Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said other communities can learn from the way Orland Park does business. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said other communities can learn from the way Orland Park does business. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

After congressional loss, Pekau ready to keep Orland Park a ‘fantastic town’

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By Jeff Vorva

In Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau’s first board meeting since his loss to Sean Casten for a congressional seat, he expressed disappointment with the loss but said he was happy he is still running the village.

At Monday’s meeting, Pekau said he was not happy with the way the elections turned out throughout the state, as Democrats dominated.

“It was disappointing to me on a personal level, and it was disappointing to me on a statewide level,” Pekau said of the election. “They’ve already met and blown off the SAFE-T Act, which is what I predicted. So, we’re dealing with that.”

Meanwhile, Pekau has a couple of more years as the Orland Park boss and is ready to try to keep the village ahead of the game even though he said both the state of Illinois and Cook County are two obstacles to hurdle.

Still, he remains optimistic and proud of his town.

“As disappointing as this was for me, I’m still the mayor of a fantastic town,” he said. “It’s a town I grew up in and raised my kids in. We opened 180 new businesses last year and you can see all the grant money we’ve been getting. We’ve been demonstrating how to lead and how to do it right.

“There are other good communities in Illinois as well. But by and large the 1,400 communities in this state can learn from watching us as to how we handle our finances and how we conduct our business. They can learn from us. We set that example.”

He said running for Congress opened his eyes on a few things and has respect for many that serve.

“I will say I met a lot of great people along the way,” he said. “Remember, there are 435 congressmen and congresswomen. And there are 100 senators. That’s 535 people.

“You see 20, maybe, on TV all the time and most of them are schmucks. Both sides. They are bomb-throwers oftentimes for the most part. Not all of them. There are a lot of really, talented people there as well that are there for the right reasons.”

‘Heart’ throbs

In recent years, some non-profit groups have run Queen of Hearts raffles and the prize money has reached millions and caused craziness and chaos in some communities.

The Orland Park Kiwanis Club is close to reaching the village’s limit of $100,000 in its raffle and asked to increase the limit to $300,000.  The village unanimously voted on Monday to increase it to $200,000.

The club said money raised will go to area groups and charities.

In recent years, the club has donated $2 million to Sandburg High School scholarships, the Orland Park Rotary Club, the Ronald McDonald House, individual families, the Community Center Foundation, the Cancer Support Center, the Pediatric Treasure Chest Foundation, Moraine Valley Community College scholarships, the Orland Park Food Pantry, the Bridge Teen Center, Sandburg High School’s Key Club, Orland Township School Supplies Fund and local veterans groups.

2 Comments

  1. Karen Verderber on November 23, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    We re so glad you will still keep making the village of Orland park better and better and we thank you for your service
    Here, as well as in the military!



  2. Vince Kelly on November 24, 2022 at 12:09 am

    Picachu is everything that’s wrong with politics

    A disrespectful Trump wanna be

    Could not be happier he lost



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