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Meet Orland Township Supervisor Candidate: Scott R. Kaspar

Patch logo Patch 2/24/2021 Yasmeen Sheikah
a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Scott R. Kaspar is running for Orland Township Supervisor this April. © Orland Residents For Responsible Government Scott R. Kaspar is running for Orland Township Supervisor this April.

ORLAND TOWNSHIP, IL — Scott R. Kaspar is running for Orland Township Supervisor this April, hoping to capture the role currently held by incumbent Paul O'Grady. Kaspar is currently running with the Orland Residents for Responsible Government slate, against the Orland Township Together Party, backed by O'Grady.

Kaspar recently filled out the Patch candidate survey, and his answers can be found below.

If you are a candidate for the April election, and would like to answer our Patch candidate questionnaire, please email yasmeen.sheikah@patch.com.

Scott R. Kaspar

Age (as of Election Day)

45

Town/City of Residence

Orland Park, IL

Office Sought

Township board

Party Affiliation (if a partisan race)

Orland Residents for Responsible Government

Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?

No

Education

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 1998, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

J.D., Law, 2003, Drake University

Occupation

Lawyer

Campaign website

ResponsibleOrland.com

Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office

No.

The single most pressing issue facing our (board, district, etc.) is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.

Voters in Orland Township must fire Paul O’Grady, he is the worst kind of Chicago-style politician. Recommended by Mike Madigan, he represents villages within and surrounding Orland Township for his own personal profit. He hires his friends and political allies for lucrative township positions. He uses machine tactics to smear his political opponents. And he hypocritically sets strict rules for the rest of us while privately breaking those rules whenever he wants.

Meanwhile, during the pandemic, O’Grady and his staff weren’t even open and available to assist our communities most vulnerable citizens. During this time when township services are needed most, O’Grady shut the doors to the township, but of course he and his politician friends were still cashing their taxpayer-funded paychecks and pensions.

As Supervisor, I’ll stop the political games and focus on serving our community, I’ll make the township transparent and accountable to taxpayers, and I’ll get us back to serving our most vulnerable residents.

Do you support Black Lives Matter and what are your thoughts on the demonstrations held since the death of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake?

The past year has been incredibly difficult for many in our community, who have been struggling with so many uncertainties stemming from the pandemic and so many other stresses. While there are probably many reasons why the issues raised by this question did not hit home in Orland Township, what we do know is that the response of O’Grady and the board – shutting down the township and depriving the most vulnerable in our community from the critical health, mental health, and senior services – only exacerbated the pain of those struggling in our township, including seniors, children, disabled, and poor residents.

Do you think the current board has done enough to support racial equality, and if not, what specifically should be done to do so?

The weaknesses and failures of the current board are many. Shutting down the township in the midst of the pandemic negatively impacted the lives of so many in our community, including seniors, children, disabled, and poor residents. While this question is provocative, the board’s poor judgment and lack of leadership during the pandemic is entirely disqualifying and reason enough for firing O’Grady and the incumbents.

What are your thoughts on the national and local coronavirus response? Do you favor measures such as limiting operation of non-essential businesses and restricting indoor/outdoor dining? And do you favor a local mask mandate?

Local governments, including the leadership of the Village of Orland Park, have sought to strike the right balance between slowing the spread of the pandemic and keeping small businesses open. Rather than working with health experts to find ways to safely restore operations, O’Grady and the incumbents took the easy way out and shut the township down. I intend to roll up my sleeves, work with health experts to really understand this virus and its transmission, and fully restore all of the township’s critical health, mental health, and senior services – and we can do that now, and we can do that safely if we are smart about it.

What are your thoughts on the state and local coronavirus vaccine distribution, and how do you think local governments should work together to handle vaccine rollout?

I’d work with our county health department and cooperate however possible to ensure that the vaccine rollout picks up pace. We all want this pandemic to end and know that working together we can make an impact.

What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?

I’m not a career politician, rather I am a first-time candidate who will bring a fresh voice and ideas do our township. Paul O’Grady has had a long run, but his time is up- it’s time we have a new perspective.

If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)

Paul O’Grady is the worst kind of Chicago politician. Recommended by Mike Madigan, he represents villages within and surrounding Orland Township for his own personal profit. He hires his friends and political allies for lucrative township positions. He uses machine tactics to smear his political opponents. And he hypocritically sets strict rules for the rest of us while privately breaking those rules whenever he wants.

So it should come as no surprise that he and the township elected officials go to great lengths to hide their finances and conduct public business away from the public’s oversight. While our taxes have increased by nearly 5% each of the last 4 years, we have no idea how our tax dollars are being spent. This lack of transparency led to nearly $60,000 of taxpayer money being embezzled by one of O’Grady’s employees from 2016-2018. In addition, O’Grady and the township spent their entire budget over the past year despite being almost entirely shut down during the pandemic. How is this possible?

The final straw came during the pandemic. In the midst of one of the most difficult periods of our lives, Orland Township was in a position to help our most vulnerable residents when they needed it most. But rather than working with health experts to find ways to safely restore operations, O’Grady and the incumbents kept the township closed, leaving our seniors, children, disabled, and poor residents without the help they needed. Meanwhile, O’Grady and his politicians still collected their taxpayer-funded paychecks and pensions, of course.

Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform

Along with our Orland Resident for Responsible Government team, I will stop the political games and focus on serving the community. Our Orland Residents for Responsible Government team is made up of political outsiders who simply want to serve our community. We’re not politicians and have no desire to play political games. We’re not beholden to special interests, and we’re not looking to get rich off taxpayers or make this a career.

I will make the township transparent and accountable to taxpayers. We will publish the township’s finances transparently. We will restore fiscal responsibility by eliminating waste and making township government more efficient. We will refuse the lavish pensions that O’Grady and his allies have been providing themselves with our tax dollars and eliminate elected official pensions. And we will work to give working families in Orland Township a break by lowering property taxes.

I will get the township back to serving our most vulnerable residents. Serving our most vulnerable should not be political. While our citizens are suffering physically, socially, and mentally, we must be doing everything we can to support them. We will do the hard work the incumbents have been unwilling to do and find ways to restore services while following proper health and safety protocols.

What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?

[Not answered]

If you win this position, what accomplishment would make your term in office as a success?

Term limits, restoring honesty and integrity in local government, live streaming of board meetings, conducting business transparently, and the end of patronage hiring.

Why should voters trust you?

Voters can trust me because I am just like them, I am not a politician. I’m just a neighbor who wants to best serve our community.

What are your views on fiscal policy, government spending and the use of taxpayer dollars in the office you are seeking?

Right now we have no idea where money is being spent due to a massive issue with transparency within our township. We’ll bring fiscal responsibility by eliminating government waste and reducing costs. We will make township government more efficient. We will refuse the lavish pensions that O’Grady and his allies have been providing themselves with our tax dollars and immediately move to eliminate pensions for township elected officials. We will collaborate with other levels of government instead of wasting time and taxpayer funds attacking them for political gain. We will stop wasting money on O’Grady’s blatant self-promotion in newsletters, events, and taxpayer-funded giveaways. And we will work to give working families in Orland Township a break by lowering property taxes.

Is there any reason you would not serve your full term of office, other than those of health or family?

No.

The best advice ever shared with me was:

Never settle for second place; there is virtue in hard work and the pursuit of excellence.

What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?

I am not a politician, I do not want a government pension, and I have no desire to put in the bare minimum over the next quarter century fluffing that pension. What I do want is to improve the lives of all residents in Orland Township, and that starts with safely restoring all of the township’s critical services now.

More than that, I want to make the critical services of Orland Township excellent. I want Orland Township to serve as the model for all others. That starts with the bold, new leadership and “can-do” work ethic that I will bring to the role of the Supervisor, where my primary focus will be restoring and improving the township’s services and not my re-election campaign.

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