My editor says I’m getting a bit too grumpy. He wants me to be a bit more lighthearted. And he’s right. I’ve got to have more fun writing about the local political landscape.
So I’ve decided to take a lighthearted approach to turning over the rocks around Proviso Township and elsewhere and seeing what scurries away from the sunlight. And the entrenched political interests in Proviso and Leyden townships are definitely a bit antsy, I hear. Long used to operating out of public view, they’re getting some press scrutiny. And even the wee bit of sunlight cast by a small weekly makes them ready to scurry away.
Which, when I think about it, makes me positively lighthearted.
I hear District 209 board President Chris Welch has been attempting to rewrite Roberts Rules of Order regarding the hiring of Melrose Park law firm Giglio and Del Galdo. What exactly, I wonder, is a “modified vote?” And do the voters get to declare a “modified vote” with respect to the recent D209 election?
Then there are the contracts that Tony Calderone has inked with governmental bodies the past few years. He insists he has no political connections with Melrose Park, but the $824,000 contract his Illinois Alarm firm inked with the District 89 school district, headquartered in Melrose Park, suggests different. Signed by Calderone the day after Christmas, it pays his company nearly $660,000 for installing security equipment in 13 district buildings, as well as nearly $160,000 in monthly fees over the next three years.
I haven’t received anything yet from a May 10 FOIA with Melrose Park regarding Illinois Alarm, but I’m patient. I won’t even get grumpy if I have to contact the Illinois Attorney General’s office for help.
I’ll also be watching patiently-and ever so lightheartedly-to see how Melrose Park Trustee Arturo Mota and James F. Klein, the brother of Melrose Park Trustee T. K. Klein, conduct themselves now that Proviso Township Supervisor Kathy Ryan appointed them to the township Mental Health Commission.
Over in Leyden Township, newly appointed Rosemont Mayor Bradley Stephens seems to want it all. Also a Rosemont trustee, he wants to retain his township supervisor position while also being named Leyden Township committeeman. I suspect, however, that at least two men long loyal to the late Don Stephens-Elmwood Park Mayor and Cook County Commissioner Peter Silvestri, and State Rep. Angelo “Skip” Saviano-may feel it’s time their loyalty be rewarded. Say, with the supervisor position for Saviano, and the committeeman job for Silvestri.
The region’s top Republicrat-or is that Depublican-Cook County GOP Chairman Liz Gorman, has indicated she’d be willing to support naming Bradley Stephens as the Leyden Township Republican committeeman.
Gorman likes to make friends in both political parties. She recently appointed D209 employee and Democrat Kyle Hastings to the PACE board at a salary of $10,000. Totally coincidental, Gorman rents an office on the second floor of the Orland Hills village hall, where Hastings holds sway as mayor, for a mere $10 per year.
Excuse me while I stifle another giggle.
Then again, Gorman appears to need all the friends she can make. According to federal court documents, another good friend, the recently indicted Edward “Fast Eddie” Vrdolyak, the prototype Depublican, loaned Gorman and her husband $750,000 while acting as their lead attorney in a lawsuit against Daimler Chrysler Corp. Vrdolyak was subsequently tossed off the case by a judge, due to the financial relationship and improper contact with an individual connected to the case.
Not only do the Gormans owe Vrdolyak $10,000 per month for the remainder of an 84 month contract for the $750K, they also owe $3.4 million to Daimler Chrysler and $872,000 in attorney’s fees after the automaker countersued and won.
Yep. Gonna be an interesting next two years if you’re paying attention.
And I will be, grinning all the while.