There is tension on the Oak Park village board. That was clear last Monday night when split votes on referring a matter to the Plan Commission revealed a genuine difference of approach and that some backs are up.
The issue that divided the village board last Monday was retail zoning restrictions for the Southtown shopping district at Oak Park Avenue at the Ike. Right now the area has the same strict retail-only limits as Downtown Park and the Hemingway District (formerly The Avenue).
In the annals of public education, when a school district announces it is undertaking a compensation study, it's time for taxpayers to lock up their wallets. That's because compensation studies typically amount to a survey of "comparable districts."
Hard to craft a scenario where Springfield could utterly fail more than last week when pensions, gay marriage and a casino deal all flamed out while a conceal carry law that just gave up on any common-sense precautions was readily approved.
It is like a teacher on the first day of class who pledges to stay calm in the chaos, the reporter who promises to stop pushing deadlines, the baseball player determined to start taking a pitch once in a while. Newly elected boards pledge and promise and are sincerely determined to break the bad habits of their predecessors.
There is currently an opening for a human resources director at Oak Park and River Forest High School. And, we hear, there is about to be an opening for the same position at Oak Park's village hall. Is campaign talk of collaboration between taxing bodies real?
Well, a major development on the site of the Colt building parking lot isn't going to build itself. It's going to take sewers and sidewalks and all the various accoutrements that a retail and housing developer is going to need before they put up their millions for construction.
It was a curious discussion a week ago Monday as Oak Park's new village board and president sat down to talk about "board protocols." Some aspects of those board rules had to do with interacting with the local press.
In a story we reported on OakPark.com Friday and which we expand in print today, Abu-Taleb raised $72,000 for his campaign, including $23,000 of his own money. That about tripled the $21,000 raised by the competing VMA-backed group.