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HomeIllinois NewsPower-Hungry Pekau Erasing Orland Park History on Village Website, Setting the Stage...

Power-Hungry Pekau Erasing Orland Park History on Village Website, Setting the Stage for a Referendum That Changes Governing Structure, Giving Him More Power and Money



By Illinois Review

Since the pandemic, the Democrats have tried to rewrite history, even taking credit for the return to in-person learning “in spite of Republicans,” but in Orland Park, Mayor Keith Pekau is doing more than just rewriting history – he’s deleting it altogether on the village’s official website, as residents continue to reject his latest power grab being dubbed a “referendum” – moving the village away from a council-manager form of government to a mayor-council form of government.

Last Thursday, during a standing room only community meeting hosted by Vote Yes Orland, a local ballot initiative committee registered with the Illinois State Board of Elections, over a hundred Orland Park residents stood alongside Vote Yes to publicly express their opposition to Pekau’s latest attempt to become the most powerful political figure in Orland Park in forty years.

Orland Park, a village of just over 50,000 residents, has been a council-manager form of government since 1983. That managerial style relies on a full-time Village Manager who reports directly to the Village Board of Trustees, of which the Village President is the chair.

Orland Park’s current Village Manager has held that position since 2019, after Pekau pushed out the former Village Manager.

The current Village Manager recently became a finalist for the Village Manager position in Janesville, Wisconsin. And after several years under the Pekau regime, he speaks glowingly about his potential new employer.

“Janesville punches above its weight. Janesville is 65,000 (people). There is no city this size in Illinois with two hospital systems, for example…It is really managed well.”

But elevating the Village President (mayor) position to that of a full-time, Chicago-style mayor, and by effectively eliminating the need for a full-time Village Manager, Pekau would be set to reclaim his former $150,000 salary, and the pension perks that come with it.

It would also give Pekau virtually unlimited power in Orland Park – making him more of a dictator than an elected representative of the people.

Pekau denies that this is about money, but it’s no secret in the community that he’s unhappy with the $40,000 salary he gave himself after being elected on a platform that he would significantly cut the mayor’s pay.

Pekau also denies that this is a power grab, pointing out the fact that the village trustees would hold the power, and not the mayor.

But who presides over the village trustees? The mayor.

A fact that Pekau conveniently leaves out.

And earlier on Monday, it was discovered that Pekau not only edited the official Village of Orland Park website, he deliberately sabotaged it, deleting historical information about the council-manager form of government – the very form of government that Pekau is trying to change.

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau deliberately deletes the village’s history on their official website. A before and after graphic displays the change. (Source: Village of Orland Park website)

And in a bizarre, alphabet soup-type wording, the website now reads,

“The Village of Orland Park was incorporated May 31, 1892. The council-manager form of government, which was adopted on November 5, 1983, is available to all municipalities under 500,000 in population. It also allows the municipality to retain its governmental structure as an aldermanic-city form, Trustee-Village form, or commission form while adopting the features of the manager form.”

The move caught the immediate attention of many residents, including Vote Yes Orland Park, who went on Facebook writing,

“So after we posted this morning, Village of Orland Park, Illinois – Government altered their website to change the content found at the link we shared. Fortunately, we were cautious enough to capture the page before Keith Pekau commanded them to change it. Please see the captured picture and ask the mayor why he’s constantly putting politics over people?

This was our original message before the Village changed the website:
Good Morning, Orland Park Neighbors! We thought we would start the week with a direct link to the Village of Orland Park’s website, which speaks perfectly about why we are a council-manager form of government and how it has served us well since 1983. Please read, share, volunteer and donate to keep our village government working for us! #voteyesorland

For facts about the referendum visit voteyesorland.com”

(Source: Facebook/Vote Yes Orland Park)

In Chicago, which has a mayor-council form of government, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has enormous power and influence over city matters. She even has a full-time security detail – a fact that Pekau relishes.

A council-manager system keeps the mayor accountable. A mayor-council gives the mayor expansive powers – and can usher in corruption at the highest levels.

As the saying goes, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Residents of Orland Park will vote on the referendum in the upcoming election on April 4th.


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