The Oak Park village board will vote Monday to appoint Cory Wesley to the trustee seat left vacant by Arti Walker-Peddakotla’s resignation. If the board votes in his favor, as Village President Vicki Scaman expects it to, Wesley will finish the remainder of Walker-Peddakotla’s term, which ends this April.
Oak Park residents may remember Wesley from his 2019 run for village trustee, where he landed fourth out of 10 candidates and placed just behind the person he will likely replace; Walker-Peddakotla received 51 votes more than Wesley. Wednesday Journal has reached out to both for comment.
After his loss, he continued to be active in village government as a member of the Civic Information Systems Commission. He also serves as board chair of the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation, an entity funded by the village. While Wesley will have to resign from those positions if appointed trustee, Scaman called it “admirable” he remained involved with the commission after his election loss.
“His input has been invaluable,” she said.
Wesley was not among those who formally applied for the appointment, but as Scaman previously told Wednesday Journal, that was not requisite for consideration. He was one of a group of people to whom Scaman reached out. Her reasoning for the application was to open the opportunity to the larger public and to widen her scope of consideration.
After choosing Wesley, Scaman reiterated that the application process was beneficial in deciding whom to appoint.
“It also helped me identify what exactly were the skill sets that I was looking for, in order to fulfill such a short timeframe between now and April 2023, which happens to be right at the beginning of what will be a very important budget season,” she said.
The appointee’s time on the village board will be short, which played a factor in Scaman’s decision. She wanted someone familiar with the village board’s racial equity and climate change goals, as well as someone who has been “actively paying attention” to board discussions.