Dear Mr. Milstein:

Why create yet another committee to review the property tax problem? How much time and money will it take for a committee to spew out more recommendations that need to be studied and debated in community meetings for endless months?

Shouldn’t the problems Oak Park faces be obvious by now, especially to the board? Isn’t it clear that the taxing bodies-including the village itself-need to exercise a little fiscal restraint, and isn’t it also clear that the board needs to encourage planned development akin to Forest Park’s, rather than continue to put up roadblocks to it?

As an example, couldn’t the board have fast-tracked the project to get Trader Joe’s into Oak Park instead of delaying it? Yes, we know it’s finally coming, but it’s coming several years later than originally planned. And that means several years of a commercial lower tax base, yes?

As another example, was it really in the taxpayers’ best interest for the board to spend a small fortune on the Colt building, only to find out that it is too expensive to restore? Make no mistake about it, I don’t want to see more buildings like the Gap or the strip mall across the street sprouting on Lake Street. But enough is enough. The Colt building may be old, but it’s just plain ugly. Sell it and let a developer raze it and build something new and beautiful that will contribute to Oak Park’s charm and draw people like me into visiting and hanging out downtown. Give me places I really want to shop at. Give me a few wine bars and more restaurants like Philander’s instead of fast food chains. Give me inviting places to walk and things to look at.

Give me property tax relief. But please don’t give me more meetings.

Thea Potanos
Oak Park

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