If Orland Park’s trustees vote in favor of Dan Calandriello to take the open village board seat, the 28-year-old said he’d bring a proactive approach to village business.
Calandriello, an assistant Cook County state’s attorney, was selected by Mayor Dan McLaughlin to take Brad O’Halloran’s vacated trustee position out of 21 people who either expressed their interest in the seat directly, or were recommended by others.
McLaughlin described him as having an “upbeat and positive attitude” in a letter written to trustees on Sept. 6. McLaughlin also wrote that he has wanted to add younger people to the board, and that weighed in his decision.
Calandriello said he reached out to McLaughlin when the search began to replace O’Halloran — who left both Orland Park’s board and the Metra Board of Directors in August amid scandals on both fronts.
“Overall, I have a passion to keep this community a top community,” Calandriello said about what led him to seek the open seat. “A lot of people who grow up here don’t come back. They move to the city. I want to show that younger people could come back here and start families, which is what I hope to do.”
When asked what should be the next step in developing the Main Street Triangle, Calandriello said he first is waiting to see if the board will accept him.
“It’s a little premature to address specific issues,” Calandriello said. “I have never been privileged to have the conversations that the board members do when making these decisions. I need more information, and if they vote me in, I will bring a proactive approach and a fresh approach into these decisions.”
Prosecuting cases that may involve legislation passed by the Orland Park Village Board has potential for a conflict of interest, though Calandriello said he was cleared by his Cook County State’s Attorney supervisors to seek the board seat.
“I work in the fifth municipal district at Bridgeview, and if I am voted in, I won’t be prosecuting Orland Park crimes,” he said. “My supervisors said this won’t be an issue. We have a few others who are elected officials in their respective communities and still work as assistant state’s attorneys.”
Dan Kirk, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s chief of staff, did not return a message left about how the office proceeds with state’s attorneys serving as elected officials.
Calandriello said he was honored to be considered for the trustee seat.
“I believe Orland Park to be one of the best cities in Illinois and Cook County,” he said. “If selected, I will work tirelessly for this village. I will make sure we’re making factual-based decisions.”
When asked what he thought the role of trustee should be, Calandriello said those who serve need to make sure the village is on the right path now, and 20 years from now.
“We navigate Orland Park, but the ship needs to be steered by everyone,” Calandriello said. “The best idea can come from anyone, and we all need to steer the ship along a successful route.”
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