Why keep publishing Milstein's letters?

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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I'm writing about Robert Milstein's most recent letter [The Grand Poobah's transparent plans, Viewpoints, Dec. 7]. I believe this is the second letter that Wednesday Journal has chosen to publish from Mr. Milstein that is nothing but a rant against the current Oak Park Board of Trustees and Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb. 

In this most recent letter, Mr. Milstein does not even deign to refer to the Mayor by name; instead he calls him "The Grand Poobah" throughout his letter. I could take issue with Mr. Milstein for using Trump-like tactics of name-calling, disrespect, and allegations without providing facts. I could also remark that as a longtime resident of Oak Park, I recall that Mr. Milstein's tenure on the board of trustees was characterized by animosity and a total lack of accomplishments. 

But my real issue is with Wednesday Journal for giving Mr. Milstein space in its print publication. Mr. Milstein has already made known in the Journal what he thinks of the Mayor; his rants are no longer news, if they ever were. 

With space at such a premium, why devote any of it to letters such as Mr. Milstein's? 

Roberta Arnold

Oak Park

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Christine Vernon  

Posted: March 21st, 2019 12:03 AM

It's three years after this letter to the editor was published and I just saw it today for the first time. Ms. Arnold's question about why devote any space to Mr. Milstein's letters? Yes, exactly the same reason the Journal devoted space at a premium to her critical letter ...free speech! And Milstein has valid concerns and criticisms about the current board that are shared by many of Oak Parkers. The other thing I wonder reading her letter is if she was even here during Robert Milstein's time on the Village Board. He was a great trustee, intelligent, a good listener, respectful to citizens, and fair-minded. He was often in the unenviable position of being and voting independently, unlike the recurring herd mentality that sometimes takes over the Board's decisions. and we end up with fiasco development projects. He was one of the best trustees we had in the years he served.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: December 29th, 2016 12:12 AM

Roberta Arnold points her finger at Robert Milstein for"a total lack of accomplishments" during his tenure on the board of trustees. I recall that Village President Pope failed to provide real leadership and sabotaged numerous attempts to increase transparency and accountability of the operations at Village Hall. To some extent, we are still experiencing the same problems with Abu-Taleb and his rubber stamp board of trustees, Perhaps, Ms.Arnold would be willing to share examples of reform that have been enacted during this current Village President's time in office. There remain serious questions about the collection and spending practices of millions of tax dollars that have never been addressed or answered. TIF books continue to be closed for any public inspection or forensic accounting examination. Contracts for goods and services are still awarded without an open and competitive bidding process. Huge increases in fines, fees and taxes are unfairly burdening residents and property owners. Only wealthy developers seem to benefiting from the policies and practices championed by Abu-Taleb, who proclaims at the end of every Board meeting that "Oak Park is open for business". Too bad, he's got nothing to say to the people who live and work in Oak Park.

Robert Milstein from Osk park  

Posted: December 27th, 2016 11:03 PM

Letter submitted to editor simply to annoy Ms Arnold I appreciate Roberta Arnold's freedom of speech, but it is clear she does not respect mine. In addition, nice try comparing me to Donald Trump (I voted for Clinton). That is the new thing ...right? I do not like what you said; therefore, you are just like Donald Trump. Take out your anger on the Donald not me. Ms. Arnold asks why the Journal prints my letters. Perhaps my positions represent a portion of the electorates disgust at a lack of transparency by Mr. Abu Taleb. Perhaps my positions represent a portion of our electorates dislike of autocratic leadership by Mr. Abu Taleb. Perhaps the editor realizes he has written similar comments about Mr. Abu Taleb. Did you see those articles Ms. Arnold? My comments on our autocratic President have been reasonable. Yes, I refer to him lovingly as our Grand Poobah as he piles tall building after tall building into our Village. Believe me there are much worse words. Your fact filled letter with specifics of my performance in government was well thought out. Your recall of the facts left me spellbound. What you are writing is more like Trump...if I do not like what someone writes in the paper...then I will question their right to do so. I will gladly give you my copy of the Constitution. The paper prints many things I do not like...like your letter...but I would never deny you the right to freedom of expression. Happy New Year Ms Arnold Robert Milstein Oak Park

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