Anan wants citizens to demand 10-percent tax cut across all local agencies

Speaking to business community, village president calls rising tax burden 'unsustainable'

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By Dan Haley

Editor and Publisher

Speaking to a packed house of local business leaders Friday morning at the Carleton Hotel, Oak Park Village President Anan Abu-Taleb forcefully laid down a marker, asking citizens and business people to demand that each local taxing body cut its annual property tax levy by 10 percent over the next six years.

Saying he would stand on street corners with citizens to gather petition signatures, Abu-Taleb said such petitions "should be signed by thousands and displayed in the six board rooms" of local taxing bodies "becoming a guiding principal of government."

Warming to the topic in his prepared remarks to the Civic and Business Council gathering, Abu-Taleb said, "We need to set a clear target and hold officials accountable or the tax burden will continue to rise" to levels he declared "unsustainable if we want our children to be able to live in a town we love."

Then Abu-Taleb turned to the Park District of Oak Park, his favorite recent target, again upbraiding that organization for the just-begun $3 million renovation of its current Madison Street headquarters rather than throwing in on a shared headquarters with Oak Park School District 97.

The village government and District 97 are closing in on a pact to swap Madison Street properties and build a new HQ that will be funded out of dollars owed to the schools from the Madison Street TIF.

Previous discussions to add the parks into a shared headquarters faltered over the past year and the park district chose to go its own route.

Saying that the park district currently has 20 employees in its headquarters, he calculated the district will spend $150,000 per employee in the renovation.

"This is a $3 million opportunity missed," he said. "If [local governments] aren't going to collaborate on things such as this, what are we going to collaborate on, paper clips?"

He urged elected officials to think beyond the needs of their specific entities and to consider the community in a holistic manner.

"Our taxpayers are not an unlimited resource. And taxpayers need to know government is not the answer to every problem," Abu-Taleb said. "This is not an all-you-can-eat buffet."

Specifically, he pointed to demands from some parents that every classroom in District 97 schools be air conditioned.

"That will cost $25 million to get five more days of comfort so our kids never sweat," Abu-Taleb said. "I don't mind my kids suffering a little bit. I actually like to see them suffer a little bit."

Asked by moderator Steven Strahler where the village government might make cuts, Abu-Taleb said village staff and the village board are looking at reductions or overhauls to the health department, to the adjudication court system and at the engineering department within public works.

He said decisions on such reductions will be folded into the coming fiscal year budget.

"The village needs that sense of discipline, too," said Abu-Taleb.

Email: Twitter: @OPEditor

Reader Comments

98 Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Neal Buer from Oak Park  

Posted: December 16th, 2017 12:06 PM

We have a facebook group called OakPark Property Tax Watch. Please join!

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: November 18th, 2014 6:13 PM

Cutting 10% from D97 and/or D200 would have a greater impact on property tax bill than on all the other taxing bodies, combined. So while appreciate the sentiment, nothing significant will lower my tax bill until the schools, and public education in general, get a major overhaul.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: November 18th, 2014 5:55 PM

Brian, It is relevant, because if a part of the population is not paying their fair share, then the burden gets shifted to the rest of the residents. If all the taxing bodies need X amount of dollars, and I am paying only 2/3s of my share, then the other 1/3 getis charged to my neighbors. Fiscal responsibility includes looking at both outgoing of cash AND incoming. Both affect our tax bills, so both are relevant to the conversation. Though, I don't know how prevalent prop tax fraud is in OP.

john murtagh from op  

Posted: November 18th, 2014 11:53 AM

I agree Brian -- the Tax Debate is irrelevant at this point and distracts from the more important issue - governance or lack thereof.


Posted: November 18th, 2014 10:15 AM

I am confused with this conversation. The fact is Oak Park taxes are too high. That's the point, not whether the assessor system is antiquated, etc. The system starts the year rigged with the first bill at 55% of last year's bill (a 2.5% auto increase). Then the tax districts set spending needs which guides the assessor on increases. Then the rates are set to lock in increases. The the State weighs in with the equilizer. Pure Wack-a-Mole tactics.

Tax Shelter  

Posted: November 18th, 2014 8:03 AM

No, its more like lets punish those NOT as successful. Pay your fair share as a percent.


Posted: November 18th, 2014 7:57 AM

The property tax system in Illinois is pure communist drivel. Let's punish those successful SOBs, eh comrade!


Posted: November 18th, 2014 6:17 AM

when is the last time the assessor came into anybody's home to measure sqr footage? my point is the data the assessor uses may by low and outdated.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 10:37 PM

@Concerned Taxpayer, Okay, so we are talking about people who make improvements to their home and don't report them. People who avoid paying their share of the tax burden. You can call the Cook County Assessor's office and give them an anonymous tip. They have a website to report tips on erroneous exemptions. I would think the same website could be used for what you are describing. Here is the website...

Concerned Taxpayer from Oak park  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 9:55 PM

finished basements and attics. The Assesor's system is outdated, but who do you contact to fix it, no idea. Looking at sale prices and assessed values, there is no connection which does not make sense. i think more attention should be focused on this issue. Also, there are many errors in the assesor's database in terms of property characteristics and updates to property enhancements which leads to further problems.

Concerned Taxpayer  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 9:44 PM

@Bridgett. I do not know the specifics of 201 Euclid, but there are mansions in Oak Park that are only paying $20-25k. There are also lots of houses that sell for $750k, but pay as muck as my $350k house in property taxes. It also makes no sense that houses with lovely fixed up basements and attics pay no taxes for this additional square footage that my house does not have. All in all, any increase in property tax results in a greater burden for those of us with the smaller homes that lack

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 9:13 PM

@Tax, Go to the listing and add up the square feet of all the rooms. There are 15 rooms listed. I get a total of 4,102 sq ft. Where is the other 1,898 sq ft? Hallways? :-)

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 9:11 PM

iGov has had many meetings since it was first formed a couple of years ago and all of the elected officials came together recently to discuss consolidated village finance. So why is there more information and ideas in the 80 posts in this string than there have been from iGov? I am in favor of iGov, but it sure needs to add some depth to its village role and a lot more action and speed.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 8:59 PM

@Tax, The square footage number of 6,000 sq ft is not backed by anything legitimate. It's what is on the listing page to sell the house. And the listing page, when asked the source of square footage, says "estimated." That is *my* point. I have lived in Oak Park for over 20 years. And a little over a year ago, we moved within the Village. So my experience of what is listed by the agent, and reality not matching up, is really quite fresh in my mind.


Posted: November 17th, 2014 8:08 PM

Of course its says 4,800 square feet and $709K. Thats why they are paying $22K!!! My point exactly.


Posted: November 17th, 2014 4:54 PM

@Jim'e', well partner. Perhaps an uninformed electorate? Perhaps if the Park District said to the voters, we have raised your taxes on average 32.5% per year and we are one of the worst spenders in Cook County, but we want to raise your taxes again. Do you agree? Maybe they would not have.


Posted: November 17th, 2014 4:51 PM

@David Boulanger: Now some perspective: (per Oak Park median household income is $75,118, which has grown by 26.92% since 2000 (through 2012). The median household income growth rate is higher than the state average rate of 22.03% and is about the same as the national average rate of 26.32%. For Oak Park, the average annual HH income growth is 2.24%. Yet every tax jurisdiction has grown by 5.6 and 32.5% per year. I'd say unsustainable. What are you going to do about it David?


Posted: November 17th, 2014 4:48 PM

Brian, of course pdop had a large ptax increase. The increase was approved by an overwhelming majority of voters in 2005. You didn't know that?

john murtagh  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 4:39 PM

related from op Posted: November 17th, 2014 4:17 PM - NO


Posted: November 17th, 2014 4:37 PM

@Boulanger - we need some perspective. Of the 25 Government Agencies* with Largest Property Tax Increases from 2000 to 2010 - The Oak Park Park District ranks 12th with an obscene 325% increase! That's a 32.5% annual increase folks!! OP Village - 76%. Oak Park Township - 56%. D97 - 62%. D200 - 117%.


Posted: November 17th, 2014 4:27 PM

To really get an idea of how hard we have been hit with tax increases, go to:


Posted: November 17th, 2014 4:20 PM

@Bridget/Tax: It could be that that the owners improved the property to such an extent that they were able to freeze their assessed value some years ago. Typically it is frozen for 10 years, before the reassessment comes up again. It's a fair exchange for historic preservation.

related from op  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 4:17 PM

@john, are you related to someone at the Township. A penny saved is a dollar saved a dollar saved is millions saved over years. You start with the smallest because it is the smartest consolidation to do. The township only obligation to the taxpayer for their taxes is general assistance all other services are self inflicted. How many non profits exist in guess is a lot..can't those organizations do the same but without as much tax $. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 4:05 PM

@Tax, That property may be on the market for $1.4mil, but that doesn't mean anything. It's what it will sell for that will have an impact on the estimated property value amount. And, I have no idea if the 6K sf figure is accurate. Listings tend to exaggerate size, in order to justify a higher price, bc is brings down the amount per sf. Right now, according to the Cook County property tax website, that piece of property is 4,800 sf and valued at $709K.

Here's an idea... from OP  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 3:16 PM

201 S Euclid used to be the convent for the nuns at St Edmund. It has 6K sq feet. St Edmund School is way underutilized...Here's the plan...D97 can buy 201 S Euclid & use it for Admin space, & used St Ed's for any additional needs ( which shouldn't be much.) A big parking lot, L & bus service, & the aura of an old convent might be inspirational. Much $$ saved, & no worry re lost tax revenue since there will be more for-profit Madison St space...thoughts?

john murtagh  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 2:40 PM

Related - Oak Park Township has unique responsibilities that do not create double effort with the village. It is also the smallest and most budget efficient of the taxing problem. A merge would result in a minimal savings, and the cost of the transfer would add to current operation budget -- just lawyers for one. If the village is looking to have all taxing bodies making budget/tax/debt cuts, attacking the problem from above (Highest debt/expense savings) reduces risk.


Posted: November 17th, 2014 1:55 PM

201 S. Euclid is on market for $1.425 Mil. It says its 6,000 sqf. Taxes are $22,224/Yr Makes no sense

Related from OP  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 1:38 PM

Why not start with elimination of the TIF's and the Township. The Township could save us 100's of dollars by eliminating duplicative administrative cost. David and Anan need to start talking about elimination of waste

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 12:24 PM

@David Boulanger, Thanks to the Township for uploading the slide presentation from the I-Gov meeting on 2014-25-Oct to its website. And thanks for posting a link to it here. It is helpful to have all the taxing bodies' $$ information, in a similar format, all housed in one place, and available online. It would be great if this information was updated annually, and posted online. Is that a possibility?

Joe from OP  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 12:21 PM

Anan seems as impotent/irrelevant here as a house dog barking at cars in traffic.


Posted: November 17th, 2014 12:21 PM

Enuf, I'm talking about state aid. State aid will drop dramatically via the complicated funding method should there be no TIFs in Oak Park. So, if you eliminate the TIFs you gut D97's state funding and there will need to be another referendum.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 12:17 PM

@Chunk, Square footage determines the property class. But all residential falls in the 2 class. So all residential is assessed at 10% the full market value. There is no difference between residential properties in determining the % assessed value multiplier.

John Murtagh  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 12:12 PM

Last year the world of Oak Park came to a halt to spend months on creating a comprehensive vision (Envison) that would create a road map for Oak Park in its entirety. Envision is done and we wind up with taxing bodies running amuk with dreams that they cannot fulfill without alienating each other. iGOV is on the brink of failure and its leadership is questionable. Dragging the residents into the brouhaha by asking them to force taxing body consensus is a risky path.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 11:53 AM

@ Jim'e' ... the issue is not that D97 is getting the TIF funds as per the Madison St. TIF agreement, the issue is that it has decided to use these funds towards a new and unnecessary administration building, rather than directly towards education. It is the D97 Board of Education, not Board of Construction.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 11:47 AM

I find Anan's plea for citizens to demand taxing bodies to cut property tax levies 10 percent to be disingenuous. While Anan campaigned for ending TIFs and developer subsidies, he has been leading the parade on more development financial aid and a new D97 admin. bldg. using TIF funds. Anan was elected to fulfill his campaign pledges, putting an end to the preceding David Pope and VMA spending mindset. Hey Anan, we did our job by voting you in as President. Now fulfill your end of the bargain.


Posted: November 17th, 2014 11:47 AM

It's complicated, but terminating the tif's will have a negative impact on d97. I wouldn't be so fast in applauding SPL.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 11:09 AM

A giant government step to a more aware voter is government officials interacting with the residents. Thank you Mr. Boulanger and Ms. Patchak-Layman for helping posters understand this complex financial issues.

john murtagh  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 10:23 AM

Sharon Patchak-Layman idea makes sense. That is; if any part of Anon's idea is feasible. There is something weird about asking residents to hit the street with petitions to reduce taxes.. Isn't it easier and more productive if residents used time and effort on the street finding new elected office candidates.

Mose from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 10:00 AM

The TIFs aren't going anywhere. Politicians will not give up having easy access to huge piles of tax dollars they are able to dole out with no accountability or transparency. I agree with Patchak-Layman that President Anan should take the lead and demonstrate to the community and all of other local taxing bodies that there is urgent need for reform and relief. Let him start by opening the TIF books and ending the current practices that permit no bid contracts and unnecessary consultant hirings.

Sharon Patchak-Layman from OP  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 8:35 AM

The Village Bd. has the authority to reduce every property owners real estate tax by 5%. All the VOP Bd. has to do is end the 3 TIFS. No other taxing body can do this. So if the Vil Pres. is serious about wanting a 10% tax cut from each taxing body, he can take the lead by contributing the first 5% of the 10% reduction by getting the VOP bd. to end the downtown, madison and garfield TIFs. If the Vil.Pres. is serious about reducing taxes, start w/ the VOP bd. and end the TIFS.

D. Boulanger, Township Supervisor from Oak Park  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 8:23 AM

To learn the basics on taxes, revenues, budgets and fund balances for the six OP taxing units, go to

Want to stay in Oak Park  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 8:06 AM

Absolutely unsustainable. We need to support 10% cuts. Highest individual taxing bodies from my last tax bill: D97 = 35.84%; D200 = 24.14%; Village = 14.72%; Library = 5.85% and the Park District = 5.18%. Why can't D97 share an admin building? Less than a year after the 'REMEMBER THE CHILDREN' referendum passed, suddenly there was a dire need for a new admin building? I call horse hockey on that! The high school needs a 35 million dollar pool? I will volunteer to get signatures. We can fix this.


Posted: November 17th, 2014 8:04 AM

FYI..... Part of the accessed value is square footage. Concerned Taxpayer makes a valid point. I have yet to see the 30-35K tax mark. Ive seen 20-26k, but no 35k

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: November 17th, 2014 12:50 AM

@Concern taxpayer, Property taxes are based on the assessed value of a home, not the size of the home. Looking at some 5,000 square foot homes in Oak Park, the "full value" property taxes are more like $30K-$35K. If you know of one that is only $20K, then most likely they are receiving a senior citizen assessment freeze exemption. This means that the assessed value of the house has not increased for for several years.


Posted: November 16th, 2014 7:13 PM

Paddy Boy - couldn't agree with you more but this town is influenced & run by many Democratic Socialists whose agenda is to redistribute wealth by any means necessary. Lies, deceit & coercion using 'the children' as their political shields to convince the mindless dolts to vote yes again & again to raise property taxes. Just look at the OP voter results this past election & it's easy to see who Jonathon Gruber was referring to.

Paddy Boy  

Posted: November 16th, 2014 3:54 PM

Let's go lads! Let's support Anon all the way on this agenda! It's time we cast off socialism! Unless you want to live in Norway it doesn't work! Government will always increase with it's ability to capture an increasing share of private wealth. Big is not always better .... or so I've heard.


Posted: November 16th, 2014 1:54 PM

that is a crook county ??. Mr.Barrios I Believe.

Concerned taxpayer  

Posted: November 16th, 2014 1:49 PM

And why do the larger homes pay less taxes as a % of their value than smaller homes. My 1,300 sq foot home pays $9,600, while a 5,000 sq foot house with a large lot pays only 20k. Something is wrong here. The larger homes should be assessed higher. Currently, the smaller homes are paying too much of the tax burden which is only increasing, while the larger homes are getting such a deal.

I Agree  

Posted: November 16th, 2014 1:07 PM

the real analysis should be the percent increases to each taxing bodies budget for last 30 yrs. what is total increase and per yr avg. I would think inflation would be left in the dust......meaning they would show much larger increases than the rate of inflation.

fuzzy math  

Posted: November 16th, 2014 1:02 PM

if your paycheck didn't increase every yr you probabky wouldn't increase your spending. The taxing bodies have the luxury of giving themselves automatic raises every yr and large ones with voter approval (referendums) Doesn't natch up with real life accounting.

Oak Park Mom   

Posted: November 16th, 2014 12:21 AM

Thank you Anan for your leadership on this. The fact is our taxes are increasing and we need to control spending. I would love to see a zero based budget approach. I am tired of the spending by the park district. They do not need a new facility, we do not need Rehm pool improvements or other improvements, more consultants,, etc. the time is now to reduce budgets. And not just Oak Park, but also Cook County and the state of Illinois, Govt. spending has gotten out of hand and we can not afford it.

tax me out to the ballgame  

Posted: November 15th, 2014 6:44 PM

property taxes as a percent of household budget has been steadily increasing for yrs.Its time for a change.Where is all the EXTRA tax revenue from all the housing developnent that has incurred for the last 20 yrs??


Posted: November 15th, 2014 3:57 PM

Building on what Bridgett, just said, there is currently a survey by the village for how residents would like to prioritize grant money spending on low-to-moderate income housing. How many of us have taken it? That said, we should be given more opportunities as voters to DIRECTLY rank our spending priorities. If we can make cuts, get efficient, yet increase services in desired areas, maybe we can all win.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: November 15th, 2014 3:42 PM levies increase, because costs increase. What I paid for groceries today is more than what I paid for them five years ago, and less than what I will pay five years from now. The cost of simply existing, increases over time. Having said that, it would be nice for each taxing body to assess what is a need and what is a want. The challenge in that though, is that we have 50,000 residents and what is a want to one person, is a need to another.


Posted: November 15th, 2014 2:11 PM

Lets just keep raising the tax levy beyond our reach until we all cant afford to live here! A great solution to make Oak Park a High Class mostly White Community.

Concerned Citizen  

Posted: November 15th, 2014 1:51 PM

The 10% cross the board cut has a name. It's called "Sequestration"...and we all know how well that turned out!


Posted: November 15th, 2014 1:23 PM

Lets DO more with LESS. This would be historic.

Paddy Boy  

Posted: November 15th, 2014 12:57 PM

I couldn't agree more. Let's storm the castle! Put the sign-up sheet in his bar - then I can have a whiskey and a beer when I stop by to sign off. By the way, could we please stop referring to, "spending like sailors ..." When I was in the navy in Viet Nam, in "72 - '75, me starting pay was $333 per month.

David Kindler from Oak Park  

Posted: November 15th, 2014 12:09 PM

The Park District has been in the process of long-range capital improvement planning for many years. Moving the very profitable and oversubscribed gymnastics center from 218 Madison was the first step. Now that facility can house the buildings and grounds department and administration offices. Even if, the offices were merged somewhere, building and grounds would still need the space renovated to fit their actual needs. The Village President needs to be more honest and less inflammatory.

Adam Smith  

Posted: November 15th, 2014 10:11 AM

Anan please review the facts before publicly berating the Park District. The $3mm is for more than just office space for employees, it is for buildings and grounds facilities. He is either seriously uniformed or intentionally misleading. Either way his classless statements were inappropriate.

john murtagh from op  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 10:40 PM

Bridgett - I will know it is time to go to board meeting again when board members spend less time charming the audience, stop acting as if disagreeing with other members is odious, when the board figures out that getting a 7-0 vote is a sign that the item should have been on the consent agenda, and when podium questions get answered. Simply put, I find the OPV Board Meetings boring. When you see me there, it is a sign that something interesting is going to happen.


Posted: November 14th, 2014 9:57 PM

Judith marijuana dispensaries are safer than liquor stores. There has been more churches robbed in legal states than dispensaries. Look it up.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 9:08 PM

Along those same lines, John, reading this article is a call for residents to be more involved. And I agree. I am baffled, stunned, embarrassed, at what gets residents' attention. The Council chambers were packed with people freaking out that "brown" energy is our default (which, by the way, we all get brown energy, even if you are paying for so-called green) yet no one shows up for things like, oh, how about the presentation of the proposed 2015 budget on Monday, the 17th?

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 8:55 PM

John, the residents don't get attention? Are you kidding me? I have been to enough Village Board meetings, and have watched the rest online, to know that the residents have *plenty* of opportunity to be heard. And most of the Board make people feel welcomed. The patience that the Board displays with the nonsense they have to put up is commendable.

john murtagh from op  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 8:38 PM

It's interesting that the OP Business Gang gets the political attention and the residents don't. Guess they did not know it is the residents who vote.


Posted: November 14th, 2014 7:27 PM

sounds like yoda from star wars .... hmmm lower taxes lead to bad parks that leads to danger... pay higher taxes you will.

john murtagh from op  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 6:52 PM

Bridgett - Just checked the budget that is being presented to the board on Monday. The village General Fund Expenditure Forecast for 2015 is UP. What a Surprise!!!

Don Nekrosius from Oak Park  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 6:28 PM

Sure, lower taxes and run the flag up the pole. But what do we lose? Services. Aiming the knife at the PDOP may be popular, but more popular are the quality park facilities, the user contact individuals like coaches and youth hired to help kids and adults learn and grow, the programs (see the seasonal catalog), the opportunity to exercise in town. Business consciousness has now come in conflict with public weal.

Lisa Saxon Reed from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 6:21 PM

Finally, an elected official who understands that money does not grow on trees. I look forward to signing a petition.

Judith Alexander from Oak Park  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 5:07 PM

At the meeting, he also said that local business organizations are now consulted before decisions are made affecting them. I wonder if this happened before the Village Board decided to allow medical marijuana dispensaries anywhere state law permits (can't be within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare). Residents' organizations certainly were not consulted. During Q&A, Anan admitted that he probably needs to do a better job of consulting with residents' groups.


Posted: November 14th, 2014 4:53 PM

Don't need to be investment banker or MBA in corp finance to know that if you spend money it must come taxes or future income (bonds). We get so wrapped up in sources (TIF etc) that we are missing the bigger point! we are spending heavily and without growth or tax increases we might end up in trouble.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 4:44 PM

While Anan spoke to a packed house this Friday morning, asking residents to demand tax cuts, no one attended the Oak Park Joint Review TIF Board meeting on Thursday afternoon. At this meeting, all taxing agencies recommended to amend the Madison St. TIF to steer funds to D97 so as to build a new admin. building. Why is Anan complaining about the Park District renovating their humdrum admin. building, while at the same time advocating D97 to spend $10-15M of on a shiny new building?

Pompous ass  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 4:43 PM

the Pdop studied a shared facility. Just because they decided it's not a good idea doesn't make them bad. Besides, the village and d97 can't make a decision to safe their lives. It would be 3+ years before anything is built. To clarify, the PDOP headquarters are being reconstructed with bond money not tax dollars. You can ask the agencies to give up 10% but they'll just get it back with other fees.


Posted: November 14th, 2014 4:25 PM

Do you honestly think any board/person would open up meeting for real discussion with yo-yos (including me). They have already made the decision just want to make us feel like we are plart of process... need far deeper power - ie. board relationahsips, etc.


Posted: November 14th, 2014 4:21 PM

@ johnny - you do also realize that by the time the public meeting are held, it is perfunctory - right? Most of the heavy lifting/deal making is already done. so why go to a meeting when you really have ZERO impact or input? People keep saying "did you go to the meeting?' - comical and not how real business/deals get done.


Posted: November 14th, 2014 4:18 PM

@ johnny - no I don't attend board meetings but I have taken a company public, serve on bod, served as top 10 exec member of 40,000 firm. Point is - don't need to attend meetings to know that we are leveraging our future heavily and OP has lost significant mojo.

The Gipper  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 4:11 PM

I Love this. Its not like the pile of money ( taxes ) has ever gone down. Meanwhile all the taxing bodies are trying to spend all the monies they ever have received. Use it or Lose It!!

Johnny Come Lately from Oak Park  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 3:30 PM

So many people like to make comments about the various taxing bodies without actually knowing facts. Ignorance is no excuse for stating misinformation. How many who write comments actually go to the open and public meetings to hear what is being discussed, and the decisions that are being made? If you did then you would know why decisions are made the way they are. I am an advocate of the PD and applaud their fiscal decisions as being responsible and in the best interest of all of Oak Park!

john murtagh from op  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 3:23 PM

Mimi - how many people attended the last forum?

john murtagh from op  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 3:18 PM

Mimi - There is a huge difference between holistic flat broke. I am tired of OPV blaming everyone else, but itself. I personally do not want tax cuts if it is on the back of children, seniors, and infrastructure. The two key problems in the village - debt and excessive manpower overhead were discussed in detail during the 2013 OPV Election. Looks like the two issues will lead the 2015 debates. from op  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 2:51 PM

Woops, the share was with Mose.

john murtagh from op  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 2:50 PM

I agree 100% with OP and extend his viewpoint to the rest of the board. They share the blame.


Posted: November 14th, 2014 2:37 PM

Oh great Mimi, just becuase the boards are acting within their voter approved tax levys they now are unethical?

Mose from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 2:31 PM

Lead by example Mr. Anan! Address waste in Village government before demanding anything from the other local taxing bodies. Start with instituting an open and competitive bidding process for awarding all village contracts and declaring a moratorium on the hiring of outside consultants. The Village president needs to remember that when you point a finger at someone there are three pointing back at you. Make sure your own house in order before telling others to clean up their act.


Posted: November 14th, 2014 2:25 PM

OP = suckers. Cant wait to move out of OP before the tax burden, poor reputation and declining schools all come home to roost. $30MM on pools, rink and gymnaostics center? Sounds like GREAT investments - SUCKERS!

John Murtagh from op  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 2:16 PM

"And taxpayers need to know government is not the answer to every problem." Do any of our elected officials read the WJ and WJ Comments. On a regular basis taxpayers prove they understand the OPV problem. It is the elected officials that change direction regularly and run into the wall frequently! Anan's Cuts without Debt Reduction Vision is a cash flow tactic. Show us a debt reduction plan and then we can talk about village wide tax cuts.

Mimi Jordan from Oak Park  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 2:14 PM

"He urged elected officials to think beyond the needs of their specific entities and to consider the community in a holistic manner." This was also the theme of his recent public forum with John Phelan. This ethic needs to be in the DNA of every elected official in Oak Park.

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 1:47 PM

"Our taxpayers are not an unlimited resource. And taxpayers need to know government is not the answer to every problem," Abu-Taleb said. "This is not an all-you-can-eat buffet." Tell that to the Park District, District 97 and District 200.

john Murtagh from OP  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 1:40 PM

Bridgett - Yes, I read the "we will make cuts." What the village says and does are two different things. So you could say that I READ IT, and IGNORED IT, If there are SIGNIFICANT reductions in the 2015 budget, I will APOLOGIZE IT. One of the things that needs to included in the 10% reduction is debt. In fact, though the village's plan is to add debt -- a lot of it.

Gail Moran from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 1:32 PM

Tax cuts also mean service cuts and/or service delays.


Posted: November 14th, 2014 1:06 PM

I'm ten miles from Oak Park right now but I can hear the school boards laughing from here. Either that or they're saying, "What, raise it only 10 percent? The children!"

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 1:01 PM

John, regarding no more room for personnel cuts: the question, regarding where cuts might be made, was asked and answered, "village staff and the village board are looking at reductions or overhauls to the health department, to the adjudication court system and at the engineering department within public works."

John Murtagh from oak park  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 12:49 PM

Oak Park Village has repeatedly stated that they have made cuts already and that there is no more room for personnel cuts. Of course, there was room this year to add personnel. Debt is the issue and no one wants to cut back on development. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

OP Transplant  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 12:25 PM

"With all tax bodies spending like sailors..." I think that the point is that a reduction would be accompanied by spending cuts as well. I don't know how effective petitions would be, but I agree with Anan that local taxing bodies need to be reminded that many Oak Parkers are being forced to make difficult decisions about how we spend our money, and they need to do the same.

john murtagh from op  

Posted: November 14th, 2014 12:00 PM

I am not surprised that the BCC meeting was a packed house with business leaders. The organization is well known for its hospitality, "smoozing", and free donuts. With that many business people there, you would think that at least one is an economist. Clearly, Anan is not an economist. With all tax bodies spending like sailors debt growing like weeds, a 10% tax cut will be offset by lower property values revenue. Have another donut.


Posted: November 14th, 2014 11:53 AM

Ha, are we to take this seriously? Actually it's about time the Village's budget is cut. Afterall it is the only taxing body in Oak Park that has raised it's levy without voter approval. Sorry Anan, they are doing no more than what the voters approved.


Posted: November 14th, 2014 11:27 AM

You know what petition I'd sign? To get my street and alley paved.


Posted: November 14th, 2014 11:11 AM

Too bad both school districts are already busy planning their referendums.

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2018

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2018 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad