For a village that prides itself on open and transparent government, we do not understand why Iris Sims, the chair of Oak Park’s Plan Commission, is allowed to vote on matters related to Rush Oak Park Hospital which come before the commission. Ms. Sims’ husband is a member of the board of directors of the hospital.

In a matter before the commission last week where well-organized neighbors made a formal request to rezone the hospital campus to limit aspects of future expansion, Sims was specifically asked by the attorney for the neighbors to recuse herself from the vote. She refused.

This seems a clear-cut ethical violation. An obvious conflict of interest.

The vote of the commission was lopsided, 7-2 in favor of the hospital’s position. Sims’ vote was not determinative. Stepping away would have been the simple and proper decision. This is not the first time that Sims has declined to recuse herself.

We would ask Village President Vicki Scaman to intervene here and work to get the chair of this powerful village commission on the right side of good government.

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