Village Expresses Gratitude to Board & Commission Members


Commissioner John Ray (lower left) converses with Director Christine Blue of the Park Forest Health Department at last Wednesday’s dinner. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— On Wednesday August 1st, the Board of Trustees and village staff expressed their gratitude for the hard work of the members of the boards and commissions at the annual appreciation dinner at Dining on the Green. 

The village boards and commission consist of Beautification Award Committee, Cable Communications Commission, Commission on Human Relations, Economic Development Advisory Group, Environment Conservation Commission, Housing Authority, Plan Commission, Recreation and Parks Advisory Board, Youth Commission, Senior Citizens Advisory Commission, Fair Housing Review Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Review Board, and the Zoning Board of Appeals.

With a summer style buffet of chicken wings, fruit salad, potatoes, and sausage, approximately 20 tables were filled with smiling guests.  The crowd was a very diverse one, filled with Village trustees, volunteers and police.

Roderick Ysaguirre serves as Assistant Village Engineer in the Public Works Department. He is also staff liason for the Environment Conservation Commission. Ysaguirre has been working with the commission for about 4½ years. While he didn’t actively seek out this role, he has come to appreciate what it is he does.

“It is important for each person to do their part [for the environment],” says Ysaguirre, “to not be wasteful and not litter.”

One commissioner in attendence was Kimberly Kahl. Kahl became involved with the village because of a desire to make Park Forest better.  While Kahl originally wanted to work for the Recreation and Parks Advisory Board, she is now a member of the Environment Conservation Commission. A passionate environmentalist, she offers many original ideas for how to improve the village. Kahl also feels it is vital to raise awareness of the positive activities in Park Forest.

“So many good things happen here that people just don’t know about”, Kahl emphasized.

Mattie Allen has been part of the Police and Fire commission in Park Forest for many years.  She got involved because she wanted to give something back to her community. She is proud of the work being done by the Park Forest police with the village’s youth. One such event was a “dinosaur hunt”, where the children were hunting for eggs at Forest Trail Junior High. 

Allen asserts,“With really positive events we can keep kids out of trouble.”

Mayor Ostenburg honored the members with a speech, announcing that about 20 years ago the village volunteers were only a handful of “good, solid people” and now, with over 100 volunteers on boards and commissions, each reflects this description.

Ostenburg informed the guests that many times he will hear complaints from Park Forest residents, and it is refreshing to hear from the the members of the boards and commissions, who are out there getting to know their neighbors, offering different perspectives.

“That’s where the good ideas and creativity come from, making the community a better place,” credited the mayor.