The Maddening Litigation Of District 200 v. VOP

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By John Hubbuch

And the lawsuit initiated by District 200 against The Village over TIF moneys grinds on. I don't know which frusrates me more. There's the the lawsuit itself in which District 200 has sued the Village seeking a bigger share of TIF moneys. Litigation between two tax-supported governmental bodies is never a good thing. It's bad enough to pay for one side of a lawsuit, but it's twice as bad to fund both sides--even 3 sides if you include District 97, yet  another party.       

But it's even worse that we the public have no idea what's going on. The litigants retreat behind the confidentiality of litigation, and like mushrooms,  the public is in the dark fed the fertilizer of platitudes and paternalism. So we're left to guess what the dispute  is really about, how much is at stake, what are the merits and when will it be over. It wouldn't surprise me that District 200 actually has a technically decent case, but we'll never know. It just seems wrong that two bodies that pay such lip service to transparency have donned cloaks of invisibility with respect to this potentially impactful dispute. It is just not right.

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Posted: October 5th, 2011 9:47 AM

..........and Coughlin's just the person for the job. Go get em Jim

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: October 5th, 2011 9:30 AM

Would this matter be in litigation if Village Manager Barwin had replied "Yes" when OP-RF High board members asked to examine the TIF books? How should the school board have responded when they were told, "No"? The lack of transparency and accountabilty regarding TIF revenues and expenditures forced District 200 to take action. An independent forensic audit of all the Oak Park TIFs is long overdue.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: October 4th, 2011 10:19 PM

Mr. Hubbuch ... you are employed by a newspaper. Did you even attempt to gain access to the mediation meetings as a member of the press? BTW: what was your view when D97 sued the village regarding the TIF in 1983?


Posted: October 4th, 2011 10:14 PM

Vote them all out of office.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: October 4th, 2011 7:39 PM

The best way to get to an end of the mediation is to have a sign similar to United Fund signs that indicate how much money they have raised in their fundraising campaign. Our sign would show the cost of the lawsuit($400.000 in June), to the residents. We can set a number at say $2M and when the amount is reached, we can hold an "End the War March & Rally" at the War Memorial at Lake and Oak Park Ave.

T.J. from OP  

Posted: October 3rd, 2011 8:33 PM

I hope when everything is over we get an accurate total of all the taxpayer money spent on litigation. I'll bet the total for all three sides approaches a million dollars. Legal bills add up fast. What a waste.

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