Joan Tromp was just 23 when she opened Ananas, a boutique and women's clothing store that secured her dreams of being self-employed and left her ready to help others find joy in the little things in life. The shop has been open for nearly 20 years at 109 N. Oak Park Ave.
It's official — Oak Park village employees will strike Saturday and Monday. Following another meeting held Thursday that ended without compromise between the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73 and the Village of Oak Park management, around 75 village employees will be walking out on the job Saturday morning and all day Monday.
Unless Village of Oak Park management and employees represented by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73 can reach an agreement on the terms of a new contract by Saturday, 76 workers will walk off the job for two days.
The sewer backup prevention grant program is still too popular among Oak Park residents. The program, established to provide financial assistance to homeowners who install systems to protect their homes from sewer backup during a heavy rain, helps offset expenses for residents to modifying plumbing systems to prevent backflow when village sewers are at capacity.
The question of how to tackle Oak Park's outstanding debt in its parking fund was on trustees' minds when the 2011 audit was presented to the board last month. In 2007, due to a combination of circumstances — like expected revenues that didn't keep up with debt service — the parking fund was in the red by more than $10.5 million, and necessitated a transfer from Oak Park's general fund.
It's no secret that the pension crisis, as it's known to many local and state government officials, has crippled Illinois' budgets. Debates about who should fund what pension and at what rate have risen to the top of the political agenda. This is one subject state Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) hopes the state legislature can tackle before the November election.
Oak Park missed out for the third time but Village President David Pope said he was "cautiously optimistic" on the fourth round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.
A senior U.S. District judge has ordered the National Rifle Association to resubmit a recalculation of its lawyer fees after determining the fees for the lawyers and firms chosen to represent the organization in its case against Oak Park and Chicago were excessive.
Financially speaking, there's significant work to be done for Oak Park, according to the 2011 audit report, but compared to recent years, the village is moving in the right direction. For one thing, the village has a positive general fund balance.