Odds and ends from the Oak Park village boardroom

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

You learn a lot being the local government reporter in a town like Oak Park. Sometimes it's dry; sometimes it's entertaining. Monday's village board meeting was both. Here's a roundup of my observations.

• Village President Anan Abu-Taleb recused himself for two liquor license votes. He promised he will do this for all liquor-related votes during his presidency due to owning Maya Del Sol. 

• Abu-Taleb vowed during the campaign season that he wanted fewer and quicker meetings. He said he was proud the meeting ended by 10:30 p.m. (three hours plus a prior executive session). 

• A resident spoke during public comment about her concerns regarding the village's ordinance for heating and air conditioning for apartment/condo building regulations during extreme heat in the spring months. The air conditioner kicked on in village hall during the middle of her comments. Trustees and the audience found this coincidence humorous.  

• A local Girl Scouts group visited the meeting and lasted an hour. It was probably their bedtime. I was impressed with their patience. 

• Village hall was busy so I decided to sit in the upstairs section of the board room. This gave me a new perspective of the trustees and their facial expressions/reactions to issues. Try it sometime. Drawback? The wireless didn't work as well. 

• Many people were there for the public heath awards for cleanest restaurants. Lots of picture taking. Chef Paco of New Rebozo showed the most excitement with a double fist bump in the air and said his signature "Oh my god," phrase as his picture was taken with his award.

• Public comment about the idea of Meatless Mondays took up a good amount of time. Learned Trustee Adam Salzman is a vegetarian, except for the occasional lapse. Couldn't help feel guilty about the hamburger I gulped down just before the meeting.  

• There is a single treadmill in a small odd-shaped area by the windows on the second floor seating section of village hall. I wonder who uses this?

Email: anna@oakpark.com Twitter: @AnnaLothson

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Reader Comments

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4 Freedom  

Posted: May 25th, 2013 11:44 PM

I laughed out loud at the "Oh my god" bullet! I wasn't there, but I can see it.

treadmill exposed  

Posted: May 25th, 2013 10:10 PM

that isolated treadmill is for employee use. sober, responsible adults can barely go down those stairs without almost tripping (or successfully triipping). i wonder how safely one can go down those stairs after an intensive treadmill run.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 21st, 2013 6:01 PM

Anna - loved the new column. It adds a lot of flavor to the village meetings. I agree about the balcony. I sat up their recently and found that you could see all the board members at the same time. Cool!

Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal Wednesday Journal Employee

Posted: May 21st, 2013 5:37 PM

Sydney J. Harris, the late columnist for the late Chicago Daily News, used to make up a column of such observations which he headlined: "Things I Learned While Looking Up Other Things." Nice start Anna.

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