OP Village update Pope seeks unanimous trustee choice. Some say majority is fine.

OP Village Update

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At two meetings over the last two weeks, some Oak Park trustees voiced concerns that Village President David Pope's expressed commitment to appointing a trustee who is unanimously supported by the board will unnecessarily stretch out the selection process.

The board has until July 1 to name the trustee who will serve out the remaining two years of Pope's term as a trustee. Pope has requested a list of names from all sitting board members, and is hoping to put forward a candidate who could be interviewed privately by the rest of the board.

Pope said Monday he believes it's critical that all board members support an appointed trustee, and has effectively given each trustee a "veto" vote.

"This was a fractious political contest, and if I was joining the board, I'd like to know that each of my colleagues was welcoming me as an equal," Pope said. "I haven't seen evidence of factionalism on this board, but there's a public concern it may exist. This is a chance to put a very good first foot forward."

Some board members, however, said Pope may be over-emphasizing the need for unanimity.

"It seems to me if we only focus on consensus, we will take too long to do this," said Trustee Geoff Baker. "I want a fair process, but I also want to get on with it."

Trustees Martha Brock and Greg Marsey also objected to the notion that the president would be the one to identify the top candidate to be considered. The board president has the right, according to village code, to put forward a suggested appointee, and does not have to solicit input from the rest of the board.

Trustee Ray Johnson, however, said he felt Pope's proposed process was fair.

"[Pope] made the process more inclusive than the law dictates on a number of fronts," he said. "Anyone can put forward a name. I'm concerned about the timing, but let's see how this plays out."

At the end of the meeting, the board agreed to allow the process to continue.

Hydrants, testing, testing

The Oak Park Fire Department will be testing fire hydrants through June 12, a process that may generate some "cloudiness" in tap water.

If the tap is run for a few minutes following testing, the water should clear, according to a village press statement.

For more information, call 445-3300, or e-mail fire@oakpark.us.

Roosevelt Rd. town home proposal forwarded to plan commission

The village board Monday voted unanimously to refer a proposal to build 18, three-and-a-half story town homes at Clarence Avenue and Roosevelt Road to the plan commission for review.

The project, titled the "Clarence Court Townhomes," will also include 36 parking spaces, which would be accessed via a driveway on Clarence, and includes no retail space.

The development, designed by architect John Schiess, will require relief from six zoning allowances, including property line setbacks, and lot coverage. The building will not require variances for height or density.

The commission is tentatively scheduled to begin its review of the project on June 16.

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