I have a recurring thought as I follow the OPRF High School Facilities Referendum. In a project such as this, many of our neighbors invest dozens of hours of their volunteer time, listen to a number of perspectives and develop a plan, based on compromise, which best meets the needs of everyone involved.

Then they put it up for public review and people with all different perspectives weigh in and essentially de-legitimize the work that is done by those who have given their time in good faith on our behalf.

It seems really unfair to me to have members of the broader community come in at the 11th hour and blow up a thoughtful, deliberate planning process with their own valid, but individual, opinions while dealing with incomplete information and little understanding of the process as a whole. It’s what happened with the Field Park project, and I felt it was not respectful to the people who participated in a three-year planning process.

I feel the same way here.

There are obviously both less expensive and more expensive options. In addition, there are infinite ways to improve the school.

So what’s the best way to make these decisions? Appoint people to positions and trust their judgment.

We have an 88-year-old pool that needs to be replaced. A team of people worked together to come up with a plan after hearing from all members of the community. We should support their efforts in recognition for the role we have asked them to play for our community and not ask them to go back to square one because we continue to have our own preferences and ideas as to how much it should cost and what the final plan should look like. 

I love Oak Park and River Forest but the reluctance to respect the people and process in these situations is not our best attribute.

That is why I am supporting D200 (and I don’t even swim).

Todd Hansen

A 17-year resident of Oak Park

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