Check out this year’s Forest Park Community Guide!

Online edition –>

Township lobbyist job ‘a joke’

I just want to give my opinion on the creation of the (Proviso Township) lobbyist job and on the lobbyist being Thomas Walsh, who will make $2,500 per month even if he doesn’t bring any lobbying business back to the Township!

I live with my Aunt in this wonderful township, and I’ve been here for years. I remember when Mr. Walsh replaced Senator Topinka when she elevated to the Treasurer’s job, and I recall how the entire area just went downhill from lack of concentration on the constituents. I tried to get an appointment with Senator Walsh ” and others I know tried to see him as well ” and it was useless. His senatorial district went from great to bad, and soon he wasn’t senator anymore!

He doesn’t even live in Proviso Township! We have a lot of qualified people that live in the Township that would be willing to actually work for the $2,500.

Proviso Township has no business having anyone lobbying for the Township for $2,500 per month and not being accountable for his/her work! I know more than nine political people, and I would be happy to get $2,500 a month for not having to do anything. I’m sure all of you on the board know nine legislators, and you wouldn’t have to spend $2,500 a month for nothing! This is a joke! If Proviso Township has $15,000 per year to waste then waste it on the taxpayers, not a do-nothing lobbyist.

The newspaper said that a Mr. Tom Robbins would be the “liaison” between the Mayors and the Township for $1,000, but he is accountable for doing his work, and if he does not “do his job” in 6 months, there will be no job. Let’s see you do the same thing for Mr. Walsh. If he doesn’t bring any money into the Township in six months, he will have no job either. How about it?

If you have so much money in the Township to waste, please put a job ad in the newspaper for “Lobbyist Wanted.” The qualifications would have to be “know a few legislators,” “do no work,” and “get $2,500 per month.” How does that sound?

Caroline McCormack

Northlake

 

Roos still an eyesore

As many of the Forest Park Review readers are aware, there’s a website whose address is www.forestpark.com. On this website, a multitude of topics are discussed, one of which has been a major topic for a couple of years. Recently, it has been brought up again in the context of the readers being utterly frustrated with the village’s lack of attention. The Roos Building. Back in September of 2004 the village council passed, with a 3-2 vote, the necessary ordinances, variances, etc., for the owner to build a 4 building condominium project. During the one year that the owner was allowed to get the project rolling, the village administration did next to nothing about the owner allowing the property to fall into disrepair. The reason given was that it was in the construction phase and they were being given some slack.

In September of 2005 the variance/PUD (Planned Unit Development) expired as no construction had begun. The owner is now in the same position he was prior to the original approval. Business owners are required to maintain their buildings. That is not happening with the Roos building.

I for one would like clarification from village hall about what’s happening at the Roos. Is the owner being cited for the condition of the building? What the plan is for the future (i.e. is the village still considering purchasing for a multi-use facility or have any more talks been considered with the Park District)? Is another developer looking at the property? It’s the village’s job to know these things and be able to answer these questions.

It’s been three months since the expiration of the PUD, and 15 months since the owner stopped maintaining the building. It’s time for the village to step in and take control. There’s half of a billboard sitting on the property. It can’t be put up because of issues with a below ground water pump (or so goes the rumor).

Do whatever needs to get done to put up the billboard and let’s get moving on this. How many more months do us south-siders have to tolerate this eyesore? Something tells me if the location of this building were along Madison it would be a different story.

Marcy Wozniak

United Way response to Katrina was extraordinary

Although many months have passed, the lives devastated by Hurricane Katrina are still being rebuilt. The board of governors of the United Way of Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park would like to thank the many residents and local businesses who responded with concern, with generosity, and with innumerable kindnesses. For weeks, the community was abuzz with fund drives, car washes, bake sales, and benefits.

Responding to an overwhelmingly generous offer from Community Bank, our board members and community volunteers opened a drop-off facility at 809 S. Oak Park Ave. to receive clothing and other donations for hurricane victims. The response from the community was immediate and generous, with donations ranging from gently-used clothing to brand new luggage and warm coats for those who had never experienced our Midwestern winters.

Your United Way was privileged to be involved in the outpouring of resources from all parts of the community. We hold the perspective not only of the donations that were offered, but also saw first-hand how the social service agencies responded to the need at our collective doorsteps. We’d like to share that vantage point as well.

When we learned in early September that scores of evacuees were being relocated to the Madden Mental Health facility in Maywood, we partnered with West Suburban PADS to convene a roundtable of local nonprofit and government agencies that were most likely to be involved in meeting both the immediate and the long-term needs of the evacuees. That roundtable resulted in commitments to provide several kinds of resources that would be called upon over the next several weeks. More specifically:

West Suburban PADS and the Volunteer Center coordinated an effort to provide a round-the-clock, seven-days-a-week volunteer presence at the Madden facility where the evacuees were located. Hundreds of residents volunteered their time and their compassion to meet the needs of the evacuees. When community volunteers were not available, staff from these two agencies gave of their own evenings and weekends.

The YMCA provided memberships and a scholarship to the swim club TOPS so that evacuees who had found housing would find a different kind of community as well. Infant Welfare Clinic opened their doors to relocated families with children who had unmet medical and dental needs. Seguin Services provided a home and newfound friendships to a multi-generational family who lost everything to the hurricane and found much here in our villages.

Your United Way set up a special Hurricane Relief Fund that encouraged local residents to specifically designate contributions to provide services to hurricane survivors in our area. A total of more than $25,000 was raised and distributed to these five agencies we are proud to call partners in our mission of improving lives by mobilizing caring people to invest in the community where their resources are needed most.

Thank you to every individual who reached out, who gave of themselves, who took the time to act on their instincts of generosity and compassion.

Edward Solan

President, board of governors,
United Way of Oak Park,
River Forest and Forest Park