By Dan Haley
Coming off a mixed week of newsmaking, Oak Park Village President Anan Abu-Taleb will face the public on May 7 at his second public forum of 2014. He will be joined at the event by Andrea Ott, the recently appointed village trustee, and John Hedges, the former village trustee recently appointed as executive director of the reformulated Oak Park Economic Development Corporation.
The forum is open to the public and will take place on Wednesday, May 7 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Veterans Room at the Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St.
"I invite all Oak Parkers to come and discuss local issues that they are concerned about," said Abu-Taleb in a press release. "Your feedback at past forums has helped me and the board shape our direction on a number of issues, including economic development and parking."
The next forum will follow news cycles in which Abu-Taleb and other village board members have been vociferously criticized for their votes on electrical aggregation. But Abu-Taleb has also seen recent successes on the economic development platform on which he campaigned a year ago, ironically against Hedges. On Monday night, Hedges was expected to present to the village board a pact with a developer to build on the Colt site in Downtown Oak Park. There has also been reported progress on development projects at Lake and Forest and at Harlem and South Boulevard.
This is the fifth public forum held by Abu-Taleb since he took office a year ago. "I am committed to continuing these forums as a part of my promise to create a more transparent and engaged government that not only listens to the residents of Oak Park but responds," he said in the release.