Oak Park trustee corrects misinformation about Madison meeting

Trustee Adam Salzman pens Facebook post on false claims on project

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

The Oak Park Board of Trustees' meeting is only a few hours away, but Trustee Adam Salzman is already weighing in on social media about misinformation he says is being spread about the board's plan to discuss a massive development project at Oak Park Avenue and Madison Street.

Salzman tweeted and posted a message on Facebook that says the board of trustees has no plans to approve a redevelopment agreement with Jupiter Realty over the blockbuster project that is expected to span multiple properties along the commercial corridor.

He said in the post that individuals have been publishing false information about the meeting on various social media platforms.

Salzman notes that the board is voting on whether to give Jupiter preferred developer status and whether or not to direct staff to negotiate a redevelopment agreement with the company.

"Those who are circulating information that the Village Board is rushing to approve a redevelopment agreement with Jupiter tonight are, in fact, circulating false information," Salzman wrote. "There is no Redevelopment Agreement for us to approve."

He said some of the Internet postings also have said that the agenda item was placed on the so-called consent agenda, which does not include public discussion or a vote. It's suggested, he said, that this means the board is giving a rubber stamp to the project.

"That is not true," Salzman said. The item is not on the consent agenda.

The Internet posts also state, Salzman says, that the board will vote on whether to approve bending a portion of Madison Street as part of the project in an effort to create additional space for the forthcoming development. Again, those posts by residents are false, Salzman writes.

He reiterated that the agenda items aim to address "questions of whether to designate Jupiter Realty as the preferred developer and whether staff should begin discussing and drafting the parameters of a Redevelopment Agreement with Jupiter."

"This is a far cry from actually approving a Redevelopment Agreement and approving a major restreeting of a portion of Madison as an ancillary part of a redevelopment project," Salzman said. "And we are not voting tonight on whether to approve 'The Bend.'"

The entire Facebook post is available here: https://www.facebook.com/adam.salzman1/posts/10157992235080045

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

Reader Comments

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Jim Coughlin  

Posted: December 6th, 2016 6:13 PM

"Boardspeak" refers to the public statements offered to the public by our local elected officials. We hear from them so seldom that it's usually used only when there's something board members want to share without actually showing their hand. There's no transparency if the decisions are made behind behind closed doors.When any business or service provider achieves "preferred status" if means that open and competitive bids were waived. How this benefits taxpayers cannot be justified, expect in an emergency, and should not be an acceptable practice. While very common for the lucrative contracts awarded in the TIF districts we're now seeing it happening in more areas of government.

John Butch Murtagh  

Posted: December 6th, 2016 4:08 PM

Jim Coughlin - read your post, but i don't know what a broadspeak is. Need your help. Thanks.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: December 6th, 2016 3:00 PM

"Preferred status" is boardspeak for waiving any open and competitive bidding process. A sad but standard practice of this Village board. Taxpayers in Oak Park are once again being deliberately kept in the dark by elected officials who pledged to bring greater transparency to Village government. Another promise broken!

Jack Davidson  

Posted: December 5th, 2016 6:09 PM

Why, at this stage of visioning, are we voting on solutioning by selecting a "preferred developer" instead of receiving multiple bids on a completed project scope?

Stefanie Glover  

Posted: December 5th, 2016 4:29 PM

There are 2, TWO, recommendations within the motion from the OPEDC. 1) Name Jupiter the preferred developer, and 2) that "the Village of Oak Park pursue a public-private parnership with Jupiter . . . As part of the the proposed public-private partnership, the Village would perform infrastructure work needed to create the "bend", including any necessary environmental remediation . . [t]he Village would also contribute its owned property to the project . . ." So the vote would be agreeing to enter into such a partnership, correct? And the staff would be instructed to draft an agreement within those parameters? Sounds like a pretty important vote to me. A binding agreement to agree. Hope that's not "misinformation."

John Butch Murtagh  

Posted: December 5th, 2016 4:09 PM

Adam - The detail agenda made it clear that the board would be voting on the Jupiter Project.

John Butch Murtagh  

Posted: December 5th, 2016 3:50 PM

I for one appreciate Adam alert about misinformation. Any information that the board sees as being incorrect might have resulted from the fact that the village did a terrible job of telling the public about the existence of the negotiation with Jupiter on 9/16/2016 and the agenda for the meeting on FRIDAY 12/2/2016. If the meeting is a mess, it probably is the fault of the late advise of the Jupiter Meeting. My advise is to delay the meeting to the next board meeting.

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