Bet you were as surprised as I was when the trustees voted to build an 18-story building at Lake & Forest! Just being facetious, as I don't believe anyone who follows this administration's history with developers thought there would be any other outcome.
Feel like a bit of fool, however, as I cast votes for trustee candidates who stated they would oppose this high-rise when they recently ran for office. I mean, I knew where our mayor stood, but I (fool that I am) took the trustee candidates at their word.
Now in a year or two we'll have more congestion in the downtown area streets with gridlocked autos, a possible destruction of a beautiful park (someone recently stated in WJ that it's not utilized enough anyway, as if that's the reason for nature's existence), a possible wind effect at that corner equal to what's experienced in downtown Chicago, and all for what? A "possible" increase in the tax base that not is overwhelmed by the infrastructure costs?
One trustee complained about abusive emails or such because Oak Park is supposed to be the world center of civility. While I don't agree with some messages that some citizens might have sent to him, does he not see how he lied to the people of this village and deserves strong negative feedback? Couldn't the vote at least be delayed for a few weeks to further study what's now proposed? Step designs in a high-rise doesn't make it different from hundreds of similar buildings, and where's the proof that no damage will be done to the park or that there will be no wind effect? The trustees can't be bothered with facts or at least delaying the vote to gather more data? Where does all of this positive speculation come from, the developer? There's an internationally known sound company in Toronto who make these type of studies daily. Why not consult an independent expert rather than your developer's lackey?
The real problem, aside from being lied to by our public officials, is that in years down the road, when many of us are gone, the next generation will possibly be stuck with a real problem with the park, traffic, wind shear, and who will they be able to approach? The next mayor or group of trustees who think they always know the right course for Oak Park despite multiple past errors that we now endure.
What's next, mayor and lackey trustees? The narrowing of Madison Street? More high-rise developments downtown (never on the north side of town, as they have zoning laws, as if downtown Oak Park didn't)? A world-class pool and recreation center?
This was probably the last time I will participate in the farce that you refer to as local elections. Fool me once … well, you know!
P.S. Thanks to the one trustee [Simone Boutet] keeping her word and voting No.
Answer Book 2018
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