the Patch explaining the very views she should have expressed but failed to do at the meeting to Palos Park taxpayers and residents she wants to represent. That’s poor judgment and poor leadership.
When you elect someone to be mayor, you want someone with the courage and intelligence to address important issues, not someone who is silent hoping the controversy will go away, as Milovich-Walters did.
As I drive past to and from work, 123rd and LaGrange looks like a madhouse of traffic that scars a majestic road buttressed by a forest corridor of beautiful and tall trees. Wu’s leaves its lights on all night. It’s annoying, and that’s without the new parking.
If up to me, I’d vote for McCarthy, someone who fights for taxpayer rights, not someone who sits back silently like Milovich-Walters hoping the controversy will disappear.
THE APRIL 4 ELECTION — There is a huge battle in Orland Park where bully Mayor Keith Pekau is trying to take control of all local governments.
Pekau wants to eliminate the professional Village Manager and control it himself. The Village Manager now must meet professional and experience criteria set by the state. Pekau wants to hire one of his pals.
Pekau placed a referendum on the April 4 ballot that is truly deceptive and uses double negatives, intentionally to confuse voters. Voting NO means you want to eliminate the Village Managerial System; Voting YES means you want to keep it.
Pekau is running candidates to control School District 135, Moraine Valley Community College, the Library and the Orland Fire Protection District (where I do media work).
Pekau frequently attacks me personally for speaking out against his policies. He can’t address issues. After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force serving during the Vietnam War, I moved to Orland Park where I have lived more than 36 years. I pay my taxes there. I love Orland Park. Pekau’s abusive conduct is deplorable and I have a right to respond to it.
VILLAGE MANAGER REFERENDUM: VOTE YES to keep the professional Village Managerial System and stop the “Pekau over People” political power grab.
FOR MVCC: Vote for Tracy Sullivan and Brian O’Neill (6 year term) and Lynn Zeder and Mohammed Jaber (4 year term).
DISTRICT 135: Vote for Linda Peckham Dodge, Alan Kastengren and Francis Lattyak.
ORLAND LIBRARY: Vote for Daniel McMillan and Elan Kleis.
FIRE DISTRICT: Vote for the two most experienced First Responders, Bill Bonnar Jr., whose father was the inspiration for the District’s professionalism, and Matthew G. Rafferty. Bonnar and Rafferty have more First Responder experience than all the other five candidates combined. The District has a 71 percent Cardiac Arrest Save Rate, compared to 10-15 percent rate in the rest of the region.
TINLEY PARK PARK DISTRICT: Vote for Ashley Rubino and Bernie O’Boyle. Ashley Rubino’s husband, Orland Township Highway Commissioner Anthony Rubino, Orland Township’s most effective elected leader.
HOMER GLEN: Vote for Rosie Reynder for Mayor, and Ruben Pazmino, Christian Clausen, James Roti, and Yvonne Chentnik.
(This column originally appeared in The Regional News Newspaper.)
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter. A political analyst and CEO of Urban Strategies Group, Hanania’s opinion columns on mainstream issues are published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group in the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers. His Middle East columns are published in the Arab News. For more information on Ray Hanania visit www.Hanania.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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