Oak Park residents interested in diving deep into Village finances need look no further than www.oak-park.us/financial-reports where a wide range of documents is posted.
From annual budgets and audits to bond ratings and municipal compensation reports, virtually every document related to how taxes and fees collected by the Village are allocated is available at the click of a mouse — most covering multiple years of activity.
Details on the Village’s three Tax Increment Finance Districts are available on the web page as well, the data compiled by year for each TIF district since it was created. Residents interested in the Downtown Tax Increment Finance District, for example, can see the data all the way back to 1984.
Some of the information is necessarily detailed and complex. Complying with the state, federal and local laws that govern municipal finance require information be presented in very specific ways. But anyone needing help understanding any of the documents may call 708.358.5460 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
And if information is needed that is not readily available online, residents are invited to file a request for public documents under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, at www.oak-park.us/foia. A request for documents and records under the Illinois FOIA sets a process in motion that requires a timely response.
Citizen participation… Residents interested in learning more about how local laws and regulations are made can watch the creation of public policy online via video recordings of Village Board meetings dating back to January 2015 and review meeting agendas and minutes in an archive dating back to 2010 — all available via links at www.oak-park.us/boardtv. Those interested in digging even deeper into the citizen-driven process are invited to learn about the 19 volunteer boards, commissions and committees that create the public record and advise the Village Board on important matters of public policy. These citizen bodies, comprised of volunteers who live in the community, meet regularly. Review their missions, meeting agendas and meeting minutes, or even volunteer to serve, at www.oak-park.us/volunteer.