Farewell, Oak Parkers, farewell, for we are only the latest victims of an elitist government that has no respect for what Oak Park really stands for. It is a shame the board of trustees that swore to uphold the ideals of the Village of Oak Park is instead moving the village toward a haven for elitist aristocrats who have no respect for the traditional ideals that founded the village in the first place.
We are broken-hearted that we are evicted and marginalized just like so many other mom-and-pop businesses that made Oak Park. The preference of the aristocrats is corporate chain businesses that siphon the wealth of the village and transport it to other regions of the country where they have some sort of tax heaven.
In the last 15 years, Oak Park has lost too many small businesses to corporate chains, just to name a few: Maple Furriers, Rock L’s, the pancake house, the grocery store and now Los Cazadores Mexican Restaurant. The marginalization efforts towards the mom-and-pops of Oak Park have produced nasty and dishonorable dividends for the residents of Oak Park. The village is governed by a bureaucratic machine that knows no bounds when it wants something, regardless of the collateral damage done to small victims who have no way of defending themselves like the big corporate chains who have attorneys on the payroll.
These same aristocrats may well be major stockholders of these corporate chains. The past five election cycles have not produced real leaders but special-interest politicians who look out for number one-themselves. We thought the board of trustees was not dominated by the bureaucratic machine that has replaced compassionate governing, which Oak Park is well known for. Historically, Oak Park is progressive and compassionate when it comes to small business, but because of the elected special-interest politicians who are in power, a dark cloud overcast has enveloped the village.
The need to excel in your career within village government has replaced good government at the expense of the people. These so-called professional governmental administrators, for the most part, may not even live in the village, but regulate it with an iron fist at the cost of small business and the people of Oak Park.
The reason for small village government is to serve the people and not go on a shopping spree and buy up all the available properties to sell at a loss to preferred developers. I encourage you to take a second look at the way your government does business-using cutthroat tactics like the majority of corporations that exist in our times.
When you fool an uneducated man into thinking your word is honorable and take advantage to manipulate a situation to your benefit, that is dishonorable. My father was tricked into thinking that not everything needs to be written down when dealing with the village government. He was promised the right of first refusal if the redevelopment did not become a reality. The village was to sell our American dream back to us to continue to serve the people of Oak Park. They decided to instead destroy an established business of nine years.
Farewell, Oak Parkers, farewell. We will never forget you, despite having leaders who are willing to destroy a family’s dreams and hard work for a measly extra dime. Money has taken center stage in this tragic drama where the victor is the aristocratic leaders who will drive this village from its humble and humane history to a metropolis akin to Chicago with its entire bureaucratic splendor and corruption.