I have been involved with the Village Manager Association (VMA) for 37 years, served on many selection and election committees and am proud of the contribution of our elected officials. The VMA is not a political party but a citizen caucus whose prime interest is in good government. The goal is to select candidates not for what they know, but for who they are.
Dear Carl [Swenson], I wanted to drop you a quick response to your comments that were printed in the Jan. 26 Wednesday Journal ("Swenson questions referendum timing"). It had a headline and your picture, so it was hard to miss.
Recent history of the Oak Park Park District is one of an agency once flush with support and financial means, that has seen a reversal of fortunes driven by priority shifts toward education, infrastructure concerns, and a state tax cap.
As readers of this newspaper know, the Oak Park Village Board is leaning against passing a clean air ordinance because of concern about its potential economic impact. The village board appears to have been spooked by restaurant owners' concerns that an ordinance preventing their patrons from smoking in a restaurant will cause them to go to another town's food emporiums.
I usually find myself in disagreement with Oak Park's other weekly, but that has reversed itself recently with the Journal's support for extending the downtown TIF for another 13 years ("Bold, but respectful, plan for downtown," Feb. 9). I'd ask that the paper reconsider the endorsement by giving consideration to another aspect of the incentives.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us." Charles Dickens wasn't describing Oak Park in "A Tale Of Two Cities," but he could have been.
"In my community, I would say it was Brother Robert Myles. He is the one that got us involved in the movement and to help us vote. He took care of some of the Civil Rights workers that were there, and he traveled with them.
The village pats itself on the back for any number of improvements it has helped make to downtown Oak Park. And the village board does deserve some thanks for the revitalization we've seen over the last 10 years.