Community, Local, Park Forest

Park Forest Brings Back Neighborhood Meeting Program

The Village of Park Forest is resuming its Neighborhood Meeting Program after a four-year hiatus brought on by the pandemic.  
The program, which began in 2004, brings the Village’s leadership team into different community areas. These gatherings occur at various times throughout the year to dialogue on topics specific to each neighborhood. 

Residents of Area E, Area J, Garden House, Juniper Towers, and Legacy Square attended Thursday night’s meeting. They met inside Freedom Hall’s Nathan Manilow Theater. The Village mailed close to 900 addresses invitations to the meeting. Nearly 40 turning out.

Neighborhood Meeting Program: A Step Above

Village Manager Tom Mick said that the Village hosts board meetings on three Mondays and one Saturday per month. The Neighborhood Meeting Program, however, takes civic engagement to another level.

“At the meetings, we have our entire leadership team, the mayor and board of trustees, and we go to the community, making ourselves even more accessible,” Mick said. “So the Neighborhood Meetings offer a really unique way for Village officials to meet residents where they are.”

Those who braved the cold to attend the meeting heard welcoming comments from Mick, followed by personal introductions from each elected official and department head seated on the theater’s stage. The audience then had the opportunity to inquire about any topic they chose. Questions ranged from reducing speeding in the community to what efforts are underway to attract new business. Village leaders provided answers to questions for just under two hours in total. 

Village Plans Additional Meetings

Mayor Joseph A. Woods closed Thursday night’s meeting by thanking residents for their input. He noted that feedback from neighborhood meetings has often helped implement changes that have successfully addressed areas of concern in the community. 

Mick said additional meetings are on the docket for different neighborhoods in the coming months. He said residents who live in the neighborhoods where the upcoming meetings will be will receive invitations through the mail.

This is news from the Village of Park Forest.