The Village Manager Association party has governed for so long that they actually believe what they are doing is correct behavior. By their candidates not going to citizen sponsored events, they demonstrate supreme arrogance [Oak Park board hopefuls say no to Conversation, News, Feb. 9].
Then the current board of trustees, by hiding their decision making behind a consent agenda, denied citizens the right to a transparent government [Not enough discussion at the Oak Park village board table? News, Feb. 16].
When I served as a trustee from 2003 to 2007 (with the Village Citizens Alliance party), then-VMA party President Trapani, and later pseudo-independent President Pope (who has since returned to the VMA party fold), used (and uses) the consent agenda as a tool to limit debate and to block citizens from seeing what is happening.
There has always been a belief among members of the VMA party in marginalizing opposition voices, calling them NIMBYs, hiding behind consent agendas, creating appearances that others are out to get them, and that the ubiquitous "they" are out there trying to derail Oak Park by blocking the future.
Perhaps it's time to have primaries, and return to elections with all board members up every four years! Let the citizens, not a secretive caucus, pick their candidates. Let the electorate decide who will run in the general election. Model the election after Chicago's 50-plus-1 system. With this model, more citizens will run for office, and a greater choice of candidates will be available. The people will decide, not a caucus of the self-selected.
It's time for leadership that incorporates greater transparency, open government, no consent agendas, citizen commissions that matter, an end to cash-cow TIFs, and most of all an end to the Village Manager Association's arrogance.
By the way, Mr. Pope refers to the prior board dotting every I and crossing every T. He led that effort whenever he discussed brick sizes and colors. His words and actions still don't match.
Vote April 2013. It's not a mistake; I mean 2013.
Oak Park Village trustee, 2003-2007
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