Candidates seek O’Halloran’s village board seat
By Mike Nolan firstname.lastname@example.org August 5, 2013 10:40PM
Orland Park Trustee Brad O'Halloran
Updated: September 7, 2013 6:13AM
Candidates hoping to be considered to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Orland Park Trustee Brad O’Halloran are already making their intentions known, Mayor Dan McLaughlin said Monday night.
A couple of people interested in the job have approached him since O’Halloran resigned Thursday, while he’s also heard a few recommendations from other people, McLaughlin told reporters following the village board meeting.
O’Halloran simultaneously stepped down as trustee as well as from his job of Metra board chairman in the wake of the ongoing controversy over a lucrative severance package given to former Metra chief executive Alex Clifford. He had served as an Orland Park trustee since 1993 and was re-elected in April to a four-year term.
McLaughlin said that, by law, he has 60 days to name a replacement but expected to appoint someone sooner than that. The village board must approve his appointment, which would likely be a formality.
The new trustee would not serve out the full four years of O’Halloran’s term because the seat would be up for election in April 2015, McLaughlin said.
He said the village has a “farm club” of sorts, with residents serving on various advisory boards and commissions who could be considered to fill the vacancy, and that he would conduct face-to-face interviews with “the people we think are the strongest candidates.”
Several state legislators have called on Metra’s entire board to step down following its June 21 decision to approve a severance package that could reach $718,000 for Clifford. O’Halloran has denied any wrongdoing regarding his major role in the arrangement, saying it was done to save taxpayers money in the long run by avoiding a costly lawsuit by Clifford.
Besides O’Halloran, three other Metra board members have resigned within the past two weeks in light of the controversy.
McLaughlin said O’Halloran’s decision to resign as Metra chairman was the “right thing to do.” He said the Metra issues were “kind of a distraction” to the village board and that he is “anxious to move on.”