Swenson's performance should be measured in potholes

Opinion

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I read this at the July 5 Village Board of Trustees meeting in response to a Wednesday Journal article about Manager Swenson ("Oak Park's Swenson leading other towns into 'performance measurement,'" June 29).

Thanks to the Board of trustees for allowing me to speak here today.

My comments today are directed to Village Manager, Carl Swenson. Congratulations on your "performance measurements" article in the Wednesday Journal.

I'd like to read two quotes:

Quote 1: "OP's Swenson leading other towns 'performance measurement'. Putting numbers to service delivery common in business.'"

Quote 2: You stated you took a "'leadership role'" in setting up a conference this week designed to bring roughly 50 Chicago area municipalities in the system".

I'd like to give my reaction to this article.

I'd like to know, Village Manager Swenson, why you have time for outside community activities, but not for the village you are suppose to manage? Why aren't your own standards being applied to your performance as Oak Park's Village Manager?

In particular, why can't you manage to patch the streets of your village with four deputy mangers, Peter Dame, Lisa Shelley, Ray Wiggins and Rogene Hill (who just quit), each earning between $80-$114,000. Salaries (including Village Manager Swenson) total conservatively approximately $420,000, and the benefits package adds up to approximately $100,000, totaling over a half million dollars.

I spoke with one of the owners of Pieritz Brothers about some faulty sidewalk work completed years ago. The owner told me she's tried numerous times to get it fixed over the past two years, with no results. One of the new village board members made a call to get if fixed temporarily with asphalt.

Are we, the citizens of Oak Park, required to pay inflated taxes and do your job as well?

I invite the board of trustees to take a serious look at other candidates for Village Manager in 2006 and let Mr. Swenson re-apply for his job. I'd surely like to see how his "performance measurements" stand up against other candidates.

Allen Green
Oak Park

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