VMA not a party, hiring a manager, long meetings and more . . . .

1. VMA not a party.


Posted: April 10th, 2013 10:17 AM

. . . . The VMA is a caucus not a party. The Trustees do not regularly consult with the “VMA leadership” The truth is that [trustees who resigned a few years back] didn’t realize how much work was involved for the wages that were peanuts. Its a thankless job. They didn’t know it was to be so much work.

—> At the first forum, Abu-Taleb got quick spontaneous laugh in his quick response as to why he was running for president having never been a trustee: “For the money.” See below about long meetings. ————-v

2. Village president not a mayor:

To Everyone

Posted: April 10th, 2013 1:56 PM

Please do not confuse yourselves with the idea that Anan can do everything on his own, for good or bad. Remember, the village president is not a mayor. have a problem with your street or sewer, call the village manager or the village engineer. If you really want to change the way things get done, then you have to vote in a whole new board. For that to be done we need more candidates to run. If we had a real board, we would not have hired the current village manager, just as an example.

—-> Current manager good or bad (dunno), hiring the manager gets to the heart of what a president and other trustees can do. Question is, what experience and mentality and priorities-focus does a board bring to hiring a manager or monitoring his or her performance? Monitoring how he or she runs the ship of village, picking heads of departments, whom he or she monitors, etc. Boards don’t run things directly, but set tone and influence how things are run.

3. Turning point of just concluded campaign:

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois Facebook Verified

Posted: April 10th, 2013 4:17 PM

. . . . I thought the turning point . . . was the position expressed by the former Village attorney that a liquor license issue would disqualify Mr. Abu-Taleb from holding office. That matter is going to be easily resolved but Heise’s letter and some of the other ill advised attempts to discredit the candidate bordered on being meanspirited and over the top. Thankfully, both candidates were able to stay above the fray and focus on issues that matttered to voters. . . . .

—-> Yes. It was a shocker.

4. The long-meetings issue (& their frequency, brought up by Anan in the campaign):

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois Facebook Verified

Posted: April 10th, 2013 4:57 PM

. . . . President David Pope’s performance in office during the time that Brock and Baker served as board members was very discouraging as it seemed that he deliberately allowed every board meeting to needlessly drag on into the early hours of the morning. . . . .  Interesting to note, he completely stopped those shenanigans once he regained control of the board. I’m hopeful that those tactics will not resurface.

—-> Meetings are under control of the president more than any other trustee. Chairing meetings will bring into play Anan’s skill set probably more than any other matter.

5. Looking for villainess? Cherchez la Trapani.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois Facebook Verified

Posted: April 10th, 2013 11:15 PM

Re your post about David Pope early days as president and the impact on the non-VMA board members. I think it is hard to put all the blame on David. The real harassment of all trustees began with President Trapani. She brought a tremendous amount of angst into the board room with her Gen.Patton style leadership. Her 2nd term opened the door for a big loss of power by the VMA at a critical time in the village. 

It was 2005 – the first year of Pope as Pres, when it was revealed that the village was having financial problem. Pope did not have majority trustee support – Milstein, Marsey, Brady, Brock, and Baker, were all asking tough question on the DTOP TIF expansion and extension. Pope was the driver of the DTOP Tif, but had consistent board support from Ray Johnson only. At that time, the VMA actively and publicly took policy positions, some nasty, in support of the DTOP Tif.

By 2007, with VMA board clout waning, the VMA went all in by raising $70,000 to restore a loyal majority elected majority. They won. Since then, the VMA expanded their power to a super-majority in 2009 and held it until this election. While Pope added a lot of flame to the days of non-VMA challenges, it was Trapani who set the fire.

6. Voter turnout analyzed:

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois Facebook Verified

Posted: April 11th, 2013 1:03 AM

. . . . turnout [in village govt. voting] increased from 17% in 2011 to 23%. . . .  significant increase, but not one to brag about. . . . Factors that added to the increase: 1) increased coverage by the press particularly the Wednesday Journal. Their coverage was keynoted by Dan Haley’s spirited conversation with the candidates at the library, 2) Anan’s creation of a new voter base and his small, but energetic and smart campaign team. To attain such strong positive name recognition as quickly as he did was phenomenal, particularly against a candidate as strong as John Hedges. . . .  4) I think the turnout would have been higher if the VMA trustee and village clerk position had been challenged. Nearly 2,000 voters voted for Hedges or Anan, but did not cast a vote for any trustees.  . . . .

7. Faux inclusiveness:

Revolutiôn MacInnes from Oak Park, Illinois Facebook Verified

Posted: April 11th, 2013 9:48 AM

. . . .  Oak Park needs to stop its faux inclusiveness and create a truly open and integrated community. . . . .

—–> I’m gonna remember that one.

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  • Jim Bowman  On April 12, 2013 at 5:43 AM

    Reblogged this on Blithe Spirit.

  • Ray Johnson  On April 13, 2013 at 5:20 AM

    Mr. Murtagh is incorrect with regard to his statement that David and I were the ‘drivers’ of a TIF Extension and Expansion. The TIF Extension was completed in 2002 and passed by a vote of 20 to 1 among 3 taxing bodies (D200, D97 and the VOP). David and I were not elected until April 2003. As for the TIF “expansion”, we voted to carve out properties and return the value and related taxes to taxing bodies. The only expansion I recall was related to the updated Downtown Master Plan, where Scoville Park and the 19th Century Club were added, in the event funds were available and needed for upgrades to those two important ‘spaces’. The minutes of Dec. 2, 2002 reflect the TIF vote for the VOP Board.

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