Orland Park resident Maryann Mallen passes out literature to Village of Orland Park Trustee Cynthia Nelson Katsenes at Tuesday night’s meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park resident Maryann Mallen passes out literature to Village of Orland Park Trustee Cynthia Nelson Katsenes at Tuesday night’s meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Mask mandate again a hot topic at Orland Park meeting

By Jeff Vorva

This just might be the first time in the history of Orland Park Village Board meetings that the “Beverly Hills Cop” quote, “Don’t fall for the banana in the tailpipe” line, was ever used.

But on Tuesday night, there it was, coming out of the mouth of a citizen who wasn’t trying to be funny.

In another round of taking Gov. JB Pritzker to task, the board passed the second resolution in as many months imploring the Illinois legislature to stop him from making mandates regarding masking and vaccines.

Mayor Keith Pekau led the charge, calling the Illinois boss a “petty dictator” and trustee William Healy piled on, congratulating the governor on turning Illinois into a welfare state.

Pekau and the board say they are not anti-masking or against vaccines. But they are all against mandates for requiring them when there is not enough data to support mandates.

In the past, members of the audience have vehemently disagreed with the board with voices raised. On Tuesday, however, the Orland Park husband-and-wife tag-team of Brett and Maryann Mallen each spoke in support of the board’s stance.

After thanking the board for its leadership on this issue, Brett Mallen said he can’t understand why anyone would even wear a mask

“Those people who continue to wear masks? You have to understand how crazy this is,” he said. “You touch these things, and they are filthy. You are breathing in your own exhaust into these things and it’s quite vile.

“In the movie, ‘Beverly Hills Cop,’ the way to stop a car was to place a banana in the tailpipe. It was a running joke throughout the movie. Those who continue to wear masks with what we know now are those who continue to fall for the banana in the tailpipe.”

Maryann Mallen passed out literature to the board with information and studies supporting the mayor and trustees’ position and cited the constitution for arguments against mandates.

Pekau is piqued that the legislators in Illinois are not gathering data and discussing and debating the merits of the mandates. He is also not a fan of Pritzker’s 97 executive orders in the past two years when from 2013 through 2019 there have been 77 by Illinois governors, according to the mayor’s research.

Trustee Sean Kampas pointed out that Illinois is the only state in the Midwest to have mask mandates and ticked off some of the nearby states who have governors who are Democratic peers of Pritzker’s that do not have mandates.

Trustee Michael Milani said it’s a “tyranny.”

“It’s an elected official clearly abusing his emergency powers,” he said. “And other politicians sit back and watch the show. How much more heavy-handed could this possibly get?”

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