Current Trustee Cory Wesley Takes Appointed Seat on Oak Park Village Board of Trustees After Losing His Election Bid 3 Years Ago – Chicago Tribune

The Village of Oak Park’s newest administrator brings to his new job a background in economic development and technology and, he says, a strong desire to give back to the community.

Cory Wesley, who narrowly missed being elected to the Oak Park Village board of trustees in 2019, served there on October 10 after his appointment was approved by the board to fill the former’s remaining term. administrator Arti Walker-Peddakotla. She resigned from the board in August, citing ongoing health issues.

A resident of Oak Park for 11 years, Wesley, 44, has spent the past three years serving as president of the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation. He resigned from this position just before being sworn in as a trustee.

“I am extremely grateful for all the things I have, my family and others have given me throughout my life, and I am acutely aware that I am where I am because I stand on their shoulders,” Wesley told Pioneer Press. “And so, I feel a responsibility to take those experiences and give back to the community. And ultimately (wanting to be an admin) was just to make a difference.

Village President Vicki Scaman nominated Wesley to fill the vacant seat and his nomination runs until the 2023 election – since Walker-Peddakotla would then have been eligible for re-election. Wesley is expected to run and be elected to retain the seat of village administrator.

He said he plans to run for a full term next spring. In the short term, he said the big problem facing the village was to balance the budget for the next financial year.

“That’s probably what’s going to dominate the time I have left in the term, and then hopefully I’ll be [elected], and then we’ll get to work on other things,” he said. “But my main theme has always been one of transparency, inclusion and everyone feeling supported and feeling like they’re an equal player in any space in the village. And I n I just don’t feel like – I know for a fact – that some people (in town) don’t currently feel that. So what I’d like to do is fix that a bit.

Administrator Cory Wesley is pictured during the Oak Park Village Board meeting on October 17, 2022 in Oak Park.

Wesley grew up in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago’s West Side and graduated from Providence St. Mel High School in the city. He went on to study at Bradley University and DeVry University before starting a career in information technology. Today, Wesley runs his own software consulting company, Tekvoyant, and he performs IT process automation and business process automation, according to village information about the new admin.

In addition to his recently concluded job as president of the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation, Wesley serves as co-chair of the Southeast Oak Park Community Organization and was until recently commissioner of the village’s Civic Information Systems Commission. He is also a board member of Oak Leyden Development Services and the Oak Park Pro Bono Network, and has been a volunteer mentor with the Oak Park and River Forest High School Business Incubator, the United States Bio provided by the village.

Wesley was one of at least 12 who submitted their names to replace Walker-Peddakotla. President Vicki Scaman chose him, and the board voted 6-0 on October 10 to accept his recommendation.

“Cory has demonstrated his loyal commitment to the Board through his work on the Civic Information Systems Commission and as President of the Economic Development Corporation in a manner consistent with my goals as village president,” Scaman said at the Oct. 10 board meeting. “I look forward to the additional perspective he will bring to board discussions based on his life experiences and personal and professional talents.”

Administrator Jim Taglia told his colleagues that “if there is one regret, it is that he will be missed” as president of the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation.

“He did a great job,” Taglia said on October 10. “But I’m also sure he will do a great job for the village as a whole as an administrator.”

Administrator Chibuike Enyia welcomed the appointment, noting that he was happy to support the appointment of someone “who brings such great qualities to this board…someone who brings a sense of pride to the community.

“I know in my discussions with other community members they’re like, ‘Man, he represents what we want in Oak Park,'” Enyia said.

After being sworn in, Wesley addressed his colleagues and the public as they praised him and said he was “fully aware that this is the last time in this process that this will be from me (and now)… it all becomes about you, the people of Oak Park, and the work of moving our village forward.

“I stand in this room as a black kid on the West Side of Chicago who can now make a difference in the lives of other black kids who might not have thought it was possible for them, but who will now think otherwise,” Wesley said. the audience. “So if you wanted to know who I am, what I am, what I believe, know that I believe in dreaming the impossible and working hard to create it.

“I want to be fearless in believing in my values ​​but have the courage to listen to those who disagree. I want to stand on the shoulders of giants and make their legacy and hard work proud, from my family who sits here in the audience to the heroes of Oak Park who created a village that encouraged my family to live here.

“As I take my place at this table, I approach this role with the empathy and integrity that have guided me throughout my life, with a perspective born from both the block and the boardroom. with the will to serve that has defined my community involvement, and the dedication to doing the work that local government is built upon.

In addition to Wesley’s new seat on the board, the Oct. 10 special and regular Monday evening meeting marked a return to in-person board meeting since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Goldsborough is a freelance journalist.

Comments are closed.