More Reasons To Be A Proud Park Forester

Gary Kopycinski

By Gary Kopycinski

I sat down with one of our Vice Principals today, Jack Heneghan, a 32-year employee of Marian Catholic High School.

My intention was to clarify my need for some time off on Thursday, but Jack had more to say to me.

He had absolutely glowing things to say about Park Forest.

No kidding.

Jack attended our Monday Village Board meeting when we swore in two new police officers, Officers Robert Johnson and Kathryn Singer. Jack knew Officer Johnson from Marian Catholic, taught Officer Johnson when he was a senior at Marian Catholic, a student in the Discovery In Service course which Jack taught at the time, when Johnson, then a senior in high school, did his service at Aunt Martha’s in Park Forest, on Western Avenue.

Mr. Heneghan was completely impressed with the qualifications of the two officers who were sworn in at Monday’s board meeting. Officer Singer, a graduate of Illiana Christian, impresses me as well.

I told Mr. Heneghan that, in Park Forest, it’s all about the qualifications. We do no patronage hiring in this Village. In this town.

The mayor has been very, very clear about that through his tenure.

Jack also made very glowing remarks about Mayor Ostenburg. He remembers our mayor from his time at Governors State.

I shared with Mr. Heneghan that we have a Police and Fire Commission, three citizen volunteers, who screen applicants for the police and fire departments. Board members have absolutely no say as to whom is hired. Nor does the mayor.

And, in the end, we only hire quality. We hire the most qualified. No matter where they live.

Mr. Heneghan was impressed.

I am, as well. As a sitting board member, I salute those three citizens who screen applicants, and make recommendations for or against hiring, to the Village Manager.

Patronage destroys a municipality, as it did in Sauk Village.

Adherence to a commitment to quality employees will save Park Forest.

Officers sworn in, video:

The writer is a sitting board member for the citizens of Park Forest.