I received my tax bill earlier this week and was shocked by the increase. I wondered what I was doing in Oak Park. On Wednesday afternoon, the neighbors on the 900 blocks of Home and Wenonah reminded me why I’m here!
Friends in need are friends indeed! I felt truly blessed to see my neighbors outside in the snow shoveling and plowing the alley and the sidewalks. We all had smiles on our faces and were happy to be of service to each other. God bless you all for being good neighbors in good weather (let’s go block parties), and bad!
P.S., Thanks to the village staff who did a great job of keeping us safe, and for their work in clearing the snow.
I would like to let people know what a great citizen Danny Brennan, at Suburban Automotive at 826 North Blvd., is.
He has been snowplowing the parking lot next to the 813-825 Lake Street condos for many years. The company that is contracted with the village to do this work did not plow this lot or two others on either side of Suburban Auto after the big storm, so Danny and his crew used his Jeep with a plow to do the work on Wednesday and Thursday. He even took keys from people in my condo who pay the village to park in this lot, and moved their cars so he could plow each space. He helped many people get their cars out who were not able to move. He is a great asset to our neighborhood.
Also, when I walk down the south side of Lake Street from Oak Park Avenue to Marion, I notice each winter that certain areas are not shoveled, one being in front of Unity Temple and the other in front of the post office. I wonder who has the responsibility for snow removal of these properties.
What has happened to Oak Park village services? First there was leaf “collection” in October and November, when there was no real “collection.” Leaves were pushed into gigantic piles that turned our streets into slalom courses of rotting leaves as cars had to weave around them to get down the streets. The pile in front of our home toppled onto our lawn creating a huge mess that we had to clean up. Then there was “tree-cycling.” We put out our Christmas tree the first week of January and it wasn’t picked up until Jan. 31, and only after two complaints to the Public Works Department.
Now today (Feb. 3) the snow removal crews arrived to clear our alley — only to abandon work after only clearing past one house. I’ve lived in Oak Park for almost 25 years, and this past year has been the worst for village services I’ve ever seen.
Thank you, Peter Traczyk, for being an especially wonderful neighbor, for not only clearing the entire sidewalk in the 300 block of North Scoville during the recent blizzard, but for doing the same with every snowfall. I know we all appreciate your unique consideration.
Editor’s note: Peter Traczyk is the president of the District 97 Board of Education.