Apologize or demolish

Opinion: Editorials

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The new, and hideous, electric car charging station in downtown Oak Park is a debacle. So much so that one village trustee last week suggested a wholesale apology from the village was in order. And another trustee went so far as to suggest we just demolish it. Ugly. Totally out of place with its surroundings. And a consumer of critical parking spaces. Not much to recommend it.

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Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 21st, 2013 12:46 AM

We, the taxpayers of Oak Park, should not be responsible for any of the costs associated with demolishing this structure. If the Wednesday Journal accurate in their description of it being a debacle; an investigation seems warranted. I would prefer that the village board hold off on offering an apologize until we know the whole story.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 20th, 2013 10:31 PM

Hi Greener - sorry for taking so long to reply. Yep, I was all crossed up. My understanding is that the "thing" was part of a regional grant from ? (not sure who. The program was handled by another village or agency, and the village was unaware of the installation until everyone was screaming OMG!

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 20th, 2013 10:15 PM

Regarding the December 18th post by "James", I am not one "who's railing for people to be fired". These are tough times for a lot working folks and their families. It's up to the decision makers at Village Hall to make the call on eliminating someone's job. I have regularly expressed my views that the outsourcing mania that swept through our local government offices needs to be evaluated to determine it has been cost effective and produced the desired benefits. Too often, it seemed these personnel moves were made in an effort to break the employees' unions. If the anonymous poster is really concerned about people who have lost their jobs after years of public service, he/she should express that to the village manager and board of trustees.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 3:24 PM

James, it was I, not Gizmo, calling for the termination of employment of those in Village Hall responsible for this monstrosity...however, it's fine with me if they're fired on January 31, after all, I do have a heart. As I tell my kids, actions have consequences, & that should especially apply to those in govt employment. Since it was likely a managerial level person responsible no worries about "worker bees", though no reason for class warfare.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 2:58 PM

Drove by this gawdawful structure this morning, and all I can say is, I guess the concept of "Context Sensitive Solutions" only applies to the I-290 rebuild?

Greener Than Thou from Oak Park  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 2:46 PM

JBM: You got you're posts crossed. I was wondering if this monstrosity was part of the Marion Street master plan. After all, it kind of dwarfs the decorative archway over at the (crumbling) intersection of Westgate and Marion.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 2:02 PM

Greener - There was a plan associated with the approval of the Madison TIF, but it was not very specific. Part of the plan text was consideration of a Government Center on Madison. There was no mention of which taxing bodies would be considered as candidates for the Government Center and definitely no mention of the school districts being included. Since those early TIF days of the mid-90's, the Library has built an award winning building and the DPW left Madison for South Blvd. They left a lot of vancat land and buildings behind. With the exception of Village Hall, only Park and Rec is left in the area where the Government Center was to be located. D97 is throwing us a Red Herring. There will be no Government Center on Madison and if the world make any sense, there will be no Village Hall/D97 Mini Government Center.


Posted: December 18th, 2013 1:36 PM

Wow James, please read my earlier comment again because it sure isn't advocating anyone getting fired at Village Hall.

Greener Than Thou from Oak Park  

Posted: December 18th, 2013 12:57 PM

I have to wonder, with all the months and millions we spend on master plans, was this always part of the picture or just someone's pet project if the moment? And why couldn't this have been unobtrusively rolled into the new parking facilities in the Colt or Lake & Forest developments? I kind of wonder if the same trustees who've publicly spoken ill of DuPage commuters passing thru OP intentionally chose it as a highly visible, greener-than-thou, thumb-in-the-eye to DuPage Metra riders.


Posted: December 18th, 2013 12:38 PM

Isn't this the OP way? Throw precious tax dollars at anything hinting at green, electric, sustainable --- and helpful to as few people as possible. This is just the latest shiny object wasting our money -- the Divvy bikes will be next although there is already bike rental available. Did these two trustees vote against this monstrosity? How often is the Walgreen's charging station actually used? Rarely from what I see...


Posted: December 18th, 2013 8:44 AM

Wow Gizmo, usually it's big Jim Coughlin who's railing for people to be fired. If they fire everyone at Village Hall for doing something people didn't like no one would be working there. They're doing their job, the high ups approve it leave the worker bees alone unless you're going to help them find new employment or help feed their families. It's Christmas time lighten up Francis.


Posted: December 18th, 2013 5:53 AM

Yeah, that Blue architectural wonder will do a lot to encourage sustainability, plus I can park my $140,000 Tesla there for free.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: December 17th, 2013 10:25 PM

Yes, apologize. Yes, demolish. But by all means, find the staff member(s) who recommended to the board this location and this design, and fire them...immediately...for incompetence. Finally, disclose every trustee who voted to approve this abomination...those still in office should resign. Those out of office should suffer public ridicule. This was a heinous act, done for no good reason. Bureaucratic vandalism pure and simple.

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