By John Hubbuch
Although I voted for District 97's referendum, at first, I did feel kind of bad for its opponents, especially those who said its passage would force them to move out of Oak Park. But the subsequent angry bitter apocalyptic caterwauling by some of those opponents has caused my sympathy to dissipate.
There is no crying in baseball or elections. You win. You lose. You move on. There has been more fine whine in these pages than in the Napa Valley.
If you paid $10,000 in real estate taxes last year, the passage of the referendum means you will pay $10,380 this year. I simply do not believe that a $380 increase will force anyone to move. Some Villagers are suffering from the loss of jobs, diminished home values and foreclosures. These are a result of the well-documented greed and arrogance of our rapacious investment banks and clueless regulators---not the passage of District 97's referendum.
Also, the complaints remind me of those who buy a house next to O'Hare and complain about the noise. Anyone moving into Oak Park in the past 25 years had to have known our property taxes were high, but moved here anyway for all the good reasons home prices have until recently soared---good housing stock , great transportation, proximity to downtown, and oh yeah, good schools. Almost every referendum proposed to increase taxes has passed if not the first time, then the second. It gets cold in Chicago in February. Oak Park passes referenda in April. Anyone buying a house could look it up.
Finally in the history of the world it has happened that you had to move because it got too expensive. I moved from north Oak Park to south Oak Park. Friends have moved to Elmwood Park or Westchester. People move from a home to an apartment. Think about all the people who got kicked out of public housing because rich yuppies wanted their land. It's too bad, but it is the way of the capitalistic world. "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" does not include " and stay in the same house forever."
It would be uber-ironic if some Village residents moved from their homes that they could no longer afford into the Comcast low income housing. Talk about lemonade from lemons.