I spent a great evening with about two hundred south side Chicago and Oak Lawn residents at the home of Oak Lawn commission candidate John O'Sullivan. The gathering welcomed Chicago Bears Great Bobby Douglas and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District President Terry O'Brien.
Bobby Douglas held the record as one of the greatest rushing quarterbacks in NFL history - In 1972 Bobby Douglas, out of Kansas and signed with the Bears in 1969, ran for 968 yards and 8 touchdowns on 141 carries. That record went unbroken until Mick Vick broke the string in 2006. Bobby Douglas amassed a career 2,040 yards rushing. Passing? Well, no one alive could hold onto to a ball thrown by Bobby Douglas. He was an Iron Man among Iron Men - hell, he took snaps from Mike Pyle. Bobby Douglas saw some real promise in the 2009 Bears and was very candid about the things that will bring about real change. Hard judgments and hard dollars can no longer be allowed to get tossed away. Which brings us to his appearance with my neighbors.
Bobby Douglas drove from Lake Forest to Oak Lawn John O'Sullivan's home, because he loves Chicago and the people who keep Chicago great. Bobby Douglas likes Terry O'Brien's style. The Bears need a Terry O'Brien-like manager. Bobby Douglas is a retired NFL Pro Football player, but here he was in the kitchen of a middle class working man who wants to make a difference in his community. Bobby Douglas and John O'Sullivan really hit it off. John O'Sullivan brought many friends to help Terry O'Brien and Bobby Douglas is a friend. There were also Local 399 engineers and their wives, 597 Pipe-fitters of both genders, Local 12 Carpenters, Electricians from Local 134, Operating Engineers of Local 150, school teachers, Sal, a retired City Colleges librarian, Terry Cox, an independent plumbing contractor, small business owners, postal workers, and a couple of candidates for elected office.
Prominent among these talented and thoughtful people was Terry O'Brien the twenty one year President of the fourth largest government agency in Illinois - The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD)of Great Chicago.
MWRD formerly the Sanitary District is one of the engineering marvels of the world*.
I met Terry O'Brien for the first time. He is a solid guy and he lived up to my expectations. We voters get to know candidates only slightly, but the little I do know of Terry O'Brien is enough. He knows the job - it's mission and the operations that match the mission.
He is not a Sierra Club dilettante - he does not play at protecting the environment through policy papers and agendas. Terry O'Brien works at the job of protecting the citizens of Greater Chicago's lives with proper, scientific water treatment and sound engineering of waters. You will not see Terry O'Brien kayaking the Chicago River or preaching the gospel of Green. That is for the Brie nibblers to do. Chat on Public Radio and bully gutless editorial boards.
Terry O'Brien will manage Cook County Government, trim waste - treat it, consolidate and eliminate out-moded departments and treat taxpayers to genuine respect.
Terry said, "In 2008 alone, the MWRD refunded over $56 million to the residents of Cook County in tax abatements, and the MWRD has received an AAA bond rating from all three bond rating agencies. Since my election to the Board of Commissioners in 1988, the MWRD has seen no massive layoffs or unpaid vacation days. At the MWRD, I have worked hard to combine fiscally responsible policy with environmentally friendly initiatives. We have AAA ratings from all Three Bond agencies. Now, is the time for competent people in positions of Cook County Government based upon what they know and not who they know. We will cut the 1% tax. We will trim waste. We will manage Cook County Government."
Bobby Douglas recognizes a Pro. So do my neighbors. Come on out Saturday and meet Terry O'Brien. I'll hold the door open for you. Noon - Southwest Corridor/Southwest Burbs (3012 W. 111th St., Chicago, IL 60653)
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (District) is an independent government and taxing body encompassing approximately 91 percent of the land area and 98 percent of the assessed valuation of Cook County, Illinois.
The District is a separate legal entity sharing an overlapping tax base with the City of Chicago, the Chicago Board of Education, the Chicago School Finance Authority, the County of Cook, the Cook County Forest Preserve District, the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Public Building Commission, the Cook County Community College District, and various municipalities and school districts outside the City of Chicago but within the District’s boundaries.
The District was originally organized as the Sanitary District of Chicago in 1889 under an act of the Illinois General Assembly which has been modified from time to time to increase the District’s authority and jurisdiction. The enabling act in 1889 was in direct response to a long standing problem with contamination of the water supply and nuisance conditions of the rivers. The District reversed the flow of the Chicago and Calumet River Systems to stop the discharge of sewage to Lake Michigan and instead, discharge it to the Des Plaines River, where it could be diluted as it flowed into the Illinois River and eventually the Mississippi River. Prior to the District’s construction of a 61.3 mile system of canals and waterway improvements, the Chicago and Calumet River Systems were tributary to Lake Michigan. These river systems are now tributary to the Illinois River system.
From 1955 through 1988, the District was called The Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago. In order to provide a more accurate perception of the District’s current functions and responsibilities, the name was changed effective, January 1, 1989, to Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.