Dear Ms. Brennan, Mr. Sokol, and the rest of the library and village board members:
I have to say, I thought I was reading The Onion when I saw the Wednesday Journal headline, "Oak Park Library lobby may be redone."
The subhead was even funnier: "Plan to make area more welcoming and upgrade self-checkout software."
It was not so funny when I read what this folly is expected to cost — just a measly $300,000.
As an Oak Park taxpayer since 2000, a frequent library user, and a level-headed citizen, I have to say I am outraged. Have people completely taken leave of their senses? Does no one recognize that we have a perfectly lovely, welcoming library? In fact, just days ago, the library received the highly-coveted 5-star rating in Library Journal's Index of Public Library Service and was awarded the Chicago Building Congress Merit Award for Best New Construction - Suburbs for the year 2003, for "distinctive design, outstanding construction and a positive impact on the surrounding community."
Such an unwelcoming embarrassment to the community — Not.
Does no one on the library and village boards understand that outrageous, unrelenting property taxes are a major issue for all the citizens who love this community and want to stay here? Does no one on these boards realize that their job is to represent the people of Oak Park and be responsible stewards of the community's finances instead of reckless spendthrifts? Does no one realize that we have all taken a beating throughout the recession/depression with job losses, pay decreases, furlough days and more, and to read something like this is an absolute slap in the face to all the people who sacrifice to pay their taxes here?
I think if you were to put this to a vote, you would see that very few (if any) Oak Park taxpayers would think this is a priority. What's going to be next on the agenda? Redoing the redone Marion Street? Come on, people — get a grip on reality.