It was in November 1983 when Orland Park village residents voted by referendum to adopt the Village Manager (Council-Manager) Form of Government, combining strong elected leadership with professional managerial experience.
The community's tremendous growth called for the daily operations of the village to be overseen by a manager skilled in public administration.
When he was a village trustee, the late Mayor Fred Owens led the campaign to bring in a professional public administrator to oversee the daily operations of the village. Owens knew that the part-time elected officials, all of whom had other full-time jobs, could no longer oversee the day-to-day functions of the village.
Orland Park's first official village manager was hired in March 1984. Orland Park's administrators have held advanced degrees in public administration, finance, political science, economics, public policy, and more.
Orland Park's elected legislators are responsible for setting policy and guidelines, passing ordinances, voting appropriations, and representing the residents of the village.
The village manager, who serves as the village's chief executive officer, reports directly to the elected officials. The village manager is responsible for personnel, budgets, overseeing village departments, day-to-day operations, and anticipating the future needs of the community.
The Village-Manager Form of Government is common across the country, especially with populations between 10,000 and 500,000 citizens. According to the International City/County Management Association, as of 2011, nearly 60 percent of cities in the U.S. use the council-manager system.
For nearly four decades, Orland Park's village managers have overseen the daily operations of the village, following the policies and guidelines set forth by the elected officials.