Richard Boykin

Newly elected 1st District Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin will be moving into an office on Madison Street, as soon as the county and landlord sign an agreement.

This is the first time a Cook County Commissioner has had offices in Proviso Township, or even outside of the Chicago city limits. Boykin’s predecessor, Earlean Collins, served from 1998 till last year and always had offices in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood.

The First District’s boundaries include neighborhoods in Chicago (Humboldt Park, West Garfield Park and Austin), as well as Oak Park, and several Proviso Township villages: Forest Park, Maywood, Broadview, Westchester, Bellwood and Hillside.

Boykin said he was excited to center his operations in Forest Park, which he pointed out was accessible from the city by CTA and closer to his west suburban constituents. He said he would also have an office in downtown Chicago at the County Building, which will be easy for city constituents to reach. 

No address was given for Boykin’s potential office space.

The Forest Park Village Council voted Monday to amend zoning on Madison Street to include governmental offices in the downtown business district under 2,500 square feet. According to the Zoning Board of Appeals recommendation, a government office where constituent services are provided is not too disruptive of the “pedestrian flow” that keeps the business district healthy and discourages pedestrians from returning to their cars. 

“A small government office can coexist in a healthy downtown environment,” Planning Consultant Jo Ellen Charlton wrote in the zoning board recommendation.

This article has been updated to correct the number of square feet recommended by the Zoning Board of Appeals. The correct number is 2,500 square feet.

Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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