The "Leaning Tower of Oak Park" %u2014 I took the photo on June 16, after nearly two months of inaction by the utilities. Photo courtesy Matt Baron.

When public officials mess up, we rant about it. So it’s only fair that when they provide excellent service, we acknowledge it. That’s why I want to take a few moments to share a story involving the Village of Oak Park. 

Specifically, Village Engineer Jim Budrick, Sustainability Manager K.C. Poulos, and Village Clerk Teresa Powell all played roles in guiding me, as well as advocating on behalf of my condominium association, in the wake of utility companies’ slow response to restoring a utility pole that had been damaged by a garbage truck. 

The initial problem occurred in late April, when the truck damaged a pole during its garbage-collection maneuvers. ComEd wrapped the disabled utility pole to a new pole they installed, but before more progress could be made, ComEd needed to coordinate efforts with AT&T to transfer their wires from the old pole to the new pole. 

For two months, the precarious-appearing contraption lingered without any communication from the utilities — or apparently much communication between them.

I dubbed it the Leaning Tower of Oak Park (LTOOP), began pestering AT&T with emails and phone calls, posted photos on my Facebook page and looped village hall into the process. 

Finally, AT&T stepped up and did what it needed to do by about Aug. 10. Then it took another month for ComEd to clean up the rubble and debris left in the wake of all the work.  

Throughout, the village continued to advocate for us. That support extended right to the end when Jim Budrick, armed with a photo my wife had taken on Sept. 13, got in touch with ComEd regarding a pile of concrete it had left in the entrance of our 20-space parking lot. 

A crew swiftly swooped in and finished the job, a welcome display of efficiency and consideration that was better late than never. 

As protracted as the 4½-month saga was, and as much as I would have appreciated it all getting handled without my babysitting the process, I am certain that it would have been much longer without the Village of Oak Park’s efforts on our behalf.  

On behalf of my neighbors at Marion-at-Mills, as well as others in this area by Mills Park who were affected, I want to extend our sincere thanks.



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