At a bi-monthly meeting with local reporters last week, Village Manager Carl Swenson questioned the timing of the park district’s referendum, saying the village was willing to look at other ways of providing financial assistance to the cash-strapped parks.

“It’s not my question to ask, but why are they doing it now?”

When it was suggested the timing may be tied to a looming District 97 referendum, Swenson responded, “the notion of running out to get in front of another taxing body is not good financial planning.”

Swenson is a strong proponent of working with local governments to address Oak Park’s “taxing capacity,” the point at which the tax burden makes residents unwilling to vote for further increases.

At last week’s meeting, he said there was “absolutely” an opportunity for the village to work out another funding arrangement, possibly similar to the one approved with Dist. 97 this year.

“In the context of the master plan, there should be a range of opportunities that are in the best interest of park users,” he said. “I don’t have a personal desire to manage parks and recreation, but I can do it.”

?#34;Katharine Grayson

Referendum committee to meet tonight at library

The “Renew Our Parks” referendum committee is looking for volunteers and will meet at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Oak Park Public Library.

The meeting will feature an overview of the park district master plan, issues facing the park district and plans for future district initiatives.

Join the discussion on social media!