Eating while driving, and other things to put in your mouth

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By Dan Haley

Editor and Publisher

A transcript of the close of Monday night's Oak Park village board meeting, along with our reporter's shorthand notes:

President Pope: OK, we're going to go around the table for our closing observations. And perhaps this week we can do it in such a way that we don't wind up on the front page of the Trib perpetuating every stereotype people have of our town.


Trustee Lueck: I suppose David that is a veiled reference to me. All I said last time is that as long as we are considering banning texting while driving in Oak Park we should remember there are lots of ways a driver can become distracted. I didn't actually say we should ban eating while driving. It was just a throwaway line. And, by the way, it turns out it really isn't illegal to eat while driving in Wisconsin. I was wrong. Maybe it's Pennsylvania.

At second consecutive meeting, Lueck says Oak Park will enact a ban on eating while driving.

Trustee Salzman: I'm confused. Are we talking about skimming 10 percent off the top of the electrical aggregation savings or adding a 10 percent tax on fast food to discourage people from eating in their cars?

Proposes skimming off the top.

Trustee Hedges: Actually I think we killed the 10 percent tax on the savings from the socialization of electricity in Oak Park. But as the former head of the park district, I can tell you there are a heck of a lot of little moptops around town doing flips and splits. Now that the parks have bought the old Aldi store and are taking it off the tax rolls, I think we could get away with a tax, but we won't call it a tax; we'll call it an investment fee, on all gymnasts four feet and shorter. The Oak Park Gymnastics Investment Act. It could raise a half mil.

Socialized electrical service. Discriminates against tall gymnasts. Half mil.

Trustee Lueck: You know, not all food is equally dangerous while driving. Take a bagel. Put a schmear of cream cheese on it and that's a pretty tight little treat. It won't come apart. Now I'm a social worker not a physicist, but look at a Whopper. The mayo and the tomato and the lettuce, those are like the Slip 'n' Slides of sandwich fixins. You can't keep that sandwich together. Let me make this clear, I'm not making any official proposal, but you drive around eating a Whopper and you're going to kill a person.

Surprisingly, she drops her g's. Dead right about the dangers of a Whopper. And what about a Double Whopper! OMG.

Trustee Brewer: You know, I don't say a lot at these meetings. On the other hand, I've never landed us on the front page of a major daily newspaper with some sort of harebrained comment about mayonnaise. And if you take notice, all those little vermin reporters sitting there are typing away right now. Why they've probably already posted the "Whoppers Will Kill People" headline on their websites.

I wonder if I can post directly to the website. Cool. Did he just call me vermin?

Trustee Tucker: Mr. President, perhaps we should end the practice of making impromptu remarks at least until all of us, but especially Colette, can get some media training on what to say and when to zip it. I think we should hire a media consultant. But these are tax dollars we're spending, so let's cap the contract at $25K. Hard times and all.

Long past time to become a media consultant.

Email: Twitter: @OPEditor

Reader Comments

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Comment Policy


Posted: October 28th, 2011 10:35 AM

Rif Raff

OP resident  

Posted: October 28th, 2011 9:18 AM

If the barricades were intended to reduce traffic flw then I'd like one on my street! But oddly enough the only streets that were in need of that kind of traffic reduction were along Austin. I wonder why?

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: October 26th, 2011 5:30 PM

Barricade installation or removal is a sensitive subject that should not be addressed in a casual manner. That is the issue I was addressing when I brought up the Bully Pulpit. I do not have any opinion one way or another on whether the issues should be studied. I find it unlikely that the board wants to address the issue when it is 18 months from OP elections.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: October 26th, 2011 4:51 PM

I think Trustee Brewer is right to seek a dialogue on the subject. As I recall, the barriers were intended to reduce traffic flow in neighborhoods and to assist law enforcement efforts. The barricades have been in place for many years. A critical review of the purpose and plan seems overdue.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: October 26th, 2011 4:32 PM

For Brewer to bring the subject up without any background on the issue is incendiary. Is it a issue safety, security, traffic, crime, race? Without the barricade history and an understanding of the motivation of planners, most people would assume the issue is racial prejudice. As a community that has great pride in its diversity; we need a lot more clarity when the possibility of racial prejudice is the subject; intentionally or accidentally. In this case, I suspect it was the latter.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: October 26th, 2011 3:47 PM

You're right, John. Oak Park has set up barricades in other neighborhoods. Trustee Brewer mentioned the ones along Austin Blvd. and suggested that the board needs to discuss whether or not to keep them in place.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: October 26th, 2011 3:38 PM

I think that both Trustees Lueck and Brewer's comments are a great example of the OP Bully Pulpit. It allows board members to make any statement they want without accountability. If a resident went to the 3 Minutes of Fog at a board meeting w/these subject, they would get the Pope thank you. Board member gets ink. 2013 is an election year for both Lueck and Brewer. Both seek attention. If the Austin Barricades are an issue, are other barricades an issue as well? Has the issue been studied?

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: October 26th, 2011 1:30 PM

Trustee Brewer brought a concern to the board's attention that should be discussed. Rather than wasting time and energy debating and joking about an off-the-cuff comment about distracted drivers, the trustees need to address the barricades that line the Oak Park side of Austin Blvd. Brewer was right to question whether these barriers effectively serve local law enforcement efforts and what do they represent about our community to our neighbors?

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