OPRF v. VILLAGE: The myth of transparency

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By John Hubbuch

I've been catching up on my reading, and I see that the year long dispute between the high school and the Village is still going on. Like a STD this dispute lingers on the body politic.    

The most recent development is the Judge's recommendation that the litigants submit their dispute to mediation. Duh. A dispute that involves hardly any disputed facts could and should have been submitted to mediation BEFORE the stupid lawsuit was filed. I understand that the Village is for mediation, but District 200 is thinking about it--- a sure sign that District 200 thinks the mediator will side with the Village.                                                          

This contremps is maddening for us poor dumb taxpayers who must foot the bill and pay lawyers over a dispute between taxing bodies. Even more frustating is the reality that we don't have a clue about what the dispute is really about, the litigant's positions, how the damages are computed, the litigation costs---nothing. The Journal quotes a source that the high school could be owed $40 million dollars over the next decade. Really? How about some one at the high school come forward and tell us the basis for such claim and the scheme for calculating it.

Remember this is not a private dispute or one where a teacher sues a school for sexual harrassment. In such case there are good reasons to protect the privacy of the parties. Here there is no good reason for either the schools or the Village to hide behind privilege or the law . Even if there was such a reason it should be trumped by the public's right to know. Where is Wikileaks when we need it?  All this from Oak Park governmental bodies that pride themselves on openness and transparency. What a joke!                                        

It's time for Mr. Barwin and the new OPRF Superintendent Isoye to put on their big boy pants and tell their respective Boards to git er done. I've got a good idea for a deadline. How about  April 5th? Election Day.

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Gary Schwab from Oak Park  

Posted: February 18th, 2011 2:11 AM

Mr. Hubbuch: I believe you're an attorney. Find yourself a copy of the intergovernmental agreement in question - the one the Village provided to get the school districts to agree to the DTOP TIF extension. If you can't find a copy, I suggest asking the Township Assessor; he provided me with this agreement during the last election. I believe the Village promised tax revenues from hundreds of millions in new development or an end to the TIF. It's now certain then development won't happen.

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