I have been a resident of Forest Park for almost four years. When I first moved, I loved this town. I came from the city, and Forest Park was a breath of fresh air. It was quiet, the streets were clean, and the people were polite and considerate. I thought I could live here for the rest of my life.
Now, it would appear that my future in this town is bleak, for the reasons I moved out here are going away. On my street, on Des Plaines Avenue, one finds litter on the ground on a daily basis, and people with dogs opt not to bring a pooper-scooper with them. In my building complex, people blast their music at midnight when they are coming home. Women who invite their girlfriends over cannot speak with a reasonable tone; they must yell their statements and scream their laughter so that my music or television shows, and especially my silence, are overpowered. Recently, a homeless person has helped himself to our dumpsters, leaving a huge mess and inviting the influx of rodents. Residents fail to tell their visitors that complex parking is only for residents, causing two people to park in my wife’s parking lot twice—even though we pay for the spot and there are signs that warn them that it is permit parking only and all unauthorized cars will be towed. What is worse, on any given day, one can smell the stench of marijuana throughout the building by one or two people who cannot seem to obey rules. Mind you, I am not living in a housing project; it is a nice set of buildings with beautiful apartments, but some people cannot appreciate it enough to show pride in it or even respect for themselves.
Therefore, it would appear that, while I moved out of the city, the city followed me. The slogan for Forest Park is “Big City Access, Small Town Charm.” What small town has these problems? What small town leaves trash on the streets? What small town does not crack down on its residents that deserve the slums from whence they came and are set to destroy what was once a beautiful town, where its oldest residents could remember the days when they did not lock their doors at night? What can I do to make this town what it was before? What can the mayor do? The Council? Something needs to be done, and soon, before Forest Park really begins to look like the Southside of Chicago or the towns on our western border.