OPRF steps up, River Forest parks walk

Opinion: Editorials

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With its decision in December to increase its funding for the Township Youth Interventionist program, officials at Oak Park and River Forest High School kept faith with their students and families who most benefit from this essential effort.

By ratifying its participation in the interventionist program for 2011, and adding another $5,200 to its contribution, OPRF nearly closes the circle of support from all local government bodies. Nearly, but not quite. That's because the recalcitrant River Forest Park District continues its refusal to sign on for another two years, making the absurd claim that it doesn't have youth issues.

Now 15 years old, the township-created interventionist program remains the most collaborative and innovative effort in our urban communities to directly tackle the challenges presented by teens on the verge of getting into genuine trouble. At a modest cost of just $250,000 annually, the interventionists knock on apartment doors, walk park paths, and generally, are a frontline resource that local elementary schools, libraries, police and village governments embrace.

That the River Forest parks continue to balk at paying for 1.5 percent of the program is remarkably dunderheaded. Pay it because there are youth issues in River Forest. Pay it because there is power in unanimity. For 14 years, all 11 government units in our villages have stepped up to pay a share of the cost of taking care of our kids. Now is not the time to stop.

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Tom from River Forest  

Posted: January 20th, 2011 2:32 PM

I seem to remember Decimus' previous posts indicated that he or she lived in Oak Park. Decimus, why don't you tell us River Foresters when you moved to our town. We will send out the welcome wagon.


Posted: January 19th, 2011 8:58 PM

Greg is correct. Too many taxing bodies. RF is too small to need a separate Township - that collects 600 K per year in taxes. Lets cut the waste, and save 600 K. Where is that money going? If to OP Township - than let the residents see this and agree or disagree. The WJ has NO business complaining about the PD of RF and its mission.

Greg Lamacki from River Forest  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 11:03 AM

Recalcitrant?? There are three definitions of recalcitrant when used as an adjective; resisting authority or control, not obedient or compliant or hard to deal with, manage, or operate. The use of this word by the journal implies that the RFPD should just do as directed by the powers that be. Is The Journal implying that the powers that be are the other taxing bodies of the area? I think the RFPD should be commended for their actions. Not that they are saving a few thousand dollars, but they are listening to 78% of their voters who last year clearly said to them stick to a finite well defined mission of maintaining and operating RF parks. The whole board should be given a medal for understanding that it is not about money it is about mission. The township has this responsibility and should fund this program alone. We have too many taxing authorities to begin with and need not have more overlap. If anything, we need less taxing bodies following a citizen determined mission.

Albert from RF  

Posted: January 12th, 2011 8:53 AM

Ok, lets agree to disagree - but name calling? Lets be civil here. Most can agree program is needed - but like all such public do good programs, when So many local TAX agencies are funding this -where are the Metrics, who is Monitoring to be sure anything is working and who is being held accountable for the Funds?. If they are - PLEASE report to the Public so we can have some faith this Government Program is Helping - and not just a Tax Drain. Wednesday Journal needs to Pursue this!

Decimus from River Forest  

Posted: January 12th, 2011 7:33 AM

The River Forest Park District, led by the naive and uninformed, have abandoned its mission to serve our youth. Mr. Cargie's ill-informed rebuttal several issue back only serves to buttress the perception that he and RFPD do not know what matters to a "community", preferring the "it's not my problem" approach to governing. Well, Mr. Cargie, you can be assured that users and dealers will find the vaccuum you have created in the River Forest parks. "Dunderheaded"? Try idiotic.

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