Local Governments Need to Coordinate in Oak Park, Illinois
Local Governments Need to Coordinate in Oak Park, Illinois describes how the municipality with the highest property taxes in Illinois can provide tax relief. A recent U.S. Census result (2017) shows that Oak Park has the fifth highest exodus of residents. Behind only the pitifully depressed cultural ghost towns of Peoria, Berwyn, Cicero, and, 7.2 out of every 1000 residents has fled Oak Park because of its poor public services, mediocre schools, lack of park space, Nazi-like local government, and abhorrently high property taxes. Noted political columnist Les Golden of Oak Park provides the analysis.
Duplication of Services Continues
It's time for Mr. Boulanger and Mr. Pope to get on the phone. Within weeks of each other, I received communications from both the village and the township concerning youth services for snow removal on private property. The village has arranged with the Boy Scouts. The township has arranged with high school students. This is laudable on both parts. I wonder, however, how many man-hours were spent by each unit of government in arranging for what is essentially a duplication of services. What are the salaries of the youth-liaison bureaucrats at the village and the township and how much time was billed at both governments in making these arrangements, not to mention the many hours that will be spent at both governments by bureaucrats this winter connecting the youth with the homeowners? Get on the phone, please. Save the taxpayers some cash by coordinating your youth snow removal efforts and getting rid of duplication of services.
I believe that such duplication problems between units of government in Oak Park — and there are many — would be largely solved if as many units of government as possible resided in the same building. The dozens of bureaucrats would actually see each other, speak to each other, have lunch together, and work together. I've suggested before, and this is a good time to repeat that suggestion, that the township vacate its offices in the middle of a moribund shopping district, freeing that property for commercial development, and move into an annex to be built over the village hall parking lot. The high school and library have their offices in their respective buildings, but District 97 could move its offices from another moribund business district, also freeing it up for commercial development, to the same government complex. With the incompetent Michael Grandy, previously a cashier at the pool, finally packing his bags before all the trees in the parks are destroyed, the environmentally emancipated park district might be willing to leave its facility across the street from village hall, which would then also be available for commercial development, and join the village, township and D97. The availability of significant space in these two locations on Madison Street would stimulate commercial development organically. This is much preferred over the imposition of some half-baked $17 million "restreeting" concept by another consultant with a questionable track history.
Parking Lot Location
The village parking lot generates no tax revenue. The air space is there for the taking. It'll cost money, possibly as much as putting heated greystone sidewalks onto Marion Street. Put as many of the governments together, hopefully stimulating coordination of services, while enabling conversion of thousands of square feet of current government properties into property tax- and sales tax-generating properties.
http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/12-13-2011/Park_district_and_school_district_should_share_an_administration_building_in_Oak_Park Golden has been talking about this for 20 years.
Golden Called for Township Abolition as Statewide Spokesman for Con-con in 2008 from Illinois
http://www.rrstar.com/opinions/x1713643550/Constitutional-convention-Heres-a-pro-con Chuck Sweeney the writer wrote, "I wholeheartedly agree."
Era Ends As Last Township In Hennepin County Folds
Al Dale from Oak Park
In the for-what-it's-worth department, Golden first proposed this concept in a May 8, 2002, letter to the Journal: "Here's a novel idea - Move the Township to village hall." The Journal followed with an editorial endorsing the concept. The thing to note, it's been almost 10 years and our governments only expand their footprints by taking over more private sector locations. Example, the township itself and the parks.
Jeanne Lanz Butterfield from Oak Park
The township has spent a couple million of taxpayer money to buy a property in the south OP Ave business district. The park district is going to spend millions to buy the Aldi property, on Madison St. business area. Only Golden seems to see the folly in this. Listen to what he says!
The Rickards from Oak Park
Les Golden, or "Cut the Taxes," is a salt of the earth Oak Parker. While others just appeal their own taxes Golden proposes ideas to help the entire town.
OP Resident from Oak Park, Illinois
Funny, atheist, because my first thought was that you were talking about Catholic Charities.
Deborah Elwood from OakPark
Congrats to Cut the Taxes. Always thinking ahead.
Barry Monclief from OP
If the governments had listened to Golden years ago when he first proposed these ideas maybe West Towns refrig wouldn't have left town to avoid paying their $50,000 property tax bill, leaving another large parcel of land empty.
Oh great, now my tax dollars are going to an organization that went to the Supreme Court to protect its right to discriminate against gays and atheists. Interestingly enough, the Boy Scouts did let my friend's son in. He is an atheist (and everybody knows it) but he lied and said he believed in God so then he was okay to let in.