Since announcing that I will be running for Park District Commissioner of Forest Park I have met with many Forest Park residents, listened to concerns and ideas, and in return shared some of my own. I don’t have some grand plan to revolutionize the Park District of Forest Park. In fact the park district does a lot of things well. When people hear that I feel this way, their next question is always, “Then why are you running to be a park district commissioner?”
I am running because, as a community, we can do better. We have a great foundation that I intend to build on. By working with the fellow commissioners, I will be able to provide a different perspective they may have overlooked and will have different ideas on how we can solve problems.
The Roos development is one area I believe my perspective and ideas will greatly benefit the residents of Forest Park. I want the community to have more access to information and what is going on. You should not have to attend meetings or call the park district for information about this project. It should be readily available on the website and social media.
It’s disingenuous to hold a public meeting for input on this development only to have architects present their initial plan right after the residents leave. As public servants, we need to give the residents the respect they deserve. Groundbreaking is now set for April 1, three days before election, and the village has not even approved a final plan. This is not how I would do business and is not something I would expect the residents of Forest Park to accept.
I am running for park commissioner to bring new ideas, programs and events to the community. I am excited the fireworks are coming back this year because tradition is important to Forest Park. We should never quickly dismiss tradition without doing everything we can to solve the problem and come up with an amicable solution.
A common want among residents is a farmers market. I think this is a great idea and would love to see the park district take it a step further and develop something similar to the Randolph Street Market in Chicago. Combining a farmers market with a flea market would help generate consistent turnout. We can give the local talented artists a place to sell their goods, and even allow local businesses the opportunity to participate as well. I don’t think anyone would turn down some ice cream or a beer while they shop.
The success of Proviso Together will mean more kids and teenagers will be staying in town. We need to make sure we have programs geared toward this demographic. Whether it be as simple as basketball or complex as the proposed ninja warrior course, we will need to be prepared. Forest Park is ready for better schools and Proviso Together is making that dream a reality.
Voting for Andrew Johnson is not a vote for a brand new park district that you wouldn’t recognize. It’s a vote for more transparency, increased communication, new ideas, and a fresh perspective.
I am running to make a difference for my family, my friends, and the people of Forest Park. I will work with my fellow commissioners to make sure we provide the best park district possible, which the residents of Forest Park deserv