A Real Election For Village Manager

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By John Hubbuch

The announcement that Maya Del Sol owner Anan Abu-Taleb has tossed his chapeau into the Village President ring for the spring election has caused  the small band of villagers who follow these things to get all tingly with excitement. I feel like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in the  Andy Hardy movie where Judy declares that the gang is going to put on a real show.( I apologize to any readers less than 50 who probably have no idea what I am talking about.) Maybe we will have a real election for Village President. 

Anam Abu- Taleb on paper seems a formidable candidate. He was born in Palestine and has a funny name, and we like diversity. He's lived here for 23 years and raised four kids. We like roots. He got a degree from the University of Chicago. We like smart. And he owns an Oak Park restaurant. So he's run something before. We like competence. Plus he was wearing a suit in his newspaper photo, and didn't have wild hair , a beard or crazy eyes. So far . So good.                    

I do see a few possible problems with his candidacy. His newspaper bio made no reference to any involvement in Oak Park other than owning a business and living here. No service on a commission. No volunteering. No sports coaching. Maybe that's a good thing, but bossing around restaurant employees is very different from herding fellow Board members and our involved citizenry. 

AAT will need an organization to challenge the VMA. He will need workers to do all the retail work of a Village election. He will need issues. I'm not convinced that his reference to fiscal resposibility goes anywhere given that the Village is a small part of our tax bills, and is not the reason for recent tax increases from all the referenda which we voted for.                     

AAT in his announcement said he was concerned that our children might not be able to live here. So what? It is the way of the world. Housing prices increase ,and  if you don't make enough to buy a home in the town where you were born, you buy elsewhere.  That has happened in history.  So  buy a home in Forest Park or Berwyn. Or give your home to your kid.            

His newspaper comments that he wasn't pleased with the permit process for his successful restaurant raises a small red flag. Be wary of anyone running for office for personal reasons.

No doubt  there is lots to learn about AAT in the coming months. I'm pleased that he has decided to run. It probably makes little  difference if he or John Hedges win, but at least I'll get some material for my blog and column. Better yet , maybe we can get some free food at Maya Del Sol. Nachos for all!

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Reader Comments

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Neal Buer from Oak Park  

Posted: February 4th, 2013 12:24 PM

I've known Anan almost as long as I've known John Hubbuch. Both are stand up guys who's word is their bond. Maybe we just need a change from the VMA. Maybe we can stop our citizens from taking their businesses to Forest Park. Maybe he can sell the 22 properties the village owns. Maybe he can stop handouts to developers. Maybe he can make us proud of our village again. If you think the VMA is doing a great job, vote for them. If you think we can do better, vote for Anan.


Posted: January 15th, 2013 3:15 PM

"Be wary of anyone running for office for personal reasons" Name one altruistic politician. Maybe having "skin in the game" is not a bad thing. I'm glad there is at least a DIFFERENT voice in the running. Whether or not it's the correct voice will be determined by his candidacy, platform, and debates.

Go AAT from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 15th, 2013 12:10 PM

Roots, brains, business sense and an aversion to taxes?? Bring it!! John...don't think you have readers under 50. Just saying...

Aaron from Oak Park  

Posted: January 14th, 2013 11:40 PM

Failed to mention the allegations of buying a pardon after his tax evasion conviction? That would be number one on my list, with the lack of any participation coming next...

Howard Hunter  

Posted: December 12th, 2012 9:05 AM

AAT - The Devil you don't know! Good Enough for me!

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