Election Day dawns. It should not be 82 degrees on primary day in March. Something is wrong. Something more than Rick Santorum being a legitimate contender for the GOP nomination. No, the Bradford pear trees just outside our office windows on Oak Park Avenue should not be in bloom on March 19.
Six years ago, when the headhunting firm asked Tom Barwin to join a pool of applicants to be village manager of Oak Park, and then when he was a finalist being interviewed by as badly fractured a village board as this town has ever endured, the headhunter warned and cautioned him about Oak Park with its "oversight and micromanagement," and the intensely engaged citizenry "that is in the DNA here."
Odds and ends, with some a bit odder than others ... Stick to the script: When last we heard of His Excellency The Most Reverend Edward K. Braxton, Ph.D, S.T.D., Bishop of Belleville, Illinois he was a mere Rev., pastor of St. Catherine-St. Lucy's over at Washington and Austin boulevards.
Maybe it's clearer in retrospect. Maybe it's mostly clear to me, and others will disagree. But back in 1984 when Oak Park passed its ban on handguns — passed it by a margin but not by a landslide — it was a symbolic action. It was a hope-filled action that came with the expectation that towns and cities across the state and the nation would follow suit, that strong national gun control initiatives would take hold.
I was reading through a batch of my past columns last week. Doesn't that sound pathetically vain? And, yes, it's true, I was hanging on every word. Actually, I was looking for three columns out of the 45 or so I wrote last year that I might send along to the Illinois Press Association's annual contest.
This is a transitional contract that the school board and faculty at OPRF have just negotiated. And, with transition being its purpose, this is a very fine and strong agreement. Congratulations to all involved.
Remember, the village government of Oak Park collects only 12 percent of your property taxes. The bulk of your outrageous property tax wallop goes directly to the two local school districts. It is those kids with their smartboards and tablets and chocolate milk for lunch that are gobbling up your property taxes.
When last we visited with Cook County Commissioner Earlean Collins, she was explaining why she couldn't possibly take the 10 furlough days she had voted to approve as part of the county's budget for 2011. You remember the furlough day concept, built into the bleeding red budget pushed through last year by Toni Preckwinkle, the still-stellar county board president?
For a second year, we asked Wednesday Journal readers to add their voices to the nominations for our annual Villagers of the Year. There were many ideas posted to OakPark.com and, a few also, sent direct to the editors. A good number were, we think, entirely sincere though there is always the sarcasm factor to consider in evaluating online comments.