Oak Park Plan Commission should treat both sides equally

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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I considered not writing about this because it could, to some, be in the "little things" category. However, I believe it's in the little-things-mean- a-lot category.

I have been attending the Oak Park Plan Commission meetings regarding the proposed Comcast project. For the most part, I have very much appreciated the time put into this discussion and the structure of the meetings. Recently I was disappointed.

On Jan. 20, the plan commission heard testimony primarily from those "for" the project. Although the rule was five minutes per speaker, there was no timer used and speakers were only stopped when they were obviously significantly past the limit.

On Feb. 3, the plan commission heard testimony primarily from those "opposed" to the project. At this meeting a timer was used. When the timer went off the speakers were given the instruction to finish their thought and end regardless of whether all prepared comments had been delivered.

Deliberate or not, the commission is sending a message that it will hear all you have to say so far as you are supporting this Village of Oak Park-endorsed project.

Patricia O'Shea
Oak Park

Reader Comments

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Dave Heidorn from Oak Park  

Posted: February 11th, 2011 1:14 PM

What would promote the discussion and openness that people so freely claim Oak Park is all about is having pros and cons take turns, maybe five at a time. The all-at-one-time approach puts those against any project at a severe disadvantage. What Commissioner could possibly be attentive at 10 pm? And having a separate meeting is nearly fatal to opposition. Dialogue should be encouraged, not limited. Unless Joe is correct, a meaningful discussion should be part of Oak Park's positive culture.

Joe from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2011 4:32 PM

That's because, like everything in Oak Park, the hearings are a formality. The Village Board has already made up its mind and will do what it wants regardless of what the commission recommends. No disrespect meant to the Commission. They've made good judgments in the past, only to have them ignored by the Village.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: February 9th, 2011 7:30 PM

Having chaired an OP Commission conducting public hearings, I know how challenging it is to be manage speakers time. At the same time, it is critical that time limits are enforced. If nothing else, it enhances the commission's credibility.

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