Yet another year has blown past us, leaving yet another time for reflection.
We’ve seen our fair share of hardships throughout 2010. The flooding disaster, for example, hit homes not only once – but twice in one month. Those who suffered with loads of property damage also faced unforeseen financial woes during a time in which money was already tight. For others, the high tides that filled our basements was heartbreaking in that precious photos, cherished baby clothes and other mementos of the past were ruined and had to be discarded.
We have also had some high points throughout the year, too. The community came together and generously donated hundreds of food baskets to needy and deserving families near Thanksgiving and Christmas time. And Forest Park as a whole celebrated our small town pride at our favorite annual events, such as the Holiday Walk and St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
In moving forward to 2011, though, we have to take a few lessons from some of the issues that Forest Park faced in 2010. In looking at the Review’s list of top stories reported throughout the year, we notice there is a significant amount of unfinished business. Good ideas that we’d like to see progress. Problems that we’d like to see addressed.
Negotiations for the Park District to buy the Roos property have dragged on longer than anticipated, which makes residents especially anxious because, well, we’ve already invested our tax dollars into the project. And as we get further into the harsh winter weather, there is an even more immediate need to make sure that building is safe and sound.
Though it seems like the village has a deal in place to acquire 512 Desplaines Ave., we have no idea what is to become of that building – and neither does the mayor or anyone else on the village board. While negotiations seem to move slowly around here, it is time to see some sort of plan.
The Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports system has been launched community-wide, but many of the various groups are still trying to work out the kinks to figure out how, exactly, the program can be used in their respective outlets. The only way this innovative program can work is with constant repetition, dedication and reinforcement. We don’t want to see it fall to the wayside, which could easily happen when broadened to such a large scale.
And finally, with the Crime Free Multi-Housing program, we see a lot of potential to create some real change in combating the gang and drug problem, but unwilling landlords will prove to be a tough challenge in making it work.
In 2010, the groundwork has been completed for a variety of agreements and programs. In 2011, we want to see these ideas grow to fruition. It’s time now to really make it happen.