Oak Park names parking chief as interim village manager

Cara Pavlicek previously worked as village manager in Downers Grove


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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

Oak Park Village Hall has a new boss — at least for now.

The village board announced Friday that its parking chief is replacing Village Manager Tom Barwin, a few days after the five-year administrator announced his resignation.

Cara Pavlicek, currently the interim parking services manager, will step in to lead village hall as interim village manager, starting on March 1. Barwin's last day is Feb. 29.

Pavlicek has worked for 20 years in municipal management, including 10 as a city manager. Most recently, she served as manager of Downers Grove for nearly three years before getting fired. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against the community, alleging breach of contract, and was awarded $73,000, according to media reports.

Village President David Pope said Pavlicek seemed a logical choice to step in and lead the organization.

"We felt she brought a lot of experience and capabilities to the table, and given that she's been in Oak Park for the last few years, understands many of the issues and challenges we face as a community," he said.

Pope added Oak Park will conduct a nationwide search to find a new manager, a process that will likely take several months.

While board members refused to criticize Barwin this week, they did offer some insight into what they're seeking in a new leader. Trustee Colette Lueck said the next manager needs to be strong on making sure that village hall is organized properly and efficiently. Plus the new manager needs to know a little about economic development in order to bring several high-profile developments to fruition, especially on Madison Street.

"It's a big street for us. It's a big economic driver for us. There's a lot of commercial and retail square footage on Madison, so I think that's going to be a place where we really have to put a lot of attention," she said.

At a meeting Monday, Trustee Ray Johnson suggested that Oak Park needs to improve its building department, and pointed to such a state-of-the-art department in Houston as a possible model.

Trustee Bob Tucker said he wants the next manager to place an emphasis on intergovernmental cooperation and find ways to save money through cost sharing with other government bodies. He, too, said economic development is a key area in the future.

Reader Comments

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Jim Coughlin  

Posted: March 6th, 2012 4:37 PM

j.oak park, I'm sure Ray Johnson is aware that Houston is a major metropolitan area and that the whole of Oak Park could fit inside one of those big Texas spreads. You may recall that Tom Barwin returned from a trip abroad and convinced the trustees that the jazzy colored crosswalks he had observed were just the ticket for Harrison St. Kind of a goofy expenditure but the art district is probably happy to get any attention. In the case of Ray Johnson wanting to use the Houston model for Oak Park it may turn out to be useful guide. I just thought it strange that he would cite a city with huge budget issues that is likely going to have to cut back on staff and services. The board has certainly been frustrated with what they view are continuing problems within the Building department.

Jim "OUT of Touch" with reality  

Posted: March 6th, 2012 3:48 PM

I never seem to get the context right.

j.oak park  

Posted: March 6th, 2012 3:41 PM

Hi Jim, not that you know what Ray thinks, but do you think he knows that Houston has 2.1 million people and covers 579 sq. miles? How in any stretch of the imagination could/would anyone compare Houston to Oak Park?

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: March 6th, 2012 1:05 PM

Ray Johnson wants Oak Park to use Houston as a model. That city is currently facing a $50,000,000 budget shortfall. Obviously, not the best example to present to Oak Park residents as how we should improve our own local governmental operations.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 6th, 2012 10:41 AM

Hi J - All points well taken, and the board discussed all of them last night. It was clear from the discussion that all of the BM's were aware that spending the $108,000 was a high risk strategy. That in essence is why there was a 4-3 votes. Those voting No felt the risk/reward ratio was out of whack. Those voting No were very concerned about whether there is community support (business and residents)for the commitment of 17M OP dollars if the grant was approved. A lot of focus was on whether the 2005 is still feasible or desirable considering the economic environment of the last seven years and the uncertain outlook for future funding.

j.oak park  

Posted: March 6th, 2012 10:14 AM

Thanks, John, for your updated text. Here is the problem in my eyes: getting a plan does not equal having a plan which would them make a shovel ready plan, a requirement for the grant. In the other article on the subject they are using a plan from 2005! Things have changed a lot since 2005 and maybe we should consider putting of the grant request until 2013, after a new plan/study is done?

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 6th, 2012 10:10 AM

I should have made my text a bit clearer. Pres Pope believes that getting the street-scape drawings underway is sufficient to convince the DOT that the village is committed to having a "Shovel-Ready Project.


Posted: March 6th, 2012 9:36 AM

Shame on you.....and to say the VMA all vote in lock step.

Wait What?  

Posted: March 6th, 2012 8:50 AM

Wait, what? So either the consultant is going to slam out some work today for over 6 figures (well paid day of work!) or this was already agreed upon and the vote was a formality. Either way, it smells. Keep it up PoJo and Co. You're working your way out of office.


Posted: March 6th, 2012 7:47 AM

Hi John, thanks for your post. I am curious to know, if the application is due today, March 6th, how is paying a consultant $108,000.00 today going to help in that application? My experience with consultants is that they take great pains and time to develop a plan, by speaking with stakeholders etc. to develop a plan and deliver, it at some later datenot the same day that the check is cut.

lottery ticket  

Posted: March 6th, 2012 6:46 AM

it only cost $1.00 for a lottery ticket. Pope, that is the only money you should receive for your folly.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 6th, 2012 1:43 AM

The Compelling Center of Gravity" (David Popes term for the Greater Downtown Oak Park) began to crumble tonight when the board debated spending $108,000 for streetscape drawings to enhance the village next DOT Tiger grant application. Tiger grants are part of the U.S. Recovery Act of 2009 and are designated for road infrastructure improvements. OP was not a recipient of a 2011 Grant. It wants to reapply for 2012. Pope went to DC last week to explore with the DOT how the 2012 application could be improved. The DOT said that the Grants are "Shovel Ready Projects" and having a detailed plan could improve OP's prospects. Pope recommended that the board approve the $108,000 streetscape drawings to beef up the village's application. His argument was that the $108,000 could result in a 26M DOT grant and would produce 43M when OP put in its 17M. BM Hedges said he could not support the $108,000 expense without a board review of a DTOP Plam without TIF funds, a board discussion on where its 17M share was coming from, and until there was community input -- business and residents. Pope advised that there was no time to do that as the DOT application had to field by March 6, 2012. Despite that fact that all BM's agreed with BM Hedges arguments, when vote time came Pope, Johnson, Lueck, and Brewer voted to spend the $108,000. That is they were willing to spend $108,000 to have a chance to win the DOT's $26M prize, and take the risk that the village might have a hard time finding 17M. The Compelling Center of Gravity did not collapse, but it now is leaning like the Tower of Pisa. Kudos to Hedges, Tucker, and Saltzman for the excellent and assertive points they brought made during the board discussions and their willingness to stand their ground.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 10:47 PM

Since brick streets have been mentioned in these comments, I'd like to question why the town wants to put in more surfaces that are so hard for some older people to walk on.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 10:13 PM

and BTW what was Ms. Brock's medical condition. I am still waiting since you insinuated that you knew.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 10:11 PM

Didnt someone ask you, what, if any, productive change you have brought to Oak Park via the comments that you post on here? It is like an old record.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 10:09 PM

Sound the trumpets. Show me any evidence of where I told someone they should move out. Any where any article. I may have questioned someone for staying in a place they so dislike for so long. You have all the answers and the world is wrong. I have never personally attacked anyone outside of expressing my opinion. Don't you have anything better to do in retirement than to CONSTANTLY complain about everything in OP 24/7???

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 6:22 PM

I reached that conclusion based upon the offensive comments you choose to post on this forum. You never hide the fact that you have scant interest in engaging in a civil and respectful discussion of any issue. Your obvious disdain for a open exchange of opinion is is manifested by continuing to demand that people who dare challenge you should move out of Oak Park. A response that is both ignorant and arrogant. It seems unlikley that an educated and thoughtful individual would be forced to resort to such bullying tactics in an effort to support her position. Most people understand and accept there is a line that should not be crossed. A gadfly is unable to comprehend the concept of limits. You've continually demonstrated that mean spirited and personal attacks are all that comprise what you attempt to present as a reasoned thought process. We are currently seeing the type of aggressive and counterproductive attitude towards others being played out on the national stage in response to comments by Rush Limbaugh. I've read numerous posts on this forum from VMA officials and supporters who are effective in conveying the reasons they support the party and are able to do so without insulting others. That's an important skill that you are sadly lacking. Crude and rude seems to be all you've got. Perhaps this is the only to feed a craving for attention.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 4:53 PM

@Ms. Silly. Please do me a favor? Never go away! For so many people you've become the symbol of everything wrong with the 1-party rule in OP. The fact that your VMA handlers haven't seen fit to rein you in - are probably feeding you information and encouraging you - sends out a message to OP that despite many fine qualities, achievements and people, that the core of the VMA and its 1-party determination......is sick, demented and must end. So, keep up the good work and thank you!


Posted: March 5th, 2012 4:42 PM

What do YOU know coughlin, that I dont???? More of the same logic out of the coughlin camp.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 4:41 PM

She is alive and well now in Az. I believe she left for Az immediately.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 4:32 PM

The gadfly is presenting herself as diagnostician or illegally obtained access to private medical records. It's highly doubtful that either is the case and instead the gadfly attempts to offer a poor defense to the bullying tactics she regularly relies upon to express herself on this forum. Shameful.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 4:16 PM

I've heard the VMA Motto to be "select, elect, and sit down and shut up."


Posted: March 5th, 2012 4:07 PM

How much time does one have to consider the job before running coughlin? Yrs, months, days? Were they forced into it. Martha Brock didnt have a serious medical condition. She also said stress. Sounds like poor planning on the New Leaderships part. Point is that most opposition to the VMA is non existent. Ask Mr Troelstrip about running against the VMA. Not an easy task.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 3:49 PM

Normally, I would choose not to give the time of day to a gadly who's broken the record for being a broken record. As I've previously posted, the gadly needs to stop directing her cheap shots at Geoff Baker and Martha Brock. I could agree that their tenures were not as effective as some had hoped but Baker found that the hours he would have to commit to serving as a trustee were significantly more than he expected and needed to devote that time to helping to raise his young family. Brock developed serious health issues during her tenure and was not physically able to serve out her term. Both are admirable people who really wanted to work on behalf of our community. It's truly unfortunate that both these people are being subjected to such nasty and unfair comments but that appears to be the only option for a bully craving for attention.

Silly Seconds  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 3:39 PM

after you have looked at the renderings of brick street and the real brick streets on marion, avoid the pigeon poop, then go to your own alley and see it falling apart, the the street in front of your house and see it crumbling, then go northwest OP and take a boat ride in our neighbors basements...the smell is just like the canals of Venice and then go and vote the VMA out of office!


Posted: March 5th, 2012 3:25 PM

Coughlin, When you elect people to serve their full terms and they dont, that is failure in my opinion. They failed us. As for G Marsey he didnt add much to the discussion along with Milstein. Their style over substance didn't and doesn't work in OP.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 3:22 PM

Trustee Adam Salzman was as much an insider as John Murtagh. Much less than Bob Milstein,Barbara Mullarkey or Kathryn Jonas. The VMA has good candidates for good reason. It always seems like sour grapes that the people who run against the VMA and lose think it's the Villages fault? The system is in place. Raise some money, get to know alot of people(that vote) and run for office.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 2:57 PM

Totally unfair to cite Baker,Brock and Marsey as elected officials "who failed us" without mentioning Joanne Trapani. We are stilling paying for the mistakes she was directly responsible for during her tenure as Village President. And please, let's not forget that it was a VMA board of trustees who closed Lake Street to create the folly that was the Oak Park Mall. VMA supporters and detractors do have much in common. They represent residents and property owners who want the Village to succeed and thrive. How we are best able to achieve those goals is the subject of our discussions on this forum. I do think that most reasonable people would agree it is in the community's best interests that the process not be under the complete control of a single political faction.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 2:56 PM

Yup, them Red Bricks sure look purdy. Makes a man feel goosebumby. I bring buddies to see em. One said, yu guys gotta be rich as 1%'ers. Maybe, after we do a sewer fix, an alley debumber, and chase the pigins away, the bosses could put Red Bricks on every dang street.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 2:46 PM

@F. Furillo. Wasn't it Obama who said "elections have consequences"? And then he added "and I won!" This, sadly, is often what I observe with one-party/monopoly towns. Ms. Silly, who I fear accurately represents the large sycophantic wing of the VMA - how/why? Hard to imagine that in a town of 50K that one party ALWAYS has "the best candidates with the best vision." I'm hopeful to find out if that is true - although I'd prefer to do nothing and see the VMA let genuine outsiders be co-opted!

Cheese & Oyster Eater  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 2:33 PM

Outdoor dinning this summer will be delightful!


Posted: March 5th, 2012 2:29 PM

....and then go to N. Marion St and S. Marion st and see them in person. Outstanding. Take a look at those streets on any given day or weekend and see the vibrancy they brought to the district.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 2:27 PM

For anyone who hasnt already. Go to Village Hall and take a look at the renderings of Lake street in front of the Lake Theatre with brick pavers. Amazing. Talk about great design. The pictures are close to the Clerks counter.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 2:24 PM

ENUF - I agree that the board is not allowed to vote at an executive session. I am not certain that that means they can take an informal vote either. Most boards will discuss an item at the executive session and vote on the item during the public session when it reconvenes after the exec session.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 2:23 PM

The VMA has the best candidates with the best vision. How is that a one party system. They still have to put someone on the ballot that people like and will vote for. Gary Scchwab and Bob Milstein just dont cut it.

Frank Furillo  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 2:20 PM

I dont disagree with Unfortunately at all. One party systems dont work, but if the one party has no competition, is that the party's fault, or the unorganized, disparate public? The smartest thing W ever said was, "elections have consequences."

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 2:18 PM

Resolution Authorization Execution of a Contract with Lakota Group, Inc. to Prepare Unified Streetscape Design Drawings for the Greater Downtown Business Area (in an area generally including and adjacent to Lake Street between Harlem and Euclid) in an amount not to exceed $108,000. Overview: In an effort to provide consistency in streetscape development for the Greater Downtown business district, a contract with The Lakota Group, Inc., for design drawings of streetscape designs for specified areas in the greater downtown generally including and adjacent to Lake Street from Harlem to Euclid is recommended by staff. The Lakota Group, Inc., was instrumental in the redesign/redevelopment of Marion Street in Downtown Oak Park.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 2:15 PM

Greg Marsey, Martha Brock, and Geoff Baker were elected with the New Leadership Party. Bob Milstein was part of some other group called the VCA. These are names of Non VMA elected people who failed us all miserable. The VMA has the best track record in Oak Park and includes a diverse cross section of all Oak Parkers. Now if you go backwards and take a look at Oak Parks best leaders, again the VMA is right at the top. Their record speaks for itself.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 2:10 PM

@ unfortunately, this is exactly the problem with OP. It is interesting to me that people hated George Bush for his one party control of the country, yet Oak Park lives with this every day. In this community, diversity of opinion is a requirementonly when your opinion is in the minority. OP has a spending problem, and the lack of diversity of opinion is making this an unafordable place to live and raise a family. So, what will be left? A small number of wealthy with a large number of poor.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 2:06 PM

@Frank Furillo. Thanks for your posts and enlightenment. While it is informative, does it also not somewhat agree with my 11:41 comment from today? It also addresses previous posts from me that identifies the VMA as a political organization - which "some" people strongly disagree with. I am grateful for much of what the VMA party/people do - but I don't think it wise to have/live in, as you put it "a one party town" - monopoly/group-think is never good. Even with no "child sacrifices!"

Frank Furillo  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 1:40 PM

My guess is that interested citizens (regardless of professional background) volunteer on various committees, meet others, and since we live in a one party town, are met by (and co-opted by?) VMA people, who pick people they are comfortable with. I really don't carry a paper for VMA, but it all goes back to organizing and beating them if you dont like it. Or volunteer and work your way up the ranks...

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 1:22 PM

I am glad to include the Community Design and Design Review Commissions, as they prove my point. What qualifications does a product liability attorney have in any of these planning and design commissions? I am aware of architects who have applied to these same commissions and were rejected. If professional expertise is not the criteria, and a higher proportion of VMA members populate these commissions then found in the overall OP population, then what conclusions would you draw?


Posted: March 5th, 2012 12:45 PM

I'd suggest that the Village conduct a legitimate search to find a replacement, but having lived in Oak Park for a while, I know such a search will inevitably get bogged down in finding sufficient minority candidates rather than selecting someone competent to do the job. So, might as well cut to the chase and hire this person. Until competence is the only selection criteria, the Village will continue to operate as it currently does - tax, spend repeat.

Enough already  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 12:03 PM

......and Greg Marsey works at a Jimmie Johns and he was on the Village Board? Whats your point.

Frank Furillo  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 11:54 AM

In fairness, a complete reading of Burton's resume includes: Village of Oak Park, Ill., Community Design Commission; Village of Oak Park, Ill., Design Review Commission. Attack on the merits, if you wish, and include all info.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 11:41 AM

@Enough. Speaking for myself, I think that the VMA is an overall asset to the community - with many great members. But, well, they are not perfect and when any group has a complete monopoly - dumb and arrogant things occur. I'm therefore both grateful for the VMA and for Enuf, JBM, JC, etc. My impression is that too many VMA people are "VMA Uber Alles" first and Oak Park second. You hurt the VMA when you agree with EVERYTHING by the trustees and disagree with NOTHING - just like too many others

Enough already  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 11:32 AM

I'd rather be proud of the work the Trustees do rather than be the unfortunate pessimistic "No Think" type, that only disagrees with EVERYTHING someone does. The comments on here by Enuf is Enuf are comical they are so political.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 10:31 AM

Speaking of VMA, at tonight's village board meeting, Jeremy Burton is being nominated for the Plan Commission. Mr. Burton is a partner at Williams Montgomery & John Ltd., and his company bio states his expertise is product liability and tort defense. What does this have to do with being on the Plan Commission? Reading further, his bio states that Mr. Burton is active in a number of civic organizations, including the Village Managers Association (VMA). And so it goes.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 9:59 AM

@Enough already/Info and Silly and VMA spokesman. Question: if the VMA village board was conducting child sacrifices during a board mtg and some OP residents were seeking to stop this - would you, as usual, just make your dumb comments and turn your back? Don't bother with a reply - I already know your answer. You perfectly sum up the group-think problem that we have here. We need people who, rightly or wrongly, will ask questions and "speak truth to power!" No more robotic VMA people!

Enough already  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 9:47 AM

It seems Enuf is jealous of Pope's success in his role as Village President and his motives are political. IMHO.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park   

Posted: March 5th, 2012 9:45 AM

@JBMurtagh ... 1) the board is not allowed to officially vote on anything during a executive session, but they can unofficially make a decision, which then is formalized by vote in a forthcoming regular board meeting. 2) Pope has consistently crossed the line between his role of policy maker with staff administration. For whatever reason, the village board has allowed this to happen.


Posted: March 5th, 2012 9:42 AM

The fed money will come. Patience my friend. It is election year next year right?

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 9:37 AM

Appears that Pope is scrambling to deliver on streetscaping improvements promised along Lake St. But Pope and Barwin mismanaged TIF funds, leading to the D200 lawsuit and demise of the TIF. And then they were rejected a 2nd time on Dec. 15 by the feds for a $26M grant for Pope's Unified Streetscape Plan along Lake St. The $26M was intended to be used with $17M in TIF funds, and now Pope has neither. Perhaps Barwin was the first casualty of this behind the scenes power struggle.

Bell = Coughlin=Enuf  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 12:07 AM

Jim meet John, John meet Jim

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 5th, 2012 12:01 AM

I was told by a board member that the Acting Village Manager appointment was not voted on at the 2/13/12 Executive Meeting (closed door.)

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 4th, 2012 11:52 PM

Enuf - When OP commissions appoint one or more of its members to represent the whole at a meeting, outside its area of responsibility, it is voted on the commission and/or reflected in the minutes. If the board followed the same rules, President Pope's interaction with Federal and State government to seek funding for DTOP should follow the the same procedure it enforces for the commissions. The board has a policy role. It does not have an operating law.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: March 4th, 2012 11:34 PM

It appears the village board made the decision for Barwin to resign at the latest on Feb. 13, at a closed executive session to discuss personnel. Barwin publicly announced his resignation at the regular board meeting on Feb. 21. Cara Pavlicek was approved as interim manager w/o any board discussion at the special board meeting on Feb. 27, and started on March 1.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 4th, 2012 11:20 PM

The problem with Robert's Rule of Order is enforcement. The rules are ignored or violated regularly and at times arrogantly at the both board meeting and commission meetings. To be effective, Robert's Rules require a member or staff person to interpret and/or adjudicate, 2) a President or Chairperson who enforces rules objectively, and 3)elected officials or appointees that treat their responsibilities respectfully and understand that violations or possible violations of rules bring the meeting to a halt until resolved. Like transparency, in OP Robert's is treated as a nuisance.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: March 4th, 2012 11:17 PM

One can only speculate what this all means, as the village board has not publicly disclosed the reason for Tom Barwin's 'resignation'. Since Barwin has since stated he wanted to remain as village manager, obviously he resigned at the wishes of the board. If Pope is able to get the board to pass a resolution for a $108K contract to prepare for a $43M unfunded downtown streetscaping project w/o benefit of providing any advance info, then the board has yielded to Pope and DTOP.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: March 4th, 2012 11:05 PM

If this was a study session, the agenda item would be up for review and discussion, with no impending call to vote. Since this is a resolution, there needs to be a motion, second motion, discussion (optional) and roll call vote, unless motion is tabled or removed. Since no supplemental info accompanied this agenda item, I am not sure how trustees can be prepared to discuss a $108K contract to prepare drawings for a $43M project, esp. since there is no funding for such project.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 4th, 2012 11:02 PM

There has been no board or village answers to my questions of February 25th. They were in reply to Ray Johnson WJ Post statement, "The Village Board formally votes on the appointment Monday." MY QUESTIONS: Doesn't(Ray's)statement imply that an informal board vote has already been taken? When and where did the informal vote take place? During the Feb 27 Bd Mtg resolution vote, there was only one bd question -- When does the Acting VM take over? That's it! To me that confirms that the bd either 1)reached a unanimous contention either at a confidential meeting, telephone calling, e-mails, face to face, or by pigeon. 2) They did not have the energy, guts, or desire to ask meaningful questions or raise any opposition publicly. The fix was in!


Posted: March 4th, 2012 9:57 PM

Alright, thanks. Now please tell me what this means regarding the rest of the board? Are they simply deferring to Pope in this new role? No questioning about whether or not, as a member of the board (which, as I understand it, even as Prez, it's all that he is), which is to determine and guide policy and leave implementation to the village mgr and staff, that his actions are appropriate? Is this what is meant when Pope is frequently referred to as an improper micro-manager? A pseudo mayor?

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: March 4th, 2012 7:51 PM

As per Village Code, every resolution shall be provided in writing and presented to the Board of Trustees before voting thereon. The rules of order and parliamentary practice in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall govern all village board meetings. Supplemental information is to be included with each agenda item so as to provide the basis for an informed discussion and vote, but for this agenda item, none was provided.


Posted: March 4th, 2012 7:27 PM

@Enuf. Please tell me what "a resolution" means? Was this a motion? Seconded? Voted on? Rationale? Debate? Yes, I'm fairly ignorant about this sort of stuff. I do understand the inappropriateness (legality?) of his mayor/village mgr role, but I'm also VERY concerned about the role, if any, that the rest of the board does regarding this. Thanks.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: March 4th, 2012 6:21 PM

Pope is mayor / village manager. As per the March 5 board mtg. agenda, Pope reports on HIS discussions w/ state & fed agencies re. downtown plans. Then, despite that the village has no DTOP TIF funds and has failed twice at applying for federal funds, Pope continues w/ HIS $43M downtown streetscape plan, w/ a resolution authorizing a no-bid $108,000 contract to prepare Unified Streetscape Design Drawings (i.e., brick street / slate walks) on Lake St. between Harlem and Euclid.

Bad Press  

Posted: February 29th, 2012 7:19 AM

wow, what a auto correct: Paraguay from Paragraph! ok? wasn't there a movi about a puppet dictator, and government in ruin called moon over Paraguay?

Bad Press  

Posted: February 29th, 2012 7:11 AM

@resident second to last Paraguay: http://downersgrovechronicle.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/village-settles-lawsuit-with-former-manager-cara-pavlicek/


Posted: February 28th, 2012 10:30 PM

Sure. From the frying pan into the fire. Where can I view the information about unauthorized payments?

Enough already  

Posted: February 28th, 2012 2:40 PM

As I first stated, the ship is in good hands. Sit down people, relax, breath and wake up tomorrow. The sun will still be there and our Village will not fall apart.

Bad Press  

Posted: February 28th, 2012 2:08 PM

lots of bad press about this woman on the web, including unauthorized payments...ala Barwin. Oh boy, we are in for another bumpy ride.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 28th, 2012 1:12 PM

Q- Less from Oak Park, your problem can be traced back to your early potty training. When you feel the urge to make potty, take the W.J. paper with you.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 28th, 2012 1:07 PM

Fact Checker, your facts are wrong.

Q- Less from Oak Park  

Posted: February 28th, 2012 12:32 PM

Calling Clueless Q, Where did I get she from out of that? You wrote these words: "You won't accept the possibility that you jumped to your conclusion without noticing that I wrote, "HE" and not "SHE". " I then copied and pasted the words you wrote, that I responded to, that did not include either pronouns. Let's go for attempt number 4 at justifying your unclear comments.

Fact Checker  

Posted: February 28th, 2012 9:50 AM

Q: Your "facts" are wrong - all of them. That's one of the problems with comment boards. Anyone can present themselves as being "in the know", when reality is often little more than a distant echo from a seething keyboard.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 27th, 2012 10:11 PM

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park, you are right. There never will be any problems when King Pope sends down his commands to his people.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 27th, 2012 10:09 PM

Q Less from Oak Park Where did you get she from out of that? You really are Q Less, Q Less.

Q Less from Oak Park  

Posted: February 27th, 2012 7:45 PM

Hey Clueless Q: "...the responsibility of being the village manager. A check is placed in front of you for slightly less than 25 thousand dollars. Do you sign it, or read what it's for? You read it, and determine what it's for, and you then ask your highly paid assistant, who jumps from clerk to assistant some how, to find out how many more hours it will take. That is what an assistant does" This is what I responded to. I don't see the words "he" or "she." Want to give it a 3rd try?


Posted: February 27th, 2012 2:35 PM

As long as the Village continues to issue baseless parking tickets, particularly on snow routes when there isn't a lick of snow on the ground, Oak Park will be sound as a pound.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 27th, 2012 1:48 PM

Parent - I agree with you but have one prerequisite. The woman has to have been vetted using the standards of the job description. I don't think that has occurred in this incident.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: February 27th, 2012 1:45 PM

To Q from Oak Park: Stop spreading misinformation.Pope said "Here is your king,I have bestowed upon Cara the leadership position of Village Manager. Any Problems?'' That is false. Pope never sad "Any problems."


Posted: February 27th, 2012 1:02 PM

Its about time a woman mans that position for once in Oak Parks history. Smile

Paddy Boy  

Posted: February 27th, 2012 12:40 PM

Whatever you print at the Journal let's make sure Paddy Boy is denied his right to free speech! Danny that's why they call it "Free Speech!"


Posted: February 27th, 2012 12:33 PM

Oh rats! Does this mean she won't get to raise our parking pass fees again?

Another Oak Park Resident  

Posted: February 27th, 2012 12:13 PM

Parking Chief becomes our Village Manager - what the Bleep ?!?! Monkeys are flying out of somebody's butt.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 27th, 2012 12:04 PM

A.Parent, that is absolutely funny. "The inmates ARE running the asylum."

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 27th, 2012 12:03 PM

Val, the board members get a letter from Pope, reading, "This is your King, I have bestowed upon Cara, the leadership position of Village Manager. Any problems?"

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 27th, 2012 12:00 PM

Q-Less from Oak Park, you would do very well on the board. You won't accept the possibility that you jumped to your conclusion without noticing that I wrote, "HE" and not "SHE". But that's fine, you just go in the kitchen and help Aunt Martha with the cookies.

doc walsh from wooddale  

Posted: February 27th, 2012 11:21 AM

i recommened to name a manager from within and i was RIGHT


Posted: February 27th, 2012 7:25 AM

Pavlicek? Really? It's incredible that she was hired for anything, let alone parking (which has been a mess under her direction). But now as interim VM. Did any of you on the board talk to Downers Grove about the "Cara Pavlicek experience"? She lacks the requisite vision, skills and talent for leading a municipality--or a girl scout troop, for that matter.

Q-Less from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 6:52 PM

Q, I already admitted being confused by your comments...but then again John thought you were talking about Cara Pavlicek..I thought you were talking about Lisa Shelley. So, my conclusion is still the writer was the problem not the readers.


Posted: February 26th, 2012 5:35 PM

That confirms it: the inmates ARE running the asylum.

Retiree wanna be Village Emperor that will save OP  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 3:55 PM

I am so full of myself I am starting to believe my BS. I think some innocent bystander village residents are too. What can I do to let them know I am just making this Sh#t up!!! Its all my political agenda to get vengeance against my enemies!!!

OP Resident  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 3:19 PM

@Enuf: There's a grown up table in Village Hall? I'm out of here if/when Ray Johnson becomes board Prez and Leuck's greatest contribution to Oak Park is suggesting a law making it illegal to eat and drive. Complete idocy. Enough is enough.

John Jim Enuf Q Butch Coughlin Is Enuf Murtagh from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 12:43 PM

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 12:39 PM

Now send in the courts Jester. Johnson enters, "Jester, you have served me well and for all of your brown nosing, I now appoint you as the Kings spy. You will report back to me on any uprising among my loyal servants.", "Yes, your King sir."

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 12:35 PM

Enuf is Enuf, Pope once in as village manager would make three fast changes in the backroom with only Pope in attendance. "I declare myself King and President of Oak Park, and as King and President, I now bestow upon myself the handsome sum of 250,000 dollar as a fair compensation for my rule."

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 11:56 AM

Only speculation on my part, but Pope could be angling for the village manager position (i.e., $165,000 salary). This would appease Johnson, as he would be named Pope's replacement as board Prez. Lueck would then take Johnson's place as VMA majority whip, and Tucker, Salzman & Brewer would move up from the kiddy's table to the grown-up table. I thought they would throw Hedges a bone as interim village manager, but by the looks of his winter tan, he didn't want the headache.

dkdk from yesldkdlas skdlsl  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 11:38 AM

John Jim Enuf Q Butch Coughlin Is Enuf Murtagh from Oak Park, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, what condition was your condition in.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 11:37 AM

Cont... Created a section on what local government is doing and who made the decision to do it. The W.J. could also keep people informed on up coming issues and when the next elections are coming up. Right now the way it's done is to scatter bits of government issues across the newspaper.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 11:34 AM

Cont.. Clean out the current board members. People need a village manager who is willing to be fired but stay on what he or she really believes is best for the village, and also be willing to say in public if board members are pushing him or her to do differently. That is open government, and the people would know where the ideas are coming from that are not in favor of the public instead of having another yes sir type of village manager. W.J. would serve residents a lot better if they Cont...

John Jim Enuf Q Butch Coughlin Is Enuf Murtagh from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 11:33 AM

I just wrote in to see what condition my condition was in.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 11:31 AM

Enuf is Enuf, you are correct about Pope being the little man behind the curtain, and when questioned about anything Barwin did, he would never take a stand on it. It would be shuffle it off, and when you have W.J. doing the reporting, they don't mind shuffling on to the next great thing Oak Park has done. So it's up to the people of Oak Park, to really understand that you have to vote Pope out, and not let Johnson in. Some new talent needs to run for President and clean out the current cont..

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 11:22 AM

@Q: perhaps Barwin simply had enough, or quite possibly, the board had enough of him and Pope. Johnson has become impatient about becoming board president, and it could be Johnson, Lueck, et al are maneuvering against Pope, who has overstayed his turn as president. Barwin was Pope's front guy all along, doing the dirty work re. the lawsuits, TIFs and Sertus boondoggles, while Pope remained clean. Either Barwin had enough of doing Pope's dirty work, or Johnson had enough of Pope.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 10:59 AM

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park, didn't Barwin decide to quit because Enuf is Enuf?

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 10:57 AM

Jim Coughlin, I don't think the village is going to send out any surveys asking what people want in a village manager. It's rather obvious that a village manager selection should be based on previous experience, and not the type of experience of someone getting fired and then suing for being fired. History repeats itself, not because of something outside of the control of people, but because people decide what they want for their own gains against from what History shows.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 10:53 AM

maggy, it's not really necessary to have a village manager when you have Pope running it all.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 10:51 AM

Talking to yourself?, you are correct. Just watch how interested any of the board members are when someone is giving their reasons why not to pass something. Watch Pope, he can't even act like he is paying attention. He knows what he wants and no one, not even board members are going to stop him.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 10:48 AM

Wanna be, you are sort of right, but wrong, because people can make mistakes in voting and find out who they voted for wasn't what they were expecting to get. It's really alright to admit to making mistakes.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 10:46 AM

John Butch Murtagh, the expert in software is not a friend of mine. I meet a lot of experts in different professionals and it happened to be good timing, and I asked him about it, and he spent 5 minutes explaining why it wasn't the right product and recommended one. The village likes to pay 10's of thousands of dollars hiring consultants before buying products. Board members don't have the experience to make the right decisions and don't belong as board members.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 10:41 AM

Q-Less from Oak Park, you really don't know what you are talking about, it's Rob Cole.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 10:36 AM

To be an informed citizen, one needs information. The village has not issued any information re. Barwin's resignation. Was it due to health reasons, retirement, career choice, or performance? If performance, what aspects of performance? Was the board unanimous or split re. performance? As per my previous posts, Johnson, Tucker and Salzman pledged to make government more open and transparent, yet we are still waiting for public disclosure of the reasons for Barwin's resignation.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 10:16 AM

You're confused,James. I've not asked to have any input in naming an interim manager. Why would you knowingly post such a false claim? It was my suggestion that the trustees engage in a discussion with residents, business owners and our local taxing bodies as part of their search for a new Village manager. This is an important hire for Oak Park and community involvement as part of the process should be encouraged. It's baffling that someone would object to a reasonable suggestion. Continuing to use weird references to purchasing paper products and stocking vending machines makes it extremely difficult to understand your position. Stay focused and be honest so we can continue to have a discussion.


Posted: February 26th, 2012 8:06 AM

Is this really a necessary position in village hall?

Talking to yourself?  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 8:04 AM

James vs. Jim? Ray Johnson said there would be time for public comment... what did he mean by that? Anyway, it seems to me whenever there is public comment that the issue being commented about has already been decided by the board and the comment period is some sort of public appeasement tool to say "we let them give us input, we considered it and ignored it". our village governors are a joke.


Posted: February 26th, 2012 7:50 AM

Yes Jim that's exactly what you're asking for when you ask to be involved in the naming of an interim manager. Because if you need to be involved there, you also should be involved with the toilet paper purchasing procedure and what pop they stock the machine with. "Oh my God, they use Dr. Pepper, I never would have voted for Johnson had they stocked the pop machine so irresponsibly and without public comment!" Get over yourself Jim, you're not going to get that input anywhere.

Wanna be  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 12:29 AM

Key word is "board" has an obligation...-The people who were elected to make decisions on your behalf. Sorry people, that is how it works. As to Jim Coughlin's remarks about those candidates and their pledges. Guess what. The people that actually voted for them have no problems with their positions. On the other hand, people who didnt vote for them have a problem with them not sticking to their word. Priceless. Thats like the Republicans being upset at Obama for not doing what he said.

Q-Less from Oak Park  

Posted: February 26th, 2012 12:19 AM

John, I must admit Q's comments confused me...I'm still not clear about what he was trying to say. I know the article is about Cara Pavlicek but that comment seemed to be directed at Shelley to me with the words "your highly paid assistant." Even though Shelley is not an assistant to the vm, she was before...and Pavlicek hasn't been in either role in OP to my knowledge. So my comments were under the idea Q was trashing Shelley.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 10:32 PM

Q-Less -- the issue that has been raised is about her previous Village Manager position in Downer's Grove. She was accused of not fulfilling her duties and was fired. Subsequently she sued Downer's Grove. That has been settled. This should prevent her from serving, but it does mean that the board has an obligation to give her background issues due diligence before appointing her.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 10:27 PM

Q - I agree with your friend that that PeopleSoft selection for Oak Park was a Huge Mistake. Before I retired from GM and about the time of OP PeopleSoft purchase, I was part of a study team seeking a product that could consolidate global vehicle production information. The Oracle software could have worked for us despite a $10M price tag. We did not buy the software after calculating the disruption cost of the business process and training. Clearly those at OP involved in the PeopleSoft software did not have a clue before signing out the contract. Discontinuing the service support and training sealed their fate. My understanding is that some of the PeopleSoft software is still in use at Village Hall.

Weather it Out  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 10:19 PM

Will there be a hurricane named Cara this year?

Q-Less from Oak Park  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 10:16 PM

"...your highly paid assistant, who jumps from clerk to assistant some how" Did she really jump some how? She had a masters of public administration and was already working in the manager's office BEFORE coming to Oak Park.She was the VOP assistant to the public works director and the assistant to the village manager before becoming the deputy. That's the normal career track for village managers. Apparently, you have no idea but you're still yapping for some reason.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 10:05 PM

John Butch Murtagh, I agree with you, but the problem is you can't have the citizens telling the people you voted in what to do. You vote them in on what they say they will do, and when they don't, you vote them out. What has changed is people and politics. Politics teaches people how to forget, and people vote them in again.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 9:55 PM

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park Posted: Saturday, February 25th, 2012 4:54 PM John, there is only one thing wrong with PeopleSoft, it's not made for the size of Oak Park. It is for very large organizations. This comes from an expert in many different software programs who took 5 minutes to explain it. The sales person sold the wrong product and the person who bought it didn't know what he was doing. After the horse is out of the barn, fire the person and hire someone else.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 9:53 PM

Q - I am more of a pragmatist than you. I think sometimes you have to participate in solving problems even though the participation does not meet all you standards. You have to pick your battles and sometimes you lose. I think that is what happened in the PeopleSoft fiasco.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 9:50 PM

Jim Coughlin Posted: Saturday, February 25th, 2012 4:31 PM Jim, you really think politicians are going to say why things they promised didn't turn out to what they promised? Jim, you've been around for awhile to stop believing in Leprechauns.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 9:45 PM

John Butch Murtagh, we are talking about a person who is hired to serve as the manager of a Village, same as if a CEO. If you are a person who is going to be hired to make decisions, then you don't based your fears of making your best decision by being fired by the board. You make that decision, and you live with it, and take responsibility for it, and regardless of what happens to the individual, that person knows they made the right decision based on their ability.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 5:59 PM

Part 1 - The Citizens for Accountable Leadership candidates, Ray Johnson, Bob Tucker and Adam Salzman, pledged an open and transparent government as part of their campaign platform. The following statements were taken from their Meet Your Candidate interviews on March 21, 2011 by Oak Park-River Forest Patch.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 5:58 PM

Part 2 - Tucker: "I pledge to make village government open and transparent and as responsible as any (government) can be." ... "Transparency in Village government is essential. While everybody agrees that taking certain matters into executive (closed) session is appropriate and required, the fact that something is capable of being discussed in executive session does not mean that is must be discussed in executive session. We need to err on the side of greater disclosure."

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 5:58 PM

Part 3 -Salzman: "I believe very strongly that the Village needs to err on the side of overdisclosure rather than underdisclosure. We need to have clear criteria for when executive session is necessary. I would propose that the Board only meet in executive session when (a) the Board is receiving legal advice from the Village Attorney or, (b) the Board is working through the parameters of a contract with one of the 11 Village unions."

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 5:20 PM

You know mmuch about computer software and programs than me, John. I'm lucky if I can download a Koko Taylor song onto my iPod. Certainly, everyone's intentions were good and thought PeopleSoft would be ideal to serve the needs of the Village. It's water under the bridge now and best that the folks calling the shots pulled the plug before more tax dollars were spent. We're off to attend the big fundraiser for Maywood Fine Arts. Enjoy your weekend!

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 4:54 PM

Hi Jim - The PeopleSoft contract was signed right before Greg Peters retired. He was called back after retirement to help get it working to no avail. PeopleSoft was and is a great set of programs, but it requires a high skill level to maintain. The critical thing in using the software is aligning business processes (the way paper moves through the office) and major training at introduction and ongoing training when in use. I suspect someone had the idea that you just plug the machine in and it did all the work of real people. The end game was that the village would up with double work. The employees continued to enter data on Excel and then it was transferred to PeopleSoft. Nightmare!!

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 4:39 PM

Ray - if the board is going to vote on the interim village manager appointment, shouldn't is be on the agenda. The agenda for Feb 27 has only one item - Sewers and downspouts.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 4:31 PM

That's simply not true. No one who's posts I've read on this forum has expressed any such opinion. Your crude example aside, voters have a right to expect our elected officials to honor the promises they made to us during their campaigns for public office. Trustees Johnson, Tucker and Salzmann chose to make a pledge they would work towards improving accountability and transparency in Oak Park government. If any citizen believes that their elected official has not delivered on an expressed commitment to a more open process; they should ask for an explanation.


Posted: February 25th, 2012 3:52 PM

No, you're asking to be told everything before they make a decision; That isn't going to happen, anywhere. The Board is fully within their right to put whomever they want in that seat on a full or interim position. Period. Do you also want to choose the toilet paper the staff wipes with? Let them do their jobs and if you don't like it Vote them out.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 3:32 PM

I think you might be missing the point that some have posted regarding how Village Hall conducts the peoples' business. All that most are asking is that the trustees honor their campaign promises of increased accountability and transparency. Trustees Johnson,Tucker and Salzamn recognized there was need a need to improve in those areas and each made that pledge to voters. We should all agree that open government is good government.

means of expression  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 3:27 PM

@Wanna Be ... going on an online discussion forum and criticizing those who post comments on an article concerning village politics is akin to going to a village hall meeting and criticizing those who speak. If this forum is not your cup of tea, then choose another one better suited for your own interests.

Wanna be  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 3:04 PM

I am retire and that gives me all the authority I need.

Wanna be   

Posted: February 25th, 2012 3:03 PM

Since Im not a Village official in any capacity, I think I 'll sit on OP.Com and speak and write as if everything VOP does should go through me. After all, I did vote and I am important damin it!.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 2:59 PM

John, I believe it was former VOP finance director Greg Peters who convinced the trustees that PeopleSoft was right for Oak Park. You may recall he was also involved in the controversy that resulted in a number of Public Works employees being terminated for using Village equipment on a private job. Following his retirement, Peters' services were contracted by VOP for work relating to Police and Fire pensions.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 2:45 PM

Q - I agree with your view of the difficult business processes and the number of people that are involved Mistakes are made. Village Managers are always on the spot. Do they do what they are told like a good employee or challenge their boss(es). I think Barwin did both during his stay. Take a look at the PeopleSoft issue from a board member's side. The VM reports the financial system is failing badly. You tell him to fix it. He ask whether he should do an RFP, get bids, and bring it to the board. You tell him "just get it done fast and use your discretionary funds." Then something goes very wrong!!!!

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 2:13 PM

Cont... Know what the issues in front of them are about. They don't, they don't require the need to think for themselves. They have Pope to do that for them. Remember, they like their "Titles". I know it's not a really big thing but to them, they are simple folks living in Oak Park, and they like it. Pope is being his own personal dynasty, and using tax payers money to do it, and if you don't like it, remember to vote and demand a paper trail.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 2:11 PM

Cont... Now of course you can excuse the facts for many reasons that sound sensible but aren't. "Well the manager signs thousands of checks a day and has no time to know what they are for". "It was in the fine hands of Lester, who had it on good word that his wife's friend knew what she was doing". Come on John, the board is made up of a bunch of people who are happy just belonging to something, and we say what it takes to keep their "Title", and make some motions like they really Cont...

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 2:08 PM

John Butch Murtagh, image you are have the responsibility of being the village manager. A check is placed in front of you for slightly less than 25 thousand dollars. Do you sign it, or read what it's for? You read it, and determine what it's for, and you then ask your highly paid assistant, who jumps from clerk to assistant some how, to find out how many more hours it will take. That is what an assistant does. Then you get the report and determine it may require some managing by a manager. Cont.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 1:50 PM

I do not believe that Barwin, any village employees or the consultant should carry all the blame for the PeopleSoft. If the board was aware of the inability of the staff to align their business process with the PeopleSoft monster before Barwin was hired, then the board (of the day) had fiduciary responsibility to allocate money to fix it. Instead, it allowed the PeopleSoft maintenance and consulting contract to elapse. After Barwin was hired, it was reported to the board that there were problems with the system that led to financial report problems including not being able to get a correct read on revenues and expenses. With zero financial reserves, the board chose to try to fix it in house. Barwin was told to fix it. That required a consultant and the rest is history. There is little question that the board at that time was fully aware of the size of the problem and the millions it could cost to fix it. The board did not vote for a "spare all expense" solution. They did not make the responsible choice.

I like you James  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 1:34 PM

There is no community disucssion prerequisite needed for an interim manager. In all reality it's a nice perk but you don't have to do it for any position. The people "hire" the board, not the staff. Furthermore, the board is not legally able to discuss personnel matters hence these matters being discussed in EXECUTIVE SESSION. Barwin has more rope to use in explaining what happened but then that would just be considered unprofessional. Stop being "tell me everything" crybabies.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 1:00 PM

@Q: I agree. While it was the board's and/or Barwin's decision to resign, and the board's decision for selecting Pavlicek, the public requires full disclosure of the basis for these decisions to allow accountability. I also agree it seemed Barwin served at the pleasure of Pope and not the board, which if so, was a huge problem. Do the recent events continue or rectify this problem? For the public record, each board member needs to address this issue at their meeting on Feb. 27.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 12:43 PM

As per the meeting agenda for Feb. 27, the board has already selected Pavlicek to serve as interim Village Manager, to be formalized by resolution. Pavlicek's selection on Feb. 24 occurred 3 days after Barwin's public resignation on Feb. 21. The last time the board met to re. personnel issues was Feb. 13, so the decision re. Pavlicek was made then. Since the decision has already been made, and no info disclosed, what then is the basis for public comment Trustee Johnson?

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 12:31 PM

Enuf us Enuf "our civic duty is not only to elect public officials, but to hold them accountable." What was Barwin and Lester held accountable for bringing in the PeopleSoft Expert? NOTHING! Cara gets FIRED!! Government bodies don't like to FIRE people, because they come back and sue. If you want to rid Oak Park of the b.s., then you have to vote POPE out. He does what he wants, and the only way to out him is to vote him out. Make sure the votes have a paper trail because Pope won't stop.

Enuf us Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 12:20 PM

@James ... our civic duty is not only to elect public officials, but to hold them accountable. An informed and engaged citizenry is the very basis of democracy. Complete deference to elected officials is irresponsible, and we are reminded of misplaced trust all the time at local, state and national government levels. While the village board is entrusted to make decisions, their decisions are to be open and transparent, so we can make our decisions at election time.


Posted: February 25th, 2012 11:32 AM

Ray Johnson, did the board do it's homework on this decision? Barwin also came to us with alot of experience and qualificaions.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 11:03 AM

Ray Johnson quote, "he Village Board formally votes on the appointment Monday." Doesn't this statement imply that an informal board vote has already been taken? When and where did the informal vote take place? Did the VOP press release mention that there was no approval of the appointment yet? Did the WJ reporter ask if the appointment had been approved by the board? Like I said in a previous post - The appointment was sloppy and fast. Add to that -- and gave no consideration for the right of residents to be aware and agreeable to major organization changes.


Posted: February 25th, 2012 10:48 AM

You elected the Board to run the Village. Part of that responsibility is hiring a Manager. To expect them to come before you for that task is arrogant. If you want to have more power, run for a trustee spot. Sadly, I think most of you just want to play tough guy on the forums.


Posted: February 25th, 2012 9:45 AM

Bridgett (aka Male WJ employee) over the top and nasty commenter's can be? Really? Isnt that the point of comments? To show your feelings and opinions? Do you think what Gaskill allegedly did was over the top and nasty? If so, then I think those kind of comments are apropros!

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 9:24 AM

The Village of Oak Park is not a privately-held corporation. Since the village manager's position is public-salaried, the village board owes the public an open and transparent explanation for Barwin's resignation and their selection of Pavlicek. Confidentiality cannot be used to exclude the public's need to know. Otherwise, we are only left to speculate on the reasons, and therefore cannot truly evaluate the performance of our elected public officials, as per our civic duty.

Ray Johnson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 25th, 2012 8:11 AM

The Village Board formally votes on the appointment Monday. Public comment is welcome.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 24th, 2012 11:59 PM

Woops, Sorry Bridgett

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: February 24th, 2012 11:27 PM

@John, I wasn't criticizing anyone for posting anonymously. I was giving my opinion on why the WJ disabled the comments.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 24th, 2012 11:19 PM

I find the hiring of a interim village manager without public discussion to be disturbing. My primary concern is not about questions that have surfaced about the interim's previous professional performance, but the board choice to use a Friday press release without any indicator that a board vote took place. The hasty and sloppy approach by the board will make it more difficult for the interim VM to establish leadership. A lot of people think that the board forced Barwin's resignation, that the board intent was to shift blame, and that the choice of a former village manager on staff for three years was a setup.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 24th, 2012 11:06 PM

Bridgett - Using only a first name (maybe a last) is posting anonymously. 75% of the people using WJ Comments choose to use a pseudonym as a alias to protect their identification. I have no problem with that, but it does seem over the top to criticize people posting anonymously while posting anonymously yourself.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: February 24th, 2012 9:57 PM

@Reader, I'm guessing they've learned from experience of just how over the top and nasty people can get online, particularly when they can write anonymously. I think it's a wise decision. Now back to our regularly scheduled program...


Posted: February 24th, 2012 8:52 PM

Is the WJ giving Gaskill a pass by disabling the comments? A brother in publishing? He is accused of serious allegations and they disable the comments on every article thats been published. Whats the deal WJ? He is a RF Dad accused of Sexual misconduct with minors....


Posted: February 24th, 2012 8:20 PM

Considering they hired a PW Director who was asked to leave his previous employer because of unprofessional activity this does not surprise me at all.

Paul S.  

Posted: February 24th, 2012 7:51 PM

Fun Fact. Cara skated with Tanya Harding. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1ePLOcQJ3E


Posted: February 24th, 2012 7:47 PM

Brace yourself for privatizing and more layoffs!


Posted: February 24th, 2012 7:24 PM

I like it. Oak Park is run by bumbling amateurs, and this seems consistent with that.


Posted: February 24th, 2012 7:20 PM

More of the status quo. Pope never seems to learn from past mistakes. Can someone out there enlighten us to Ms. Pavlicek's tenure at Downers Grove?

FOP from Oak Park  

Posted: February 24th, 2012 6:53 PM

That makes no sense what so ever. Hire some one to fill a position who was fired from that position with another municipality. After this choice we the voters need to replace Pope. We have Lisa Shelly and Rob Cole who have never been fired from the lead role and the Board slips in a person who was fired and sued. Way to go you bunch of morons!

Lori M  

Posted: February 24th, 2012 6:02 PM

Yes, we do so well with the parking issue, this was a wise choice.

epic lulz  

Posted: February 24th, 2012 5:30 PM

Someone with a track record of suing her employers is exactly what Oak Park needs as its new VM.

Enough already  

Posted: February 24th, 2012 5:20 PM

Good move. I think the ship is in good hands.

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