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PROPERTY TAXES for the uninformed

Are you curious what your next tax (hike) bill will look like? I think it's time voters and taxpayers are informed BEFORE the tax bill arrives. Cut spending/reduce taxes.

    Your tax bill is determine by the Board of Trustees (you voted for) from the School districts, Village, and Fire District. The township accessor does not determine your tax bill.   

    Employee contracts for Orland Park schools, village workers and the fire district are in the final stages or have recently been finalized. At this weeks Village board meeting I listened to the Village President specify the adjustments to health care and a 1.95% increase in wages for village workers to the trustee board and those in attendance. Comments were requested and the issue was finished. I think the employee representation and the village President both did a great job.

   Then we have the Fire District. Tuesday night I asked the trustee board to post the specific demands from the union before, the finalization. This is now going to arbitration. It's more evidence of the dysfunctional management running this taxing body that is out of touch with reality. Their "demands" are insane. Wages twice the national average aren't good enough. Our per call costs are twice the national average now and they want to raise that! We have built them a new administration building, a training center, bought 3 new fire trucks, have another ambulance on the way, a useless scuba team, and no one has been lay-ed off or had their hours reduced. But they want more. 30 million dollars a year and that isn't enough. They want another 2 million added to it. The spending is beyond comparison. I sat at the budget meeting this summer and with over 2 million dollars worth of management sitting at that table not one dollar in savings was mentioned. Just more spending requests. It's a mentality stuck in a stupid mindset.

     We have the right by law to referendum for a FIRE DEPARTMENT, like we used to have in OP run by the village board. The FD would have to compete with all village services for every nickle and dime. There would be oversight with spending, finally. We need to do this and end this economic fiasco. We can have the same services but without ridiculous work restrictions that cost millions (5-10) every year that should be going into our local economy or staying with your family. Before you react, learn what these work rules are and what the costs to you are. Then join the support for the new Orland Park Fire Department.     

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Joe W. December 24, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Folks, this article i full of misinformation. Please don't believe what this man is ranting about.
Gina December 24, 2012 at 03:32 PM
I think the Patch should remove this article. The uniformed who read this and believe this are now misinformed.
laura December 24, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Steve & Gina, The Patch has no basis for removing his opinion. He in entitled to express it, just as you are entitled to disagree. If you believe the information Paul has provided is incorrect, then please point out exactly which data is wrong and provide readers with the correct figures. Trying to suppress someone's right to express an opinion simply because you disagree with it -- and without providing specifics -- serves no democratic purpose, either.
Joe W. December 24, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Folks, please go to orlandfire.org and read the "Illinois Fire Chiefs Assessment of operational staffing" Then form your opinions based on FACTS not emotion.
Ben Feldheim (Editor) December 24, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Thanks a lot for weighing in, everyone. The budget passed for this upcoming year clocks in with $29.1 million in expected expenses, with $29.9 million in anticipated revenue. That has the district spending about $300,000 less than in 2012, according to their projections. Wages haven't been established yet, since contract negotiations are still underway, though the budget did account for the 11 new hires, bringing the staffing count to 108 firefighters (including engineers and command staff). This is the document Steve referred to: http://www.orlandfire.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/93 As for this $2 million, there is no proposal on record I'm aware of to request an increase of $2 million in the next budget.
John Paul December 25, 2012 at 05:32 AM
Does anyone know how a fire district could be abolished? The district also covers Orland Hills and unincorporated Orland Township, and I can't imagine those people wanting the district abolished. In 2005, we were able to abolish the Township School Treasurer office. That had to be approved in each of the three school districts in the township (135,140 and 146). Even if the total votes were in favor of abolishment, a yes vote in any one district (even if by just 1 vote) would cause the abolishment to lose.
Ben Feldheim (Editor) December 25, 2012 at 09:04 AM
Through referendum a fire district could become a fire department under a municipal government.
paul cervenka December 28, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Orland Park had a Fire Department until 1968. Community's outside of Orland Park can buy services just like Orland Hills does now to use our Jail. Income rather than taxation. Orland Fire has service agreements right now with all surrounding villages. Orland Hills will have fire station #6 it's people and the equipment. As for the millions in increased costs. The increase in pension and health care benifits is now 1 million dollars per year and rising. After the new contract you will see the next round of tax increases to fund the new agreement. 2 million was a low figure. I'm all for the fire department at what ever level they want it to be. Just so I don't have to fund it with property taxes. That's the advantage of a Fire department. It can be funded in any way. NOT just with property taxes. Point. Tinley Park bought a new fire truck. 1/2 was paid for with fund raisers and private donations. That cannot happen with a fire district. It's all spend , then tax. No set limits. No budget. We can change this by a vote. No loss of services just smarter management.
TELL THE TRUTH December 28, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Paul, your actually going to blame management when the maher administration AND the union built the most lucrative contract in the STATE OF ILLINOIS?????? Sorry pal the union owned the district for years and the taxpayer is the sucker on this one! the new board is taking steps to stop the bleeding that is contractual. get INFORMED before you spout about nothing you know.
paul cervenka December 29, 2012 at 04:52 PM
The management is also unionized ! and yes, they are, the problem. Why do we need over 30 officers when 10 would do? Self promotion. Give yourself a $$ raise. The protection work rules alone in the current contrat cost millions needlessly every year. There are still one or two on the trustee board that are owned. Who are they? Hint, they never say NO. The shame brought to OP with all the PORN in this fire district is reason enough for a complete gutting. They have drawn the attention of law enforcement and I'm sure it's not over.
TELL THE TRUTH December 29, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Wrong again my friend. the lieutenants are part of the union. The big boys/chiefs are not. You really should do your homework, the union has bled the taxpayers for the last 8 years....time to stop the nonsense!

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