I am not fit to hold public office in Oak Park. I am too opinionated. I do not have the patience one needs to listen quietly to the ramblings of nutty citizens. I once ran for local public office and lost. It's a good thing because I do not have a thick skin, and neither does Bob Milstein.
Imagine that you are appointed to a "School Task Force" to establish a school. Proceeding thoughtfully, you would probably have questions to be answered before you felt ready to establish a school. How many students will attend? Which grade levels? What classes will be offered? How long will students be in attendance? What facilities are needed? To build a school without having this information would be foolish, in that you might end up building a high school when what was needed was a preschool.
I am a member of the Animal Shelter Task Force and could not let Kathy Capone's letter go unanswered. The Friends of Animals group worked for 5 years to have the 3/7 day Oak Park Animal Control rule changed. Not only would a longer holder period enable owners to find their pets, but it would also give the "captured" animal time to calm down and (if not claimed) become more adoptable.
Before Bob Milstein leaves this editorial smelling like roses, we'd first like to point out that he has done his fair share of dirty campaigning. We, if no one else, clearly remember his days as a VMA "operative" (if Oak Park has any campaign role quite that sophisticated) who took the hatchet to opponent John Troelstrup in long-winded screeds that we, of course, published in this paper.
Carolyn Newberry Schwartz must be re-elected to the District 97 board. How can one of seven board members make that much difference? The next school year will start with a new superintendent, a new assistant superintendent, and the other top administrators averaging less than two years in their current roles in District 97.
The school board elections are near and everyone, whether you have students in the schools or not, should look at the candidates running for school board closely. There are several candidates running, but residents should look at all aspects of the candidates.
It is unfortunate that, in lauding Dr. Fagan's accomplishments, the current and former board presidents failed to include any mention of special education, which serves almost 20 percent of District 97 students ("Collins will build on Fagan's success at D97," Feb. 23).
Voters in the next Village election to be held on April 5 face deeply important decisions that will have lasting impact on Oak Park. Responding to these challenges will require a careful balance of creativity and pragmatism. In this election, voters will have to choose between distinct alternative views for the future of our village. Recent letters to the editor in these pages provide a window into some of these differences.
The Village Managers Association's (VMA) process was as open and inclusive as the participants could have wished for! At the start of the Selection Committee process, there were 60-plus people in attendance. Anyone who left the VMA organization did so on their own volition and were not thrown out or asked to leave. For the first time, I spent 12 weeks participating in the process. This led to the selection of a slate of excellent candidates: for President of the Village Board, Diana Carpenter, for Trustees, Ray Barbosa, Dorothy Reid and Mas Takiguchi, and for Village Clerk, Sandra Sokol.