Mt. Rushmore with Greg Stopka, Park District of Oak Park

Posted on July 27, 2017

It’s Mount Rushmore season for ELGL members. We’re asking for your top four list on a variety of topics.

Greg Stopka

Strategy and Innovation Manager – Park District of Oak Park

Connect: LinkedIn and Twitter

City Departments

I work for a park district so I’ll say what I think are the most important local government functions:

  1. Leveraging the expertise and resources of a community to solve big challenges
  2. Addressing equity issues
  3. Improving quality of life for citizens
  4. Building citizen relationships with government and amongst each other


  1. Dead Poet’s Society
  2. Family Man
  3. It’s a Wonderful Life
  4. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Office Pet Peeves

  1. “We have always done it that way”
  2. Filling out forms for the sake of filling out forms
  3. “Let’s put that plan on a shelf”
  4. “We can’t do that” (for whatever reason)”

Issues Facing Local Government

  1. Pending/potential property tax freezes
  2. Breaking Down Silos:  Bureaucratic silos amongst institutions make it difficult to build relationships for community buy-in to do big things
  3. Disruptive Technology:  how will automated cars impact tickets for example?
  4. Building Community and Civility:  we tend to surround ourselves by people and groups that look and think like us.  Hard to build a sense of community in this environment.

Oak Park Attractions

Amazing historical buildings

Oak Park Festival Theatre

Austin Gardens

Thursday Nights Out

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