OP First slate supports an independent park district

Opinion

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A cornerstone of the Oak Park First Candidates is our commitment to fiscal responsibility. We are committed to do everything we can to maintain our high bond rating without raising taxes. A key to achieving this goal will be to explore all symbiotic opportunities between the different taxing bodies so as to maximize efficiencies.

This being stated we also pledge to not be dogmatic in following the dictates of one philosophy or another. Furthermore we pledge to continually respond to the wishes of the community.

An example of this would be the Oak Park Park District and its future.

We would prefer for the park district and the village government to continue to work together as they have so as to maximize efficiencies however we have heard the requests of the park board as well as the recommendations of the Park District's Citizens Committee. We understand how when deciding how to allocate funds there can be conflicting priorities between the two entities and sometimes it is best to simply end the conflict.

Therefore the candidates of the Oak Park First Campaign stand squarely behind and in full support of the independence of the park district from the village government.

We support the transfer of all village owned properties to the park district for no cost.

We support the park district's efforts to seek additional funding through the passing of the April 5 referendum. The park board has done an excellent job in managing its finances but will need these additional revenues to complete its separation from the village and to make the necessary capital investments in its facilities. It has been over 30 years since the park district has asked the citizenry for any additional funding and they deserve it.

Finally the Oak Park First candidates pledge to continue funding the park district at the current level for the next two years as the park district has requested. This will insure for the transition period that the park district will be able to afford the capital improvements needed to fully update its facilities while providing the excellent programs that Oak Park citizens demand and deserve.

In conclusion please join us in our support of the referendum by voting yes on April 5 for the future of Oak Park's parks and recreation.

Oak Park First Candidates

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