We had a board meeting last night and I wanted to pass on an update to everyone and touch on a few other issues.
First, we recognized one of our police officer’s for going above and beyond to help an elderly resident. He noticed on a call that her front door knob and lock were broken. On his own time (and money) after his shift he went back and repaired it for her. These are the types of people we have in our police department and I wanted you to know.
We also had a discussion about transitioning T12 fluorescent bulbs to T8 bulbs. I had asked for a comparison of T8s and LEDs, which I was given. The information presented, however, did not show the cost of replacing the T8s twice compared to the lifespan of the LEDs (which is about 25-30 years). The board agreed that we should see that comparison before making a decision, so that we make the correct long-term decision.
I bring this up, because I think it is imperative that we make the right long-term cost decisions and a couple of future projects were discussed that would involve replacing street lamps with LEDs. The approximate cost to do this project village wide is about $4 million dollars. Energy savings and current incentives would pay back this expense in 8 to 9 years. The LED bulbs would last approximately 20 years so the energy savings would result in significant budget savings (~$500,000) per year once the investment is paid off. In my opinion, given these are the types of projects that make sense to finance since it pays for itself. I would love to get your thoughts on this. (I will be sending out a survey, so please give me your opinion.)
The board then moved forward with changing some of our commissions. It has taken a long time, but we are finally reaching some conclusions. We created a technology commission (if anyone is interested in serving on it, please let me know). We also eliminated 3 commissions – Community Relations, Senior Advisory and Parking and Traffic. I took the time to meet with most of the board members on these commissions to get their opinions before agreeing to eliminate the commissions. Of these three the only one that has been active at all in recent years was the Parking and Traffic board. However, for the most part, even the Parking and Traffic board does minimal work and the police department can handle those issues. There are also several boards that will remain unchanged and a few more that we are still working on.
The Board and I also approved a Request For Qualifications to develop the Metra Triangle. It was greed that we should stop trying to develop this piece by piece and go out to the marketplace to get their ideas. I wholeheartedly support this! It is time for the Village to get out of the development business! Kudos to the Board for this!
Lastly, I outlined a few 2018 Board resolutions that the Board and I agree on. Expect more specifics on many of these as we work through our strategic planning sessions.
Develop strategic plan
Includes village wide and department level goals
Develop metrics for performance measures by department
Reduce operating budget
Implement cost accounting improvements to enable fact-based decision making
Continue infrastructure improvement to ensure that development areas are market ready
Improve marketing documents
Implement a new website portal for the business community
Develop and begin implementation of Smart City Initiative
Develop and implement new website
Conduct (2) Facebook live events to replace tele-town halls)
Implement improved audio and video taping of Village Board meetings
Parks & Recreation
Implement concert series at Centennial Park west
Develop long term reinvestment plan for our parks and fields
Develop a vehicle replacement plan that includes alternative fuels
Implement Mayor and Board performance review process of Village Manager
Provide feedback to Village Manager for Asst. Village Managers, Departments and Directors
Another important note to everyone. There is no bigger supporter of our second amendment and the right to carry than me. Personally, I have a concealed carry license. However, with the ability to conceal carry comes responsibility. Please make sure your guns are secure. If you leave a gun in your car (many of us in IL do because of IL laws), MAKE SURE YOU LOCK YOUR CAR! It is irresponsible to do otherwise as anyone can open your door and take your gun! We have had multiple instances of this recently in Orland Park. Gangs throughout Chicagoland are sending kids to check doors and having them steal anything of value. If they get your gun, they will use it to hurt someone. I CAN’T OVEREMPHASIZE THIS! LOCK YOUR CAR DOOR! OVER 99% OF THEFTS FROM CARS ARE FROM CARS THAT ARE UNLOCKED!
As always, I appreciate feedback. Also, if anyone is interested in serving on the technology commission, please let me know.