Orland Park mayor, board get earful over big salary jump

While touted as a cost-saving move for Orland Park, a big raise for that village’s mayor, which will kick in next spring, was criticized by angry residents as not justified.

Some in a standing-room-only crowd on Monday night — a rarity for a Village Board meeting — promised retribution at the polls in April when Mayor Dan McLaughlin and three trustees seek re-election.

Now paid $40,000 as mayor, plus another $3,000 a year for serving as liquor commissioner, the mayor would be paid $150,000 and the position expanded to full-time with added responsibilities of being Orland Park’s lead person on economic development matters. The higher salary won’t take effect until after next spring’s elections.

Prior to the board’s unanimous vote hiking the salary, with McLaughlin abstaining, he and trustees spent about two hours listening to residents who questioned the size of the increase. One resident said it was “unconscionable” for the board not to have put the issue to voters in the form of a referendum question.

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