Running a municipal government means making a lot of hard decisions — especially when it concerns what to fund.

The Oak Park Board of Trustees cut $3 million from the budget last year and one of the smaller items on the chopping block was $15,000 for holiday decorations in the village’s various business districts.

Not so fast, argued business owners at the July 9 village board meeting, prompting trustees to find the cuts elsewhere. 

“We would like the village of Oak Park to look beautiful during the holiday season and look cohesive,” said Laura Maychruk, owner of Buzz Café in the Oak Park Arts District.

Jim August, owner of the Irish Shop, echoed her concern, noting that the cut last year represented one half of 1 percent of the budget. “When I found out these were cut, I thought, ‘It can’t be right,'” he said.

Trustees voted unanimously to find the cuts elsewhere, but not without some concern over taxes.

“I certainly don’t want to be the trustee who stole Christmas, and I think we know where this vote’s going, but I think for government a dangerous word is yes,” Trustee Dan Moroney said, noting that high property taxes are impacting home values.


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