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Village of Oak Park President and Board of Trustees met May 6

By Angelica Saylo Pilo | Jul 12, 2019


Village of Oak Park President and Board of Trustees met May 6.

Here is the minutes provided by the board:

I. Call to Order

Village President Abu-Taleb called the Meeting to order at 7:08 P.M.

II. Roll Call

Present: Village Trustees Andrews, Boutet, Button, Moroney, Taglia and Tucker; Village President Abu-Taleb 

Absent: None

III. Agenda ApprovalIt was moved by Village Trustee Button, seconded by Village Trustee Andrews to approve the Agenda. A vote was taken and the motion was approved.

V. Public Comment

Jim Walter. Mr. Walter discussed adding more green electricity in the Village.

Kitty Conklin. Ms. Conklin thanked staff from Public Works for allowing residents to relocate plants removed from Madison Street.

VI. Resolution Certifying Election Results

A. RES 19-136 A Resolution Proclaiming the Results of the Consolidated Election Held on April 2, 2019

Village Clerk Scaman discussed the results of the Consolidated Election.

It was moved by Village Trustee Tucker, seconded by Village Trustee Button that this Resolution be adopted. The motion was approved. The roll call on the vote was as follows:

AYES: Village Trustees Tucker, Button, Andrews, Boutet, Moroney and Taglia; Village President Abu-Taleb 

NAYS: None

IV. Village President's Welcome

Village President Abu-Taleb stated that tonight's ceremonial event is done every two years to celebrate the outgoing Board members as well as welcoming the new.

VII. Oath of Office: VILLAGE TRUSTEE

1. Remarks from Mid-Term Trustees & Village President

a. Remarks from Village Trustee Andrews Village Trustee Andrews welcomed back Village Trustee Taglia and thanked outgoing Trustees Button and Tucker for their service to the community. He thanked Village Trustee Button for being compassionate and steadfast in her values and commented that Village Trustee Tucker has been a consensus builder and a solutions based leader. Both have led with class and professionalism.

b. Remarks from Village Trustee Boutet Village Trustee Boutet commended Trustees Button and Tucker for balancing careers, family life and Board service. She thanked them for their commitment to progressive values and especially their leadership regarding the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance. She welcomed back Village Trustee Taglia and looks forward to working with Susan Buchanan and Arti Walker-Peddakotla.

c. Remarks from Village Trustee Moroney Village Trustee Moroney enjoyed working with Village Trustee Button and appreciated having her on the Board. He described Village Trustee Tucker as a model public servant, as well as having the ability to get along with anyone. Regarding the newly elected trustees, Village Trustee Moroney stated that he respects the campaigns they ran on and looks forward to working with them.

d. Remarks from Village Trustee Taglia Village Trustee Taglia thanked Trustees Button and Tucker for their years of service; he has learned much from them. He is thankful for their friendship both inside and outside of Village Hall. He appreciates Village Trustee Tucker's keen insights, calm demeanor and dedication and Village Trustee Button's knowledge and logical, straightforward approach.

Adam Salzman, former Village Trustee. Mr. Salzman thanked Village Trustees Button and Tucker and felt fortunate to have been their colleague. He stated that Village Trustee Button's leadership, driven by compassion, values, strength and reason, is just what Oak Park needed. He cherished the opportunity to work with Village Trustee Tucker, who never lost sight of the reason he was there. He is hoping the new trustees will follow their examples.

d. Remarks from Village President Abu-Taleb Village President Abu-Taleb stated that appointing Village Trustee Button to the Board was one of the best decisions he has made. She brought new voice to the table and served the Village with honor and grace. He described her as smart, persistent and forward thinking, wanting to make a difference as a trustee and thanked her for the sacrifices she has made as a parent to serve on the Board. Village President Abu-Taleb is happy to see the Madison Street project moving forward. This is due to timing, trust and alignment among the Board. Village Trustee Tucker has helped establish that alignment. He is a great listener and strategic thinker and a true public servant who recognizes the need to compromise and to move forward.

2. Remarks from Outgoing Trustees

a. Remarks from Village Trustee Andrea Button Village Trustee Button thanked her colleagues for their comments, as well as staff members, former and current Board members and clerks and her family. She fondly addressed each of her colleagues and spoke thankfully to her family. Village Trustee Button gave a synopsis of Board accomplishments during her tenure, including ongoing economic development, fair housing issues, passing a Living Wage Ordinance and Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, and development of Madison Street. She spoke about the challenges women in government face and wished the new trustees well.

b. Remarks from Trustee Robert “Bob” Tucker Village Trustee Tucker discussed issues that he learned about while on the Board and spoke about his love of public service. He has faith in the remaining Board members, as well as the incoming trustees. He is proud of the work that the Board has done during his tenure. Village Trustee Tucker thanked the residents of Oak Park, his past and present colleagues and staff. He spoke about his friendship with former Village Trustee Adam Salzman and Village Trustee Button and thanked his family for their patience and sacrifice. He gave thoughtful advice to the new trustees.

3. Oath of Office for the Newly Elected

a. Village Trustee Arti Walker-Peddakotla Village Clerk Scaman administered the Oath of Office to Arti Walker-Peddakotla.

b. Village Trustee James “Jim” Taglia Village Clerk Scaman administered the Oath of Office to James "Jim" Taglia.

c. Village Trustee Susan Buchanan Village Clerk Scaman administered the Oath of Office to Susan Buchanan.

VIII. Resolutions of Appreciation & Service Awards

1. Resolution in Appreciation of Andrea Button Village Trustee Andrews read the Resolution aloud.

2. Resolution in Appreciation of Robert (Bob) Tucker Village Trustee Moroney read the Resolution aloud.

Andrea Button and Bob Tucker were each presented with a copy of their Resolution.

IX. Diversity Statement

D. RES 19-144 A Resolution Adopting the Diversity Statement

Village Manager Pavlicek commented that the Diversity Statement has been adopted by each new Board since 1973, with modifications that have occurred over time.

Linda Francis. Ms. Francis urged the Board to support the revised Diversity Statement provided by the Community Relations Commission.

Tom Zapler, Chair of Community Relations Commission. Mr. Zapler expressed disappointment and frustration due to the lack of progress regarding the commission's recommendations.

Libbey Paul. Ms. Paul described not adopting the new Diversity Statement as a missed opportunity. The Village is no longer a leading voice in diversity, as it once was.

Teresa Powell. Ms. Powell dicussed Oak Park's history of diversity.

Terry Keleher. Mr. Keleher stated that a statement on diversity is not enough anymore and must include racial equity and inclusion.

David Pope. Mr. Pope thanked the Board for putting forward the Diversity Statement that has been in place since 1973. A significant rewrite of that document requires engaging more people in helping to define what that means to the community.

Doris Davenport. Ms. Davenport spoke in favor of equity and inclusion in the Village.

Village Trustee Boutet commented that the version submitted by the Community Relations Commission is acceptable and she was willing to adopt it tonight. She asked that the Board come to consensus for the Community Relations Commission and interested residents to go through the public process regarding the document and have it brought back to the Board for their next meeting. Village Trustee Andrews agreed.

Village Trustee Walker-Peddakotla asked if this was the process the last time it was rewritten. She noted that the Community Relations Commission has been trying for a year and a half to get this done. She agreed that this should get on an agenda as soon as possible.

Village President Abu-Taleb sympathized with those who have felt profiled. However, this needs to be done the right way. He noted that commissions make recommendations only, and it is up to the Board whether to put something on an agenda or approve an item. In addition, the fact that something is not written in a document doesn't mean that the Village does not believe in it and subscribe to it. This item will be addressed but not before going through the proper steps.

It was moved by Village Trustee Andrews, seconded by Village Trustee Moroney that this Resolution be adopted. The motion was approved. The roll call on the vote was as follows:

AYES: Village Trustees Andrews, Moroney, Boutet and Taglia; Vllage President Abu-Taleb 

NAYS: Village Trustees Buchanan and Walker-Peddakotla

X. Regular Agenda for Items Pursuant to Village Code Chapter 3 Alcoholic Liquor Dealers or Related (President Pro-Tem Andrews )

Village President Abu-Taleb recused himself from the Meeting and the following Item was presided over by Village President Pro Tem Andrews.

E. RES 19-145 A Resolution Appointing the Liquor Control Commissioner

Village Trustee Taglia nominated, and Village Trustee Moroney seconded, appointing Village Trustee Boutet as Local Liquor Control Commissoner. The roll call on the vote was as follows:

AYES: Village Trustees Taglia, Moroney, Andrews, Boutet, Buchanan and Walker-Peddakotla NAYS: None 

ABSTAIN: Village President Abu-Taleb

Village Trustee Boutet appointed Village Clerk Scaman Deputy Local Liquor Control Commissioner.

XI. Remarks from the Newly Elected and Re-Elected

Village President Abu-Taleb rejoined the Meeting.

1. Remarks from Village Trustee Arti Walker-Peddakotla Village Trustee Walker-Peddakotla compared transparency in government to breathing and discussed her experiences during her campaign. She noted that she is only the third woman of color to sit at that Board table. Village Trustee Walker-Peddakotla spoke about how it feels to be oppressed and that the fight for racial equity cannot be denied any longer. She expressed frustration regarding the delays surrounding adoption of the Diversity Statement as recommended by the Community Relations Commission. She believes that the current governmental atmosphere requires radical acts in order to promote transparency and equity.

2. Remarks from Trustee James “Jim” Taglia Village Trustee Taglia thanked all who voted for him as well as his family. He appreciated all who helped during his campaign and enjoyed meeting all the other candidates. He congratulated his new colleagues and stated he will work hard alongside them as a partner. He is optimistic about the future of Oak Park and will keep an open mind in order to make good decisions.

3. Remarks from Trustee Susan Buchanan Village Trustee Buchanan was inspired to run for trustee by the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election. She is thrilled to have been sworn in tonight and learned much about Oak Park over the past year. She and her husband live in the Village because of its progressive values and diverse population. Maintaining that is an intentional effort. Village Trustee Buchanan thanked those who helped during her campaign, and her family. She pledged to her fellow elected officials and staff that she will listen and consider multiple sides of an issue before making decisions and maintain respectful interactions.

XII. Closing Remarks from Village President Anan Abu-Taleb

Village President Abu-Taleb stated that "we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us". There is a lot of work to be done by the new Board. He congratulated and welcomed Trustees Buchanan and Walker-Peddakotla and stated that they all share a deep commitment and love for the Village. More can be achieved by building trust amongst each other and within the community and by working together.

XIII. Adjourn

It was moved by Village Trustee Boutet, seconded by Village Trustee Moroney to adjourn. A voice vote was taken and the motion was approved. Meeting adjourned at 9:27 P.M., Monday, May 6, 2019.

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