My name is Brian J. Slowiak. I recently retired with honors from the Oak Park Police Department with 30 years of service at the fullest possible pension allowed by state law.

Now that I have promoted the rank of citizen, I can speak freely. I am writing in regards to government waste, lots of waste. For example, excessive paper work for water billing when a post card would do nicely, to windshield ice scrapers for citizens that bear the logo for the Village of Oak Park to Oak Park logo pins sent down for the police officers to wear.

The best example of waste is the Oak Park Police Department alarm activation report. This report is a simple affair and takes a patrol officer about 5 minutes to fill out start to finish and a minute for a command officer to authorize. There are about 10 alarms answered every day by the Oak Park police. That’s six minutes by ten calls or an hour a day in paper work. Seven hours a week, or 364 hours a year, at 25 years, 9,100 hours of police paper work, or at $30 an hour, $273,000 in salary. Anywhere from 15 to 18 copies of the report are made by records clerks, so say costs are now $350,000. The report is to be forwarded to the Village Clerk, so they may bill alarm owners for not having a permit and for excessive false alarm calls. I know this to be true. I as a resident beat officer was ordered to compile 9 months of alarms that have no permit and chronic sounding alarms and forward that to the clerk’s office. The paperwork was returned. The clerk’s office had no authority to bill or collect fines because no authorization directed the clerk’s office to collect the fines. So now the tax payers are out the cost of the permits and the fines for 25 years.

It is my opinion that the stewards of public service have not served the community in this aspect, at a loss of tax money.

I am sure that the official response will be that the administration has or will look into this. Elections are nearing. As a taxpayer, I ask you to vote. I don’t care if you vote VCA, VMA, VCR or V8, but vote for the candidate that will promise to look into waste in village government.
Brian J. Slowiak
Oak Park

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