Oak Park forum on development

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

Want to voice your thoughts on the next skyscraper that's built, or brick street that's paved along Lake Street?

The village is holding a forum to discuss economic development at 6:30 p.m. on April 16 at village hall, 123 Madison St. Elected officials have started hosting quarterly forums on specific topics to gather residents thoughts, with the first one in October focused on public safety.

Village President David Pope said the event will give residents more than the usual three minutes they get at board meetings. Trustees want to have an open dialogue with their constituents about the future of economic development in Oak Park.

"It should be a very valuable opportunity for us to hear from members of the community about their perspectives on different development and investment prospects here, and also for residents and business owners to have direct and open dialogue with members of the board and staff about these issues," Pope said.

Topics Monday will range anywhere from what stores residents want to see in Oak Park, to streetscape projects, to what the village plans to do with several high-profile pieces of land that it owns.

Village staffers may give a brief presentation to start off the night, though the focus will be on conversation, according to Interim Village Manager Cara Pavlicek. She said the forum will likely have a "round table" type format, where attendees can stroll around the room to different stations to talk about different topics related to economic development.

Village hall wants to get some input from the community on the issue as it starts working on its 2013 budget come this July.

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Reader Comments

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Jim Coughlin  

Posted: April 12th, 2012 4:39 PM

Window shopping on spring evening. Might be a pleasant experience for some but a waste of time for budget conscious folks. Resident and property owners still don't have answers from the trustees on how the Village plans to pay for all of these planned developments, special projects and assorted fluff and folly. Are they looking at taking on more debt or continuing to increase fees and reduce services? When will the board tackle the issue of repairing the infrastructure in our neighborhoods?

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 11th, 2012 5:30 PM

Until the village and or village board open the books and give the residents a clear and forthright understanding of the current and future economic conditions (in dollars, thank you. It seems a waste of time to stroll around the board room picking out what we want to spend on. This event sounds very political to me.

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