State Sen. Don Harmon said last week that the media attention being paid to the Supreme Court's recent eminent domain ruling is overblown.
Harmon said he hasn't read the entire ruling, but that it is not much different from what has been allowed by Illinois state law for years. Municipalities may use eminent domain to purchase properties they will use as part of a development plan. The process is public, he said.
"I don't think the hoopla is quite warranted by the facts," Harmon told the crowd of mostly local business men and women and community leaders gathered at the Carleton Hotel Friday morning to hear the senator. The event was hosted by the Business and Civic Council of Oak Park.
Harmon said the General Assembly might address eminent domain laws to restrict how local governments can use condemnation to obtain properties for development.
The senator recapped the year's legislative session, describing the budget balancing process, and he answered audience questions.
Harmon said he doubted "tax swap" measures would return to the General Assembly until after the 2006 fall elections, and he does not agree that townships are an unnecessary form of government.
La Bella landlord responds
Unable to be reached for comment on an article that appeared on this page June 29, Sander Moy, owner of 109 S. Marion St., wanted to respond to comments made by his outgoing tenant, La Bella owner Michael Pace.
Pace said his lease was not renewed because Moy thought a restaurant brought "too much foot traffic" to the building.
Moy said that was not the case, and that he did not renew the lease because the restaurant's employees parked in residents' spaces, and that the restaurant did not meet his cleanliness standards.
A restaurant representative said Pace did not want to comment.
In the June 29 article, "La Bella will move after 15 years on Marion St.," Pace also said he plans to continue to operate an outdoor dining section in the alleyway adjacent to and north of the Marion Street space after La Bella moves to its new location, 1103 South Blvd., which is expected in November.
Pace said he has a 6-foot easement to operate in the alley. Moy said the easement is his, and that he would not allow Pace to use it after the move.
A village spokesman said the alley is privately owned.
"It's really not a village issue," said David Powers. "It'll be something they'll have to work out."
FBOP banks climb profitability list
Four of the six most profitable Chicago-area banks are owned by FBOP Corp., the parent company started and owned by Oak Parker Mike Kelly, according to a recent list published by Crain's Chicago Business.
First Bank of Oak Park, the bank that predated its parent company, ranked fourth on the list, with a 2.47 percent return on average assets. The bank made $6.1 million in net income in 2004, the year the rankings are based on.
FBOP Corp. also owns Pullman Bank & Trust, ranked second on the list with 2.59 percent returns on average assets. Last year, Pullman ranked fourth on the list.
FBOP banks Cosmopolitan Bank and Trust and Park National Bank and Trust Corp. of Chicago ranked fourth and fifth on this year's list, up from 10th and tied for 14th respectively last year.
FBOP Corp. has $13 billion in assets.
Topping the list for a fourth straight year was Broadway Bank, with a 3.14 percent return on average assets, and a net income of $25.7 million.
The list ranks all 226 banks in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.
Community Bank of Oak Park-River Forest also climbed to a tie for 26th from a tie for 30th place on 2003's profitability list, despite being slightly less profitable in 2004.