Residents Express Concerns At Neighborhood Meeting


Residents gathered at Trinity Lutheran Church last Thursday for a neighborhood meeting with Village officials. (Photo: Megan Lastarria)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— A very spirited Neighborhood meeting on July 19th gave residents of Park Forest an opportunity to ask town officials and police officers questions about various concerns.

Many residents were troubled by the late night activity by the youths taking place in the neigborhood. The amount of noise, littering, and possible illegal activities were the main issues brought up. While state law says that curfew for those under 17 is 11:00 Sunday through Thursday and midnight Friday and Saturday, if one is on his or her own property that does not apply.

When asked if the police will start taking names of those loitering as a deterrent, the Chief of Police, Thomas Fleming,  agreed.

Georgina Sidwell,  the board president of the Arboretum Condominiums in the Park Forest area, offered leaving on the residential lights as often as possible and to not be afraid of reporting suspicious behavior.

“The best deterrent to crime is watchful eyes," said Sidwell.

Many residents claim that there is not enough offered to keep the children of Park Forest busy. However, Chief Fleming insisted that there are many programs being offered by the Park Forest Police that cater specifically to children of certain ages.

One program offered is at Algonquin School. For 7 weeks during the summer children ages 5-17 are allowed to use the buildings East side court and fields for two hours while being supervised.

Also offered is a boys/ girls night at Forest Trail Junior High. The purpose of this is to educate boys and girls, in separate and safe groups, life lessons they may not learn at home. For example, offered Chief Fleming, how to treat women in a respectful way.

Chief Fleming pointed out that it’s not that the children do not have enough to do, “It’s not enough parents giving their kids something to do."

Another issue raised was the poor service given by Lincolnway Management. Lincolnway Management, which manages many residential buildings in the Park Forest/Richton Park areas such as the Arboretum, Glen Arbor, and Twin Arbor Condominiums, seemed to have no support at the meeting.

While many people wanted a change with management, few people were willing to comment on why there is this unanimous dissatisfaction.

There was no representative for Lincolnway Management in attendance.

Another question asked was why so many new houses are being built while so many businesses are closing. Mayor John Ostenburg replied, “Businesses are attracted to areas of growth, the new houses drive economic development."

Other concerns were the lack of payphones throughout Park Forest, new speed limit signs, and the possibility of a dog park.

Residents thanked village officials for the beautiful Fourth of July fireworks display, Main Street Nights, and the Scenic 10, saying that events such as these increase the friendliness and involvement of the community.