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Oak Forest Needs to Attract More Business & Development, Residents Say

The first of several Strategic Planning Initiative public meeting drew a crowd of residents, who offered their opinion on the strengths, opportunities and threats for Oak Forest.

The first of six meetings to discuss the future of Oak Forest sparked conversation on business development and other specifics on how the city can improve.

About 40 residents attended the Strategic Planning Initiative meeting Tuesday night in the . The purpose of the meeting is to gather resident feedback, as well as input from different groups within the community, on the direction they want Oak Forest's future to go.

District 142 Superintendent Margaret Longo and Mayor Hank Kuspa led the meeting. People were asked what they thought were Oak Forest’s strengths, what opportunities there might be for improvement and what “threats” the city faces.

"Many of the comments that you have brought up today are things that the Council and I are well aware of,” Kuspa said.

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Launching into strengths first, those in attendance pointed to the city’s family-orientated quality and emphasized a general sense of security.

Oak Forest has many opportunities to improve, according to residents. There is a need for more business and retail, as well as finding additional industrial park opportunities. Many emphasize the need for business growth.

Residents said they fear rising taxes and consider crime from bordering communities and failure to attract new business to be among some of the more pressing threats.

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Want more government news?

George Skirha June 06, 2012 at 03:38 PM
When is the next meeting?
Nick Swedberg (Editor) June 06, 2012 at 03:50 PM
@George—Thanks for asking. The next meeting is at 7 p.m. tonight, June 6, at the Gorman Park Field House. You can find the meeting info here: http://oakforest.patch.com/articles/city-s-strategic-planning-meetings-series-set-to-launch-tonight
Rosa Haraf June 06, 2012 at 05:47 PM
What are the meeting dates moving forward?
Nick Swedberg (Editor) June 06, 2012 at 06:16 PM
@Rosa—Here you go! (All start at 7 p.m.) Wednesday, June 6 at the Gorman Field House in Fieldcrest Thursday, June 7 at Arbor Park Middle School, 17303 Central Avenue Monday, June 11 at Hille Middle School, 5800 West 151st Street Tuesday, June 12 at City Hall (before the City Council Meeting)

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