Roos an opportunity to raise the bar
When I walk around our neighborhood I am very proud of the park that lies immediately to the north of my residence. It can be crowded sometimes, but it resembles the community it serves; bustling and friendly for the most part.
Today my pride is diminished by the abrupt halt in redevelopment that stains my view as I look eastward and see the real estate that I call the “Roos Debacle.” What a nightmare!
Everyone I talk to is confused, and I am too. What can we expect, and how do things proceed from here?
In the year 2003, or there about, the village council agreed to allow development of the Roos, which was quickly becoming a defunct warehouse. But a funny thing happened. There were concerns over the village leadership’s greedy desire to create a larger tax base. There was a prevailing and continued appetite to sideline public needs and interests. Everything was a rush to produce wealth for the few entrepreneurs.
I spoke out then, and I am speaking out now.
I recommend the owners accept a short sale of the property (the development contract is doomed) to the park district or the village of Forest Park. The space should, in essence, be returned to the community as an asset for all to enjoy. The space, if not owned by the park district, could be developed by an entity that complements it and helps the community to gain a sense of itself. The area may potentially contain a youth center or even a police station satellite. If the space is viewed with a community vision any number of positives can happen.
Possibly the most important part of the plan would include a parking facility to offset parking concerns during daily and special events held at the park. The location could be a great asset to the CTA in garnering more commuters to park and ride at the Circle bridge entrance. Perhaps CTA or Pace might be solicited for financial assistance considering the congestion at the Desplaines terminal.
Forest Park village leaders, park district officials, board members and taxpayers like me need to make a solution to this dilemma a priority. Doing so would exhibit our strength as a community. Forest Park is in a position to set the standards that other communities can look to.
Driving in circles
I was pleased overall by the story by John Rice about my electric Ford Ranger. But just beyond the story that was printed are some interesting facts, too.
True, electric vehicle plates are only for motor vehicles of the first division. Second division motor vehicles are defined as ” … those motor vehicles which are designed for pulling or carrying freight, cargo or implements of husbandry …”. Apparently, the secretary of state contends that even though the Ranger Electric Vehicle cannot pull a trailer, it was designed “primarily for the transportation of property” and just happened to conform to the California Air Resources Board zero emissions mandate by sheer coincidence.
I can’t get electric vehicle plates because I’m arbitrarily being accused of pulling freight or carrying implements of husbandry.
However, the Illinois vehicle code states that “in no event may the registration fee for electric vehicles exceed $18 per registration year.” On the phone and in writing, they stay the course. “That’s just for first division vehicles,” they say. “You have a truck.”
When does the registration fee for electric vehicles exceed $18 per registration year?
In no event may the registration fee for electric vehicles exceed $18 per registration year.
The vehicle services department is required to follow the code as it is written. They need to renew my truck plates or register my vehicle one way or another. I keep sending in my application for registration and all I have to show for it is a stack of ridiculous letters from the director of vehicle services.
Changing of the guard
I would like “Bud” Boy to know that my vote was not against him, but for Eric Entler. Bud has served a long time with great success; it’s time to step down and let the next generation lead.