The purpose of Monday evening's sparsely attended Oak Park village board confab was for board members to hear the thoughts of citizens regarding economic development. The more immediate benefit, if they were listening, was for board members to hear each other's thoughts about economic development.
The nuances of the RIF: It is a fairly routine process, the springtime RIF-ing of teachers. It is a legal, contractual, logistical process in which a school district gives early warnings to specific teachers that they may not be hired back for the fall semester.
One day when I was a kid, I picked the Oak Leaves up off the dining room table and read a story that changed my perspective on life and my hometown, which previously had seemed pretty whole, though I was fairly certain I lived in the poor part of town, south of Madison.
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.