“The letter canceling my service on the commission was completely unexpected,” Glenn Kraemer said.
Richard Free Press , News Partner
ORLAND PARK, Ill. – For the time being, Glenn Kraemer is still a fire commissioner for the Orland Fire Protection District.
No action was taken at the OFPD Board of Trustees meeting to appoint a new commissioner in his place on Tuesday, May 24, nor was Kraemer reappointed to the Board of Fire Commissioners – a position for which he has served since 2018.
Kraemer, however, addressed the Board of Trustees during the public comments portion of the meeting.
“It has been an honor to provide a service to the hardworking members of the district,” he said.
But Kraemer said he received a letter from the OFPD on April 27 stating that he would no longer be a fire commissioner, as his term was not renewed. He received a second letter on April 28 stating he would continue to serve until a replacement was appointed.
“This decision was disappointing and quite a surprise, with no previous discussion, announcement, or appointment of a new commissioner by the Board of Trustees,” Kraemer noted. “The letter canceling my service on the commission was completely unexpected.”
Kraemer said he has been “extremely active” as a fire commissioner, attending all but one meeting during his time on the commission and attending all but one swearing-in ceremony for new firefighters, engineers and officer promotions since June 2019.
“For three solid years now, no other commissioner but myself has even attended a swearing-in ceremony,” he said. “Yet, the board has seen fit to reappoint both other [commissioners].”
Kraemer said that after multiple attempts to try and get more information as to why he would not be reappointed to the position, he said it was “still a mystery as to how, when, where and why this decision was made – as well as who gave the directive to the administration to send that letter.”
He said there are rumors of politics playing a role , and he pointed out that he has supported candidates running for elected positions in local races. However, he said he has never involved the fire district in those efforts.
“I’ve also never said or promoted anything that could be deemed inappropriate, vulgar, threatening or illegal,” Kraemer said. “Therefore, I would like to believe this could not possibly be the cause of the [lack of reappointment].”
Kraemer said he would be happy to continue in the role, if the Board of Trustees changes course. He also said he would be open to speaking with the trustees. However, he noted that none had reached out to him in the month since the letter was sent to him informing him of his lack of reappointment.
“Should this elected Board of Trustees officially reconsider the decision to terminate my service and reappoint me as commissioner, it will be my continued honor to discharge those duties with the same respect and gratitude to the dedicated personnel of the district shown since my appointment in 2018,” he said.
There were no other public comments during the meeting, but Joshua Girdick, president of Orland Professional Firefighters Local 2754, also voiced support for Kraemer during the meeting.
“I just want to reiterate that we had submitted a letter to you regarding Commissioner Kraemer’s involvement in the organization and how important it has been for our members,” Girdick said. “From his active participation in all the swearings-in and promotions, it is a very important part of our members’ careers. We would like to see him renewed as a commissioner to continue his involvement. There has been no other commissioner as involved as him. We would like the board to reconsider their decision.”
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