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Glenn Brewer announced he will run for a third term on the Oak Park Board of Trustees in the upcoming April 4, 2017 election.

Brewer, who works as a community affairs specialist with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, said in a telephone interview that serving three terms on the village board is rare, but added, “There are things I’d like to see done before I walk away.”

Improving parking throughout the village was on top of his agenda, noting that the board began updating the village’s parking ordinance over the last few years but more needs to be done.

He said the next board must “take a hard, honest look at some of the restrictions we have on parking, the prices we charge on parking and what we can do to encourage folks to visit our business districts.”

“Getting revenue from parking tickets is not something we relish,” he said.

Brewer said he believes the current board — if he, Trustee Peter Barber and Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb are re-elected, there will only be one new elected official on the board, taking the seat of Trustee Colette Lueck, who does not plan to run again — has worked well together and “moved the needle forward on a lot of different fronts.”

In particular, reducing village-owned property.

“When I initially ran, I came in with the idea that I would like to see smart growth in the village,” Brewer said. “At the same time, I wanted to get the village out of the real estate business.”

He noted that multiple village-owned parking lots — at Lake Street and Harlem Avenue, South Boulevard and Harlem, and Oak Park Avenue and Madison Street — have been turned into new mixed-use developments.

Brewer said that while the village should play a role in encouraging economic development, “over the course of the last several years I’ve emphasized that our role should be reduced and to the extent that we can initiate private development in the village we should do that and step back and let the marketplace operate.”

Oak Park is well positioned to take advantage of the growing interest in transit-oriented development that encourages use of the kind of public transportation options — Metra and CTA trains — that are easily accessible in Oak Park, Brewer said.

“To the extent possible, we should take advantage of that, but that’s not to say every piece of land should be a high-rise,” he said. “That wouldn’t be appropriate. But to some extent we are transitioning. We won’t look like downtown Chicago.”

Brewer said growth will add to the tax base and hopefully to the village’s diversity.

“One of the other things I’m very passionate about is the growth of affordable housing as well as market-rate housing,” he said, adding, “We do try to keep the village affordable for as many people as possible and for as many businesses as possible.”

Cooperating with other taxing entities in the village, such as Oak Park’s two school districts, would help keep tighter control on taxes, Brewer said.

He said he would seek the endorsement of the Village Manager Association, a nonprofit group that vets and slates candidates for public office. Brewer has received the group’s endorsement in both of his runs for office.

Brewer said he was not sure if he would run if he does not get slated by the organization.


This article has been changed to correct the date of the 2017 election. It will be on April 4.

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