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D123 School Board President Declares Candidacy for Oak Lawn Trustee

Joe Sorrentino announces his candidate for the sixth district seat on the Oak Lawn Village Board. Says change in village leadership is long overdue.

 

By JOSEPH SORRENTINO

Hello, my name is Joseph Sorrentino and I would like to announce that I am running as a candidate for Oak Lawn Village Trustee in District 6.

As many District 6 residents have urged me, it is once and for all, time for a change in our village government. I am sure you are aware that almost every village board meeting is dominated by accusations and disruptive behavior between the two major political groups. It is not a healthy debate; it is an endless, counter-productive distraction which is NOT in the best interest of the residents. I’d suggest that you tune into the village channel any day of the week to view the board meetings (Comcast - Ch4; AT&T Uverse-Ch99) at 9:30AM, 1:30PM or 7:30PM. Judge for yourself whether a change is long overdue. 

I am running as a qualified, ethical and enthusiastic independent; I am the only true independent candidate in District 6.  I have no political affiliations with either of the groups currently battling on the village board. That is not to say that I oppose either group, I do not. However, it is clear that neither side can negotiate even the simplest solutions. It is disturbing that even the $600 million dollar expansion of Advocate Christ Medical—which should be a celebration of community and economic success—has so much negative publicity due to self-serving board politics, that it still remains at a divisive stalemate. My fellow residents, Oak Lawn has an embarrassing image both within and outside the community; neither group is the solution.

What I stand for is experienced, objective, no-nonsense conduct and decision making that is in the best interest of my fellow district 6 residents, and the entire Village of Oak Lawn. Here are my qualifications to serve you with competency, integrity and leadership:

BUSINESS EXPERIENCE

I have been a successful small business owner in the warehousing and transportation industry for 15 years. I understand the importance of thorough planning and timely execution. I understand what it takes to make informed, tough decisions and I am not afraid to make them. This includes:

  • Formulating a solid business plan which includes calculated growth to address expansion and potential future challenges and opportunities.
  • Managing budgets, allocating finite resources and making successful long term investments.
  • Building teams of quality people who understand that respect and teamwork are vital to enduring success.
  • Seeking business relationships with trustworthy and ethical people.

MUNICIPAL EXPERIENCE

I am currently President of Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123 Board of Education. District 123 provides a 21st Century Learning curriculum for over 3,000 elementary school students of diverse socio-economic backgrounds across six different school buildings. District 123 is the largest school district in Oak Lawn including the high schools. My role as school board president has many responsibilities and experiences which are directly applicable to the role of village trustee. Many significant achievements have occurred in the last six years due mainly to our fantastic teachers and staff. I am proud to have played a part in the leadership during this period:    

  • Maintaining a positive, respectful and productive environment on a board in which my colleagues and I make important decisions.
  • Establishing a strategic plan with bold steps to develop 21st Century learning and technology while insuring fiscal responsibility to all of our taxpayer stakeholders.
  • Directing the administration to publish a plan with a clearly defined timetable to achieve a balanced budget during the one of the most challenging economic times in history.
  • Dealing with the tough decisions relative to residency issues, litigation, contract negotiations, discipline, staff employment issues, and student tragedies.
  • Leading efforts to emphasize civic responsibility and giving back to the community with our students through programs such as Oak Lawn Senior Leaf Raking, Senior Snow Shoveling, Make a Wish Foundation, Veteran’s Day Appreciation Assembly, and 20-30 other volunteer and fundraising programs while instituting a community service requirement for every middle school student.

PERSONAL AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

My wife, Pam, and I have been married for 25 years and were recently blessed to become grandparents. We both grew up and have raised our 5 children in Oak Lawn—in our opinion the best community to do so. We are proud parishioners of St. Catherine of Alexandria.  I attended grammar school in District 123 and St. Linus, graduated from Marist High School and received my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from St. Xavier University.

Pam and I have been major donors of the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation. I have been involved with Oak Lawn Baseball and Girls Softball for 15 years. In addition to coaching a dozen house and travel teams I have also served on the executive board as VP of Boys Travel, VP of Sponsorship, Tournament Director and  Chief of Umpires (girls softball).

MOVING FORWARD: DISTRICT 6 AND THE VILLAGE

My first priority will be to focus on communicating with you to ensure I have your priorities and the best interests of District 6 driving my actions.  Communication is a two-way exchange; therefore, in addition to mailings and emails I may be knocking on your door or see you at one of my regular town-hall meetings.

My plan to move the village forward is simple and focuses on most pressing issues: getting our village board in order; ending this constant stream of litigation and investigations; assessing and enhancing public safety measures; ensuring our key development projects are on track in EVERY aspect; and ensuring the best management of our basic services to residents.  I will expand on my plans and positions in future communications to you.

If you have any questions or concerns I want to hear from you!  If you would like to help me reach the people of district 6, please feel free to call me at 708-712-1746 or email me at joe.sorrentino@qg.com.

Our district and village board critically needs experienced, objective, no-nonsense leadership right now!! Vote for Joseph Sorrentino on April 9, 2013.

Oak Lawn Patch invites ALL candidates running for local offices in the April 2013 election to blog or submit opinion-editorials anytime. Please contact local editor at Lorraine Swanson at lorraine.swanson@patch.com.

austin plus December 27, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Congrats to Mike Carberry and Dave Heilmann on your 2013 victories.
bragging rights December 27, 2012 at 01:23 PM
I like what I read about him but he's just a wee bit self righteous. The self description of him being a major donor doesn't sit well with me. When people are generous financially they usually don't brag about it. I also do not like how sd123 have plastered his face along with his running mates all over the cable channel. Shame on sd123 for playing politics.
District 666 Resident December 27, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Let's give him a bit of a break. It is very difficult to writers to pen anything in the first person without coming off as pretentious. This is his first time into the arena and he was trying to put forth his qualifications. I bet he wishes he hadn't said "major" donor but he did so let's move on. Overall, he gives the district another choice between the Phelan candidate and the Heilmann candidate. Let us see if he is truly independent!
OakLawnGuy December 27, 2012 at 04:17 PM
At least the guy lays out what he'd like to accomplish as a Board member, rather than the usual "clean up - transparency - too much infighting...." baloney.
James Manning December 28, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Good Luck the more independent choices the better for Oak Lawn
Oak Lawn Gal December 28, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Looks like a strong candidate. I like to see people who are aware of the insane board meetings and still want to serve Oak Lawn. Good luck to him.
Outside Perspective December 28, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I think that Mr. Sorrientino will be a very strong village trustee. I have attended many of the school district 123 board meetings and can attest that Mr. Sorrientino facilitates an effective meeting And appears to have the best interests of the students, district and community at heart. . We need this type of leadership on the Village board.
Outside Perspective December 28, 2012 at 05:21 PM
I think it is also important to note that Mr. Sorrientino volunteers His time to work with organizations that he mentioned in the article. This to me indicates that he does not have a personal agenda but has a Service agenda.
OL Mommy December 28, 2012 at 09:24 PM
ANYONE is better than our current Board! Heilmann has to GO! Our village is going to hell and he does nothing to help it except blow a bunch of smoke!
suthteacher December 29, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Carberry and friends please dont bully this guy too like you do to everyone else who runs for district 6.
On the Mat December 29, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Its a madigan rule.
Dave W. December 31, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Nitpicking aside from a couple of words, remember he is putting forth his resume', so to speak. Think about when you write one of those...you always walk a fine line between not wanting to underplay your ability and qualifications, and sounding like you think you are a gift to the world. Often, the more you have acheived in your life, the harder it is to NOT sound boastful, simply by stating facts. I can say I have met the gentleman a few times, talking with him about not just the school issues (which was the reason for seeing him) but a variety of issues, and he is as informed and thoughtful as any of the current trustees (if not moreso). He is not my trustee, so I have no reason to promote him except that I think he will do a good job for all of Oak Lawn by doing a good job for his district. (Now if only we could say the same for all the districts...)
John O'Sullivan January 01, 2013 at 03:10 AM
A vote for Sorrentino is a vote for Carberry. Don't let this Madigan lackey fool you. He is only on the ballot to draw votes from Carol Sheahan.
Gilbert O'Sullivan January 01, 2013 at 03:34 AM
C'mon John I know you guys are mad that none of Dave's candidates are running uncontested, but this is sour grapes. It is a free country anyone can run. I know three candidates in Dist 4 and 6 make you mad,but if your candidates are so great you have nothing to worry about right??
Oak Lawn Mom January 01, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Hate to see him go at D123 School Board President since there are two very unqualified candidates running plus one complete incompetent incumbent board member (all running unopposed), but will make a good addition to the village board. Good luck Joe!
Tracy S March 27, 2013 at 04:50 PM
Joe Sorrentino would be a great addition to the Village. He goes above and beyond of what is expected of him. As you can see in his résumé , he cares and gives a lot of himself to the community. Good Luck Joe
David Jones March 27, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Please vote for Joe .. he would never go on a ballet to draw votes from someone else. He is the Mr. Smith goes to Washington of our day. I believe every word he said in this column. He loves to work with people and for the people. I worked with Joe for 2 years as a softball coach I saw how hard he works and how he works with people in the district. He would do anything for anyone. Please vote for him. If anyone would like to contact me please do so at davidsg1is@gmail.com I would be happy to help Joe in anyway..

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