Background: Sharon Patchak-Layman is two years into her second term on the District 97 school board. She is a past director of Pilgrim Community Nursery School and a co-founder of Magic Tree Bookstore. She was also a member of the Longfellow PTO and an office and payroll clerk at a small manufacturing company.
Patchak-Layman has a BA from Mundelein College and an MAT from National-Louis University. She is running on the New Leadership Party slate.
Priorities: Patchak-Layman says the top three challenges facing the office of village clerk are:
1) providing "multiple vehicles" for community involvement?#34;including keeping the community keyed into the "decision-making loop" and "building a renewed level of trust in village government";
2) providing "full value" in community services for taxes and user fees; and
3) supporting and nurturing neighborhood businesses.
She also supports improving training programs for citizen commissions, and ensuring that more information is available at the library and on the village's website. She believes the village clerk should be a "guardian" of the Open Meetings Act.
Quote: "This is a sleepy office, and it doesn't have to be."
Background: Sandra Sokol has been Oak Park's village clerk for the last 12 years. Before being elected clerk, Sokol worked for eight years in the village's community relations department.
She is a former president of the Regional Division of Illinois Municipal Clerks and is active in a number of local organizations.
Sokol has a BA in psychology and education from Hunter College in New York and a master's degree in Human Services Administration from the Spertus Institute.
She is running on the Oak Park First Slate, which was selected by the Village Manager Association.
Priorities: Sokol says her top priorities are:
1) continuing the "tradition of responsive commitment to our residents," and
2) "quickly addressing residents needs and questions relating to the clerk's responsibilities."
Sokol says she decided to run for another term because she felt she still had "something to offer" and things she would like to get done. She is a strong advocate for village clerks being elected, rather than hired.
Quote: "I love the village, and I love being a public servant."