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:
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.