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Plainfield Park District Debacle

To those that know me, they have been waiting for this moment for a long time.  And those that don't, let me introduce myself.  My name is Joe Kordik and I live in what I affectionately refer to as Jofield.  For the last 6 years, I have been the elected Republican Committeeman for Plainfield 25.  And for the last 8 plus years, I have been a member of the Plainfield Township Republican Organization.

People who know me know that sometimes I speak from the heart instead of letting my brain "catch up."  I will tell you exactly how I think; like it or not.  For years, members of the PTRO would ask me to calm down because my viewpoints might hurt our Republican candidates.  But my passion could have never done the damage that Peck, Hurtado, Steinys and Silosky have done in the last 8 months.

In 2007, I received a foursome to Tom Cross' annual golf outing.  My guests were Garrett Peck, Mike Brann (former PPD board member) and his neighbor Jim.  One of the foursome proceeded to over indulge of the alcoholic beverages that were provided.  For the final 10 holes, we kept that person in the golf cart trying to keep him from embarrassing himself even further because he wanted to run for Plainfield Trustee.  If I knew then what I know now, I would of allowed him to continue to drink because we would probably not been in the predicament we are in now. 

When a website came on line a couple of years ago call Open the Books, I was both amazed and angered by the salaries being paid to employees of the Plainfield Park District http://www.openthebooks.com/search/?PensionCode=1&F_imrfempnm=&F_imrfemployernm=Plainfield%20Twp%20P...ther   You can check out the salaried of the PPD by going to this site:

http://www.openthebooks.com/search/?PensionCode=1&F_imrfempnm=&F_imrfemployernm=Plainfield%20Twp%20P...

Now those figures are only good thru 2012.  I could not understand how the executive director of the Park District's salary had more than doubled in 11 years.  I was extremely upset with the board because of the cost of salaries and benefits.  And with the hiring of a new executive director, I feared that the board would not be good stewards of our tax dollars.  When some who wanted to run had their petitions challenged, it should have been a sign.

But after the new board members were seated and the decision to hire Peck was approved, you could see what was about to happen.  Garrett was very involved in getting other candidates to drop off the ballot threw his challenges and I know that he supported both Steinys and Silosky.  Hurtado kept screaming about the PPD wasting our taxpayer dollars and hinted at something being wrong.  That's all it took for him to get Peck into the Executive Director chair.  So after 8 months, have we as taxpayers seen that there was malfeasance in the park district? NO.  What we have seen has been a purging of existing employees and political hires made in their place.  What Peck and Hurtado are doing is straight out of the Chicago Democratic playbook.  Tell me again about Booth being a Public Relations guy and how qualified he is.  With what we pay him plus paying for classes makes me shake my head.  Sometimes you can even see the hand in the back of his head making his lips move.  Is this Hurtado's payback back because Booth worked on his failed State Senate campaign?  Perception is everything.  Never saw a posting for the position he holds.  What were the requirements, educational background and work history needed for this position?  Who conducted the interview and who were the other candidates?  Same goes for the Executive Director position.

From what I have heard and read, meetings are a dog and pony show with Peck pulling all the strings.  When the matter of the lease with St. John's Church came up for a vote, and Peck was in Germany enjoying himself, Silosky actually thought for herself and voted against Hurtado.  You know that the first call after the meeting was to give Peck a call to let him know that someone thought for themselves and the betterment of the community.  Wasn't it amazing that Janet had a change of heart at the next meeting and voted the way she was told?

The Executive Director likes to complain about all the Freedom of Information Act request calling them a burden on the taxpayer.  But when Peck ran for office, FOIA's were one of his tools to get back at a political opponent.  He didn't like the taste of his own medicine and proceeds to call those responsible out and call them radicals.

Now, he doesn't believe that the Patch is fair and balanced with their reporting and monitoring of their comment section.  So he wants to take his bat and ball and go home.  You believe that you are helping the Park District in all of your actions but what you are really doing is showing that you're nothing but a little man with "short guy" syndrome.  You know, where you might not be a big guy but you have to show how smart and rich you are  and how much better you are then anyone else.  You padded your political resume by stating you were an Air Force veteran.  Yes technically you can say that but that is about all you can do.  You joined the Knights of Columbus to also further your political aspirations.  But threw your actions, a political career is but a memory.

From what I am told, the contract that you had written for the job of Executive director is so "iron clad" that it is impossible to break unless you resign.  Oh, the PPD can fire you but then are on the hook for the remainder of your contract.  If you think there is another contract in the future, you are even crazier than I thought you might be.  Larry will be re elected come next March and both Mary and Peter are up 2 years after that.  Peter has dug his grave, so I would make it 1000 to 1 for him to be re elected.  The majority will be against you.  So enjoy that car allowance, pay classes and insurance, because before you know it, it will be GONE!

As I stated at the beginning, these are my opinions.  We as an electorate need to be vigilant when it comes to voting.  When you step in the voting booth, you have to be prepared and ask yourself, "Who will do the best for me and my community?"  You have to stop voting only because a candidate has an R or a D by their name.  Even though I am a Republican precinct committeeman that doesn't mean I vote a straight Republican ticket.  Be informed and get out and vote.

The actions of Peck, Hutado, Steinys and Silosky do not represent the PTRO.  The PTRO has let the "Plainfield Four" know in no uncertain terms that we do not agree with their actions.  But our objections have fallen on deaf ears.  What they have done has given the PTRO a black eye.  For that, I apologize.  We work to get our candidates elected who believe in smaller government, lower taxes and restoring our constitution.  The four mentioned above are out for themselves and I personally believe that Peck is out for himself.  What would make it better is for the "Plainfield Four" to just resign.  But with them all be narcissists, that's not about to happen.  So be vigilant and continue to hammer them every opportunity you get.  Maybe, just maybe they will do the right thing and resign.

Respectfully,

Joe Kordik
Plainfield Township 25th Precinct
Republican Committeeman
Plainfield Independent January 22, 2014 at 02:04 PM
Joe, thanks for having the courage to speak out. I am slowly crossing names of those off you have publicly come out. I don't trust any of those remaining in PTRO that have not. My attention is focused on all of the elected boards and not just those in the Plainfield Park District. The problem has spread beyond just this governmental body. We'll see if anyone else has the courage to publicly come out or if they'll remain silent behind closed doors and express their anger. Behind closed doors aint going to cut it.
Tim January 22, 2014 at 02:13 PM
Very well written Joe. Many of us remember the group of PTRO members that came out last year to publicly denounce the actions taken by the characters. Some of them were vociferous defenders of peck, right up until he showed them his true colors. What is a problem though, is the silence of those who have yet to speak out, even with all the recent events. Many residents know who they are, and they are only doing themselves a disservice by keeping silent, as it appears they actually support these moves. The easiest political move in the book right now, and in the history of politics, would be for any public official to speak out against these characters. It basically gives them an immediate boost in the eyes of the public. We as residents and taxpayers know who the silent ones are, and are paying attention. Keep doing what you are doing within your organization, and thank you for speaking your mind.
Vicky Polito January 22, 2014 at 02:31 PM
Thank you, Mr. Kordik. As someone who also gets dinged now and then for speaking a bit too much and too "directly" (to put it generously!) I of course say there's nothing wrong with being fired up now and again and opening your mouth when you are in that place. In March there are all kinds of precinct committee person seats up on the ballot and my understanding is that Peck has stacked that ballot with not only the PTPD board majority names of Hurtado, Silosky, and Steinys, but that his (at last look) girl fiend, Allison/Allie Smith, is running in the 14th precinct for one of those spots. She might be a swell person, but I don't believe she's running for any reason besides her association with Garrett Peck. And, that's just not a good enough reason to seek any office. You have to want to serve the whole community, not serve one person. Ernie Knight is also running there and I've asked all my friends in that precinct what I'd like to ask everyone I don't know down that way: PLEASE consider supporting Mr. Knight. He and I differ on some issues and probably always will, but so what? He's very intelligent, works hard, and is a fair and honest man and I think he deserves your vote. Even when I disagree with him, I've always known him to be an honorable person. I'm a Democrat who also has voted for candidates in other parties when they were the better choice and I will be pulling a Republican ballot in March, too, hoping to advance a solid and qualified Republican as the candidate for governor of IL, but I'm going to choose as carefully as I can, wherever I can, for all the other offices and questions on the ballot, too.
Vicki Knight January 22, 2014 at 02:35 PM
Joe, Thank you for your well written letter. It takes a lot of courage to come out and say the things you said. It is not always the popular way and you might feel the heat from others, but at least you can live with yourself, I know that from experience, but you did the right thing. I commend you.
Vicky Polito January 22, 2014 at 02:42 PM
OOPS--It seems I called Allie Smith a "girl fiend"! Sorry--I know Freud would have a field day with it, but I swear it was a bad combo of a typo and auto-correct. I meant "girl friend", of course. I have a cold and I think it's affecting me worse and worse as the day goes on!
Frank January 22, 2014 at 05:02 PM
As a life-long Republican, all I can say is that it's going to take an awful lot to make me not switch teams. Much of these goings on in the last year have really disenfranchised not only me, but many Republicans. Many lost the last election simply by having an R next to their name. Stuff like this pretty much guarantees there will be another purge. Among the reasons is the perception of getting something you didn't sign up for; broken trust.
Vicki Knight January 22, 2014 at 06:24 PM
With so many unhappy voters, you can still make a difference at this upcoming election. Just because a precinct captain has their name on the ballot and is running unopposed, doesn't mean that they should just win if the voters think that they aren't doing their job. There is still the write in candidate option that the voters can use. So if you are not happy with what is happening, which it appears, none of us are, than YOU NEED TO GET OUT AND VOTE AND/OR BECOME A WRITE IN CANDIDATE AND GET INVOLVED!!!!!!!!
Frank January 22, 2014 at 08:11 PM
Vicki, I've always been a major proponent of filling up the empty ballots and getting rank and file people interested and involved. That won't change. The issue is that Democrats have screwed me covertly. Republicans have done it and smeared the residue in my face. Being stripped of one's pride will disenfranchise someone.
Tim January 22, 2014 at 08:18 PM
@Frank- Democrats did not screw you. Republicans did not screw you. People screwed you. Political parties are just organizations, not people. Getting involved, no matter what party you pick, means you want to give some of your time and ideas to the community. If you do it correctly, perhaps your name will be why other people instead have a favorable view of those organizations... whichever one you choose. The laws may be funny when it comes to parties allowed on ballots, but other than that nothing is stopping from you not being associated with a party and running for a spot.
Mary Ludemann January 22, 2014 at 09:34 PM
Joe thanks for speaking out. I just want to clarify that Larry Newton and I are up for re-election in 2015. Peter Hurtado's term is up in 2017 and Janet Silosky and Peter Steinys terms are up in 2019. Thanks for your support!
Joe Kordik January 23, 2014 at 11:26 AM
My boo boo. I thought that you and Peter were elected the same year. But as long as the other 3 board members are there, we as a community are in real trouble. One question to you then, after the 2015 election, will you then be board president? If memory serves me correctly, there is a new board president every two years, right?
Kevin Clancy January 23, 2014 at 01:11 PM
FYI: Check the Will County Clerk's website; last day to file as a write-in candidate ended last Thursday, January 16.

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