It is with mixed feelings that I say farewell to Oak Park. I’ve lived here since 1958 and seen a lot of changes in that time, some good, some bad. My husband and I have sold our house and have left the village. As of Nov. 11, we are now residents of River Forest.
It will be strange not to be an Oak Parker after all these years. I’ll miss my organic garden, cultivated to attract butterflies, bumblebees and birds, but not the weeding. My husband will miss his workshop and being able to blast the stereo, but not mowing the lawn or shoveling snow. We’ll miss our lovely neighbors and Keith, our exceptional mailman. We won’t miss the short-sighted decisions that are resulting in increased density in the village, while at the same time people are kvetching about a shortage of parking.
We’ll miss the superb customer service we get when dealing with the good folks working at village hall, from Clerk Vicki Scaman and Village Manager Cara Pavlicek, to the two lovely ladies who helped me get my final water bill paid on a Friday (when the lobby was actually closed to the public) so that we could get our transfer stamps in time for the closing on our house. Let’s not forget the folks in the building and permits department who answered my many village code questions so promptly.
We won’t, however, miss the divisive politics. We won’t miss the sad group of so-called progressives who are as extreme in their politics as the current administration in Washington, only in the other direction. We won’t miss the misguided folks calling for less policing, while the number of carjackings, holdups at gunpoint on the streets, and thefts seem to be on the rise, if the police blotter published weekly in this paper is any indication.
We’ll miss living in view of Lindberg Park, but we won’t miss the chuckleheads in vehicles who come barreling down our street (clearly marked as a “Dead End” from three directions), typically after running the stop sign at the corner, then slam on the brakes when they discover that they can’t drive over the cul-de-sac to get to North Avenue (except for motorcycles who just drive on the sidewalk).
While we’ll miss many things about life in Oak Park, we look forward to the opportunity to learn what River Forest has to offer. It does seem like we moved just in the nick of time though. The Dec. 9 Wednesday Journal reported that Oak Park is hiking property taxes by 3%. On the other hand, River Forest had announced at their Nov. 9 board meeting that they won’t raise the property tax levy in an effort to provide financial relief to River Forest residents. Sad to have to say, we won’t miss Oak Park property taxes.