Does the trustee-approved Colt building (1123-35 Lake St.. restoration process indicate a reliance on selected "stakeholders" and staff over residents who hold a valued stake in village developments?
It was interesting to be in one of four focus groups, ably facilitated by Lynn McClure for consultant Henry Zimoch. At the June 12 Forsyth Building, 1011 Lake St., there was gender and racial disparity?#34;four women and 11 men, all white. It was invitation-only, except for a friend and me who "crashed" the festivities. We had confirmed by previous response our desire to attend.
Downtown Oak Park (DTOP. board members and six Village of Oak Park staff had already weighed in with their answers to five pre-determined questions. They were about future retail/commercial tenants, Westgate's eastern expansion, additional floors, condos, resurrected New/Station Street, buildings' demolition, and reasons for the Colt project's success/failure.
My questions are:
1. Why was President [David] Pope a participant, although as a citizen? (He voiced New/Station Street reservations due to demolishing two Westgate Street buildings and two on Lake Street for a straight street to the North Boulevard parking garage.. How do Village of Oak Park staff qualify as "stakeholders" and how many "stakeholders" live in Oak Park?
2. Why were business/commercial owners in the majority of three groups?
3. Why were certain businesses/commercial property owners invited?
4. Do we need more condos when 375 are for sale?
5. How did New/Station Street magically reappear?
6. What traffic chaos would ensue if Station Street and the Marion Street mall were constructed one-way going south for cars going west on Lake Street?
7. Why is New/Station Street necessary to see the North Boulevard parking garage? (South Blvd./Oak Park Avenue lacks a see-through from Lake Street.. What happened to the one-page mail-out household shops survey I submitted to the DTOP Sub-Area Plan and to the trustees on Oct. 5, 2005?
8. Why is the public the last (July 11. instead of the first to give input?
9. Do we have participatory planning or is it in name only?
Exactly, who is a "stakeholder," Oak Park style? Which dictionary definition fits the bill?#34;"one who holds the bets on a game or contest or one who has a share or interest, as in an enterprise?"
Barbara A. Mullarkey