Aging the topic of Abu-Taleb's first 2018 forum

Concordia gerontology professor and former Oak Park trustee to speak

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Oak Park Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb is kicking off the new year with a community forum to discuss aging in the village.

"Aging in Oak Park – the Next 50 Years" will feature Lydia Manning, PhD, associate professor of Gerontology at Concordia University Chicago Center on Gerontology, and former Oak Park trustee and Wednesday Journal columnist Marc Blesoff. The forum is set for 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 10 in the Veteran's Room of Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St.

"During my four-plus years as mayor, I have heard from a number of older citizens about the challenges of aging, such as continuing to maintain a home in Oak Park," Abu-Taleb said in a press release. "This forum is an opportunity for all our citizens to explore and discuss the challenges – and the opportunities – for our Oak Park elders."

Manning said in the press release that the center has seen a "significant increase" in older people who want to remain actively engaged in the community, adding that local leaders should "pay attention to the voices and experiences of older adults and address the challenges related to later life, including home ownership."

"Leaders need to create pathways for meaningful and purposeful social engagement," Manning said.

Blesoff, who writes the "Conscious Aging" column for Wednesday Journal, said the forum can help toward the goal of changing the mindset of "old is bad" to "old is beautiful."

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

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Paul Cagnina  

Posted: January 10th, 2018 9:08 PM

I think the property tax increase has a simple solution. Oak Park needs to solicit companies or corporations to move to Oak Park. Companies will buy the land and build the Office space to house their employees. The village administration needs to think of solutions that will solve the tax burden problems for homeowners. The village increases the parking fee to collect more money. All this does is piss people off, with small benefits. I believe we need leaders that will keep their eye on the prize, "THINK BIG" and solve problems. Madison Street is probably the last chance to introduce Office space of the magnitude that I envision. This property gets taxed at 2 1/2%. You do the math. If you get one company to create office space in Oak Park other companies will "BEG" for space. Oak Park doesn't need to spend money on consultants, because they are "FREE". There are huge benefits To the Office space strategy. More than meets the eye. Everything is in the best interest of the "DOOPERS". The village will be "FLUSH WITH CASH". LOWERING" the tax base for homeowners.. You know, like "OAK BROOK". The tax burden problem is keeping home prices from reaching there potential and creating "LESS" diversification. Oak Park needs Madison St. to become filled with "MID-SIZED COMPANIES". NOT more poorly made housing, no Taco Bell's and Raising parking meter fees "AIN'T" working. Oak Park "NEEDS" Office space or the homeowners will get screwed year after year.

Marty Bernstein  

Posted: January 6th, 2018 8:07 PM

If the mayor and any other Oak Park taxing body board member or commissioner is serious about addressing the tax burden for all Oak Park and River Forest taxpayers the first thing they need to do is gather the IGOV - intergovernmental assembly and agree to this: All taxing bodies in Osk Park, the Village Board, school districts D97 and D200, Library board, Park District and Oak Park township will present referenda to the taxpayers only on the date of the US presidential election. Let all the taxing bodies present their cases at the same time and really let the taxpayers decide what we want to pay for. If the IGOV Assembly doesn't want to do it, disband it and stop using those meetings to determine which taxing body is next up at the public trough.

Neal Buer from Oak Park  

Posted: January 6th, 2018 3:12 PM

I'm not certain why we are going to discuss aging in Oak Park. There won't be any of us left after the next tax bill. Old people pay for the schools but don't use them, yet D97 thought it prudent to keep the $2.5 million dollar 'mistake' going forward. They could legally do so. But, honestly, not so much. D200 sits on a mound of cash, stolen from the taxpayers in previous years, and then has a referendum for a new pool. D200 certainly has more money than I do. Build your own pool. The village keeps putting out money in TIFs, to pay for their dreams of development in a fully developed town. Well, guess what? It's the individual taxpayer that foots the bill. Any money going to TIFs increases the tax bill of the homeowner. A 5.7% increase in the village levy for this year, if carried out for 10 years, is equal to a 74% increase. I personally find that unacceptable. Just my 2 cents.

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