Calling all interested Oak Parkers

Saturday, 9 August 2014 | Category : Uncategorized

YOU can make a difference in how our community is governed. The VMA is hosting an informal meet-up where you can learn about our candidate endorsement process.

Any Oak Parker is invited to join our process to be considered as a candidate or to interview potential candidates.

At this Dutch treat meet-up, you can chat with folks who have participated in all parts of the Selections process.

If you’re thinking about running for office or want to ask questions of those who are, come check it out.

Wednesday August 13th, 7:30-9:00 pm

Trattoria 225 located at 225 Harrison Street.

Annual Meeting on Nov.17

Sunday, 27 October 2013 | Category : Uncategorized

We will be holding our Annual Meeting on Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. in the Maze Branch Library Meeting Room (845 Gunderson Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60304). The meeting is open to anyone who would like to learn more about the VMA. We will elect new officers and discuss our plans to keep Oak Park moving forward.

If you are a current VMA member, we urge you to renew your annual membership at the Annual Meeting.

If you are not a current member, we invite you to attend the meeting and get to know us. You will have an opportunity to join the VMA at that time if you choose.

The VMA has been supporting good government in Oak Park since 1952, when our organization played a leading role in pushing out corrupt, patronage-filled, partisan political machines that were beholden to outside interests. The VMA convinced Oak Parkers to adopt a village manager form of government in which elected trustees focus on policy decisions and hire a professional, non-partisan manager to carry out policies and administer village operations.

Since then the VMA has continued as a local, independent, citizens’ group that seeks highly qualified candidates to endorse for election to village president, trustee, and clerk offices. The VMA is committed to broad principles of accountable and responsive government, ongoing and inclusive diversity, and balanced and sensitive economic growth. Yet, if VMA- endorsed candidates are elected, they make their own, independent policy decisions free of interference from the VMA.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. Feel free to bring friends or neighbors – YOU are the best way to get more citizens involved.   Beverages and light snacks will be provided.

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2013 Municipal Elections

Sunday, 14 April 2013 | Category : Uncategorized

Congratulations to Village Clerk Teresa Powell, Village Trustees Peter Barber, Glenn Brewer and Colette Lueck, and to Village Board President Elect, Anan Abu-Taleb. Mr. Abu-Tabel ran a vigorous campaign and we congratulate him on his victory. We wish our  newly elected clerk, trustees, and president well in their work as they, along with trustees Ray Johnson, Bob Tucker and Adam Salzman, chart the direction of our village government over the next four years.

Thank you to all of our members who gave of their time and expertise during the recruitment and selection process to endorse a slate, as well as those that got involved with the campaign. Your involvement  in the election raised the level and quality of the discussion.

We are grateful to outgoing Village Board President, David Pope, for his years of service as an elected official, as a volunteer on village commissions, and years of civic engagement. President Pope’s depth of knowledge of Oak Park’s unique history, government, community, and our place in the region and world will be missed. He married his deep understanding of Oak Park with an equally and obvious deep love for our community and people. For this and much more we are thankful.

Finally, we would like to thank outgoing Village Trustee John Hedges. John’s service to the people of Oak Park has been long an varied. In addition to being head of the Park District of Oak Park for decades, he has been involved in so many aspects of village life, including providing leadership to many non-profit organizations, business and civic organizations, both local school districts as well as all aspects of municipal government. For decades he has given his life to this community. While we will miss John’s wisdom and guidance at the Village board table, it is with a full heart that we offer our gratitude to John for all that he has done for our community.

2013 Slate

Tuesday, 23 October 2012 | Category : Press Releases

The Village Manager Association (VMA) Board of Directors is pleased to endorse the following slate of candidates for the April 2013 municipal elections in Oak Park:

Village President:

  • John Hedges
Village Trustee:
  • Peter Barber
  • Glenn Brewer
  • Colette Lueck

Village Clerk:

  • Teresa Powell

This slate was chosen by an all-volunteer Selections Committee representing a broad cross section of our Village’s population. More than fifty people participated in the Selections process, including more than twenty who had not been part of any previous Selections Committee. The VMA Board would like to thank each of them for their time and for the thoughtfulness and seriousness with which they vetted potential candidates and selected those they believe would best serve Oak Park.

The Selections Committee was enthusiastic in their selection of this slate, and the VMA Board, too, is enthusiastic in our endorsement of these five individuals. These diverse candidates bring to the slate a wealth of civic experience and demonstrated commitment to our community.

John Hedges was elected to a two year term as Village Trustee in 2007 and again for a four year term in 2009. His prior service to our community includes his long-term position as Director of the Park District of Oak Park, a short-term role as Interim Village Manager, and numerous board and volunteer roles with a variety of civic organizations. Hedges impressed the Selections Committee with his commitment to fiscal responsibility, economic development, community diversity, and the council-manager form of government. The Committee was convinced that Hedges’ past experience and leadership skills are well suited to the role of Village President as Oak Park hires a new Village Manager.

Peter Barber is known to Oak Parkers for his recent service on the District 97 School Board, as a member since 2005 and in his current role as President. When his term on the D97 Board expires in 2013, Barber looks forward to continuing his service to the community in the role of Village Trustee. The Selections Committee was impressed with Barber’s ongoing commitment to improving collaborative relationships among local governing bodies and his fresh ideas on economic development and fostering trust in local government. Barber works at Lipman Hearne Inc, an agency that does marketing communications for nonprofit clients, where he is a Senior
Vice President of Business & Account Development.

Glenn Brewer is completing his first term as a Village Trustee after being elected in 2009. His community service includes serving on the Board of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center and on Bellwood’s Zoning Board and Plan Commission. As Village Trustee, Brewer has emphasized fiscal responsibility and restraint. The Selections Committee was drawn to his vision of economic development in Oak Park, his willingness to be frank, and his focus on integrity in his service on the Board. Brewer is a Community Affairs Specialist at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), where he acts as a liaison between communities, banks, and examination staff of the FDIC.

Colette Lueck is a sitting Village Trustee. After being appointed to the Village Board when a Trustee resigned in 2008, Lueck was elected to a full four year term in 2009. She previously chaired the Oak Park Plan Commission and was active in Oak Park River Forest High School and League of Women Voters volunteer capacities. The Selections Committee was impressed by her breadth of knowledge on Village issues and her depth of understanding and consideration of them, including, but not limited to, economic development, intergovernmental cooperation, and the potential Eisenhower expansion. Lueck is employed by Voices for Illinois Children, where
she manages a statewide collaboration for agencies, advocates, policymakers, and parents who work to improve the state’s mental health system for children.

Teresa Powell was elected to the position of Village Clerk in 2009. Prior to that, she worked in the education and health insurance fields and was an active volunteer in our community. As Clerk, Powell has emphasized improved communication and transparency in her execution of the Clerk’s diverse duties. In a second term, the Selections Committee believes she will build upon those themes, continue work on using technology to improve citizens’ experiences with Village Hall, and foster broader civic engagement among Oak Parkers.

Now that they have received the VMA endorsement, the candidates will form their own, independent campaign structure. This new political party will operate as a separate legal entity from the VMA and will make its own decisions about all aspects of its campaign, including its policy positions and fundraising. The VMA Board of Directors wishes them all the best as they get their campaign underway and begin their dialogue with the citizens of Oak Park.

Selection Committee Dates

Sunday, 23 September 2012 | Category : Uncategorized

It’s time to get ready for another selections process for the spring election. This year we have three village trustees, the village clerk and the president of the board of trustees to select and elect. The selection committee will be meeting on the following dates (place to be announced):

  • Tuesday, October 2nd, 7pm
  • Thursday, October 11th, 7pm
  • Wednesday, October 17th, 7pm
  • Sunday, October 21st, 2pm (if necessary)

The selection committee is open to all members of the VMA. We encourage all members who are able to attend. If you are not a member of the VMA and would like to participate you may become a member at the first selection committee meeting (you’ll need to pay your $20 annual dues at that time). This is one of our most important functions and the more people involved in the process, the better the process and the better the outcome. Please join us!