First reported 9/21/2010 10:03 a.m.

At least two spots on the Oak Park village board will be up for grabs next April, as Trustee Jon Hale announced Monday night that he won’t be running for a second term.

Elected in 2007 with the Village Manager Association slate of candidates, Hale said he has taken on more responsibility at his job over the past year, and he wants to spend more time with his wife and two young children.

In a statement issued Monday, Hale said he believes one of his biggest successes was making it more attractive for others to serve.

“Four years ago, we had a dysfunctional village board,” he said in the statement. “Since then, we’ve restored sanity and rationality so that board service hopefully no longer looks as daunting to well-qualified, high-quality individuals who may want to run. I would urge those folks to step forward to serve, because it’s truly an honor to do so.”

Hale, 50, said he made the decision not to run on Sunday. Including time spent on the Oak Park Plan Commission, he’s been serving the village for about a decade and needed a break, he said. It’s possible he may return to local politics in some form in the future.

Some of the board’s biggest accomplishments since 2007, he believes, are it “holding the line” on taxes, cutting spending, and keeping “things moving” in the area of economic development.

However, the biggest failure in Hale’s opinion is the lack of intergovernmental cooperation, pointing to the lawsuit that Oak Park and River Forest High School filed against Village Hall earlier this year. He challenged future elected officials to avoid lawsuits “pitting Oak Park taxpayers against Oak Park taxpayers.”

“That represents a failure of the elected officials of all those bodies, in my opinion, and the voters and taxpayers of Oak Park should demand better,” he said in his statement.

Elected with the same slate three years ago, Jan Pate announced that she will also ride off into the sunset next April, to be able to devote her full attention to her job as CEO of the West Cook YMCA. Trustee Ray Johnson, meanwhile, announced earlier this month that he will vie for a third term.

CONTACT: mstempniak@wjinc.com

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