Illegal placement of election signs should be prosecuted
By Ray Hanania
The laws are clear in nearly every municipality regarding the placement of political campaign signs. You can’t place them anywhere you want.
And yet, that is exactly what happens.
Politicians deep into political power grab mode often are the biggest offenders, like in Orland Park where like Mayor Keith Pekau’s political Machine has placed the signs of his handpicked candidates in places that are in clear violation of the very law he is supposed to enforce.
Like many municipalities, Orland Park has a very specific and easy to understand ordinance, S-307, that defines how political campaign signs can be placed and how they can’t be placed.
Section D-1-A-4 of Ordinance S-307 spells out the limitations.
• The sign(s) shall be located on private properties with permission from the property owner;
• The sign(s) may be Yard (Pin) Signs or a type of allowable sign,
• The sign(s) shall be set back a minimum of five feet from all property lines, walks/paths, and access drives;
• The sign(s) shall not exceed five feet in overall height when measured from grade;
Knowing Pekau, he’ll probably change the ordinance and erase its references from the Village Website in much the same way that he erased and rewrote the lengthy description which previously touted the importance of the Village Managerial System.
Pekau wants to eliminate the “Village Managerial System” which requires that a Village Manager meet specific professional qualifications as defined by the State, and instead replace the Village Manager with a person of his own choosing.
He put it in a referendum, but didn’t wait until it was voted on April 4, introducing an ordinance to the Village Board several months back which explained how he would implement the change.
Basically, Pekau will give himself the power to hire a Village Manager” and that person can be anyone without any professional managerial qualifications. The only qualifications Pekau wants is to understand his orders.
During this election campaign, Village employees have been removing campaign signs for anyone who ran against his slate of candidates that were in violation of the village ordinance.
But, not surprisingly, all of the campaign signs for the candidates he has personally endorsed, remain illegally placed. They are right up to the street curb on LaGrange Road. They are on public property right up to the streets on the wrong side of the property line. And, the signs have been pushed on the owners of many strip malls subject to tough village codes.
On the social media platform Nextdoor, many of his sycophants attack anyone who raises the issue of the illegal signs. Illegally placed signs are an eyesore and should be considered “litter.”
Properly placed signs are located on private property, at least 5 feet from the property line, which is the sidewalk for most homeowners.
Former Senate President Phil Rock once told me election sign placement can be an “eyesore,” shrugging, “campaign signs don’t vote.”
He’s correct. Campaign signs, don’t vote, especially the ones littering LaGrange Road, Harlem Avenue, 159th,143rd and 131st Streets. Campaign signs on home front yards reflect a strong vote.
If a candidate has no respect for the law, placing their signs illegally along main roads, it should tell you they have no respect for any laws.
ORLAND PARK REPUBLICANS DIVIDED. You could tell how weak the Republican Organization of extremist Mayor Pekau was when he was defeated in his bid for congress in a landslide last November.
In truth, Pekau isn’t a real Republican. He is an extremist who uses slogans to distract from his refusal to be accountable to the public.
Every other day in his eNewsletter, he personally and viciously attacks anyone who challenges or criticizes him. And his most recent target wis Scott Kaspar, the Chairman of the independent Republican Organization of Orland Township.
Kaspar put out “Palm Card” listing recommended candidates in Tuesday’s election under the Republican banner. And that provoked an avalanche of invective from many of Pekau’s allies including his own wife who attacked Kaspar and also former Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman, calling her a “b—-.”
Gorman has been the target of Pekau’s repeated and vicious rants. Gorman was a champion who had a powerful influence to fight against rising property and sales taxes. Like Gorman, Kaspar is a real Republican and is publisher of the online news site IllinoisReview.com, whose Editor-in-Chief is also the popular radio host, Mark Vargas.
It’s really embarrassing to residents of Orland Park, a community once known for beautiful open lands, fast growing neighborhoods with beautiful affordable housing and enjoyable restaurants.
Since becoming mayor, Pekau’s only achievement has been to make Orland Park the laughing stock of Illinois politics.
That is a real shame.
(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 email@example.com.)
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