Updated at 10:45 a.m. on April 12: Candidates Brian Wydajewski and Julie Ann Craig shared their with Patch on April 7 and April 12, respectively.
The election race that garnered little public attention may have netted the biggest upsets.
After more than 12 years on the board, George Sims and Brian Wydajewski were uprooted by newcomers Denis Ryan and Julie Ann Craig.
On Wednesday, Sims and other current board members said they were surprised with the library results and worried about the new makeup of the board, a notably non-partisan group.
Ryan received an endorsement from Mayor Dan McLaughlin, who also appointed him to the village's Veterans Commission. Cook County Commissioner and Orland Park resident Elizabeth Gorman allegedly endorsed Julie Ann Craig.
Nancy Wendt Healy hung on to her seat without any political backing. She lamented losing Sims and Wydajewski for their history and awareness of the library, though "there’s still certainly a well-versed library board remaining. I’m just surprised with the way it became political. I only know that because I read the letters which came to my house...I hope it doesn’t change the integrity of the board."
Sims made a similar point on Wednesday.
"Obviously, there were three factions running in this election," he said. "We, the incumbents, and then candidates backed by Gorman...and another slate backed by the mayor. Their politics appear to be more important than having an independent library board."
Ryan vowed he isn't politically connected to the mayor and said he owed his successful "word-of-mouth" campaign to the voters of Orland Park.
"I really don't understand it, myself. It's more like paranoia than anything else," he contested.
Still, Ryan believes there's nothing wrong with the library having "a closer connection to the Village of Orland Park. If it wasn't for the Village of Oland Park, the library wouldn't be there." The retiree is most interested in opening the library's ledger to see where its money goes and where resources with the village might be shared.
The board governing the Orland Park Public Library is comprised of seven trustees who meet the third Monday of each month. Eight candidates, including three incumbents, competed for three seats in this year’s election.
Only five candidates responded to Patch’s general questionnaire, and only four of which—including the three incumbents—took time to complete the issue-focused questionnaire. It asked, among others, how to balance the demands of the taxpayers with those of staff and what to do in the event the state stopped financing Orland Park's book delivery system.
Throughout the election, Craig was unreachable. A questionnaire was left with a security guard at the front of her gated subdivision.
A message left with incumbent candidate Brian Wydajewski, who also lost Tuesday, was not returned.
Library candidate and former village trustee Thomas Dubelbeis received an endorsement from McLaughlin, though he wasn't as fortunate as Ryan. A day after the election he said he was feeling "burned out" but still summoned plenty of goodwill, calling Healy a "good person" who earns the "faith and confidence" of others.
"I know Denny (Denis) Ryan personally, and he's a very good man," Dubelbeis added. "Denny gives it a 110 percent: he'll listen, he'll learn, he'll make sure the right things are done."
Reflecting on the entire Election Day landscape, Dubelbeis said he was disappointed with the turnout but wasn't altogether surprised, given that it was an off-year without county, state or national candidates on the ballot.
"When you're an incumbent and you're running with incumbents it's important to stay with the issues, and stay with the public," he said. "And if you're not an incumbent and you're trying to get elected, you hope people would do the same."