Under my leadership, the Oak Park Village Board operates with a shared set of core values that serve as a foundation for how we reach our agreed upon goals. We adopted these core values in 2021 after my election to the office of village president. Those values are: to be community-centered in our thinking and fiscally responsible with public resources, to build trust through respectful dialogue and board actions, strive to be transparent and accountable, and communicate and collaborate with colleagues and community partners. Our board goals are focused around the key areas of affordability, community safety, racial equity, supporting vibrant and diverse neighborhoods, and investing in a sustainable future.

My role as village president includes driving that agenda with my colleagues at the board table and guidance and implementation from a professional village manager. We appointed Village Manager Kevin Jackson one year ago today. While we still have considerable work to do, and not every step has been without room for improvement, I am very proud of the progress we have made.

On Dec. 5, 2022 we passed a budget that includes significant investment in all areas supporting our board goals while maintaining a flat tax rate for 2023. The next two years will be crucial to advancing our work with a community-wide climate action plan with a regional approach to supporting implementation; a community safety study and task force driving innovative new approaches to serving all residents; a housing study to guide our agenda for meeting affordable housing needs; investment in new technology for transparency, accountability, and community engagement; a vision zero plan to address traffic safety concerns; investment in biking and walking infrastructure; a village-wide racial equity assessment; and investment in human rights, vibrant neighborhoods and more.

On April 4, you have an opportunity to elect three trustees ready to serve and assist us in meeting the needs of all residents. Trustee Susan Buchanan, Trustee Cory Wesley, and candidate Brian Straw are thoughtful, forward-thinking individuals dedicated to listening to residents, responding to community concerns, and pushing for change in productive and efficient ways so that we reach the goals we collectively identify and invest in.

Early voting starts on March 20 at Oak Park Village Hall with Election Day at your neighborhood polling place on April 4. I hope you will look into, and vote for, Susan Buchanan, Cory Wesley, and Brian Straw.

Vicki Scaman
Village president

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