Village President Anan Abu-Taleb has praised the appointment of his former rival John Hedges as interim executive director of the newly-reconstituted Oak Park Economic Development Corporation.
Hedges’ decision to lead the EDC during its “reinvigoration” phase is “very important to the village and to me personally,” Abu-Taleb said in a statement released by the EDC Monday.
Abu-Taleb, who won election over Hedges by a margin of 17 percentage points in 2013, campaigned on a platform promoting the importance of economic development.
“John and I learned much about each other during the campaign,” he said. “I have great confidence that he is the right person to lead the EDC at this time. He knows how much economic development means to our village.”
Neither Abu-Taleb nor Hedges could be reached for additional comment. Marty Noll, chairman of the newly-elected board of directors of the EDC, also could not be reached for comment.
Hedges was the unanimous selection of the EDC’s executive committee, the release said. He will assume the position on Feb. 24, but only serve until the agency appoints a permanent executive director in a few months, it said.
Hedges was one of nearly 12 candidates reviewed by the board and the executive committee, the release said.
“He clearly emerged as the leading candidate because of his long association with organizations in the community and his understanding of village government,” it said. Hedges served as an Oak Park trustee for six years, when he was a member of the Village Board’s Economic Development and Finance committees. He also served as acting village manager.
“We are most fortunate to have been able to name John as our interim executive director,” Noll said in the release. “John brings decades of management experience and an understanding of the village and its role in economic development.”