Please don't let the Oak Park Township Board elections slip off your radar screen. The township has a much smaller budget than the village or our schools (it takes up only about 3 percent of our tax bill), but it provides key social services for us and needs to have people with competence, experience and a good knowledge of Oak Park on its board who are willing to involve the community in vetting major decisions. The Township Party candidates fit that description well as shown by their established record of service on the board.
The township provides management and funding for youth services, senior services, community mental health and general public assistance. The board has a citizens' advisory committee for each of those areas of service in order to obtain continuing community feedback. It has developed a top-level team of professional managers who know their fields and can work well with one another and with the community. The board has a balanced budget. Anticipated township revenues and expenses are projected well into the future to minimize the chance for financial surprises. The board collaborates with all other taxing bodies, especially in regard to youth and senior services, to ensure value for the dollars spent. When I was on the OPRF High School Board a few years back, the township was a willing and essential partner in preventing gang, drug and violent activity among youth, and we regarded the Township Youth Supervisor as our good ally who could range far beyond the school to deal with youth problems. That spirit of cooperation continues with the current Township Board.
The Township Party candidates are, for Trustee: Clarmarie I. Keenan, from our local business community, Dr. Eric A King, a school superintendent (outside Oak Park), Leroi Pulliam, attorney and William G. Troyer, M.D. and the past Chief of Staff of a major Chicago hospital; and for Supervisor, Dr. F. David Boulanger; a former dean at Triton College; for Clerk, Gregory P. White, history teacher; for Assessor, Ali El Saffar, attorney; and for Collector, Mary T. Cozzens, a clinical social worker. Beyond this collection of competence and experience, however, the strength of the present board is its diversity, teamwork, mutual respect, and the ability to forge consensus on those occasions where there initially is disagreement.
Please don't lose sight of the Oak Park Township Board elections, and support the Township Party.