It is so rare that the jaw actually drops. A taxing body, our local elementary schools, voted last week to lower the tax rate for this fall and effectively return money to Forest Park property taxpayers. And this is not a token amount. This is $540,000 that the district is “entitled” to that it plans to leave on the table.

It speaks to a profound respect for the people who foot the bill for these fine schools and we know that Forest Parkers appreciate it. Remember that this is a school district with high ambitions for student achievement, for investment in technology, for servicing its debts.

Solid management, good planning and the right priorities are responsible for this considerable accomplishment.

Great St. Pat’s

In a town rightly known for throwing great community events – 4th of July, school picnic, Groovin’ in the Grove, Holiday Walk, Summer Fest, it is a long list – last Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade was a doozy.

Of course, for those of us regular marchers who have suffered through sleet and downpours and, well, weather typical of Chicago in early March, it was a rare pleasure to be warmly shone on as we paraded.

The fantastic weather turned out a cast of thousands eager equally for the free candy and the green beer. One of the wonders of a great event is the cross section of folks it attracts. Little kids, families, seniors with their folding chairs, pups and young folks looking to make a day of it.

Despite the first day of summer feel and the generous libations, Forest Park police reported an energetic but peaceful assemblage. Stores and bars were busy. The village handled the logistics well. The Chamber sponsors made it all work.

Now we just have to make it safely through the real St. Pat’s Day.