Across Illinois this year, more than 260 collaborations between government units were nominated for the Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices. Only 20 were selected as models of efficient, effective stewardship of resources.

Among them: the Youth Interventionist Program (YIP) operated by Oak Park Township and River Forest Township.

We are excited to have received this affirmation, which, in truth, celebrates a communitywide effort that goes well beyond our townships. Full credit properly extends to all the government bodies that have provided crucial financial support for this important program serving at-risk youths and their families.

Funded by 11 taxing bodies until this year — the Village of River Forest no longer does — the program since 1995 has worked to minimize and eliminate the presence of gangs, drugs and violence, as well as to enhance youths’ well-being. The program also empowers all children to make healthy and constructive decisions when dealing with life’s stresses.

In announcing this year’s honorees, Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti put it well: “Local leaders and residents know what is best for their communities and should be empowered to find solutions that will serve their unique interests.”

Thank you to the village of Oak Park, the Oak Park Public Library, the River Forest Public Library, the Park District of Oak Park, the River Forest Park District, and our three school districts — 90, 97 and 200 — for your continued support so that, together, we find solutions that serve our unique interest.

To learn more about the Youth Interventionist Program, go to And to review this year’s Shared Service Best Practices honorees, visit

Clarmarie Keenan 

Oak Park Township supervisor

Carla Sloan

River Forest Township supervisor

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