One View columns a healthy way for Oak Park board members to speak up

Opinion: Editorials

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It was a curious discussion a week ago Monday as Oak Park's new village board and president sat down to talk about "board protocols." Some aspects of those board rules had to do with interacting with the local press.

We were gratified to hear Anan Abu-Taleb, the new village president, encourage his board colleagues to speak freely when reporters called. He gets the idea that a part of the recent election was citizens asking for a more transparent local government. Part of that transparency is a culture where elected officials respectfully and honestly share their opinions and make their points — and not just at the board table.

When the discussion turned to the efficacy of board members submitting "One Views" for publication, a divide on the board became more apparent. Some board members saw the longer essays published by the Journal as a good way to reach citizens who are not glued to watching board meetings on cable. Another board member said such essays should only be used to correct the press when it errs.

It won't come as a surprise that we see benefit in open discussion, fair disagreement, consensus building and forward movement. And using the pages and the pixels of the local publisher to explain and persuade is altogether healthy.

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John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 22nd, 2013 12:11 AM

Great move by Anan and Dan. It can clear up a lot of misunderstanding. The more participation the better. It is a giant step.

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