Arlington Heights leaders host "community conversation"
Officials from Arlington Heights' library, park district, school districts and other governing bodies got together last week to discuss the state of affairs in the village during the first of what's expected to become an annual "State of the Village: A Community Conversation."
The event drew more than 130 residents, as well as representatives from the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, Arlington Heights Park District Board, Northwest Suburban High School District 214, Wheeling Township Elementary District 21, Arlington Heights Elementary District 25, Prospect Heights Elementary District 23 and the village.
Mary Fran Leno, president of the Arlington Heights Park District board, highlighted the more than 50,000 program registrations the district had in fiscal year 2012-2013, and the new dog park opening next month in partnership with the Mount Prospect Park District.
Laz Lopez, associate superintendent for teaching and learning at District 214, explained the district's philosophy of treating high school as a beginning, not an endpoint.
"It isn't just what you know, but what you can do with what you know," Lopez said, highlighting the college credit and technical certifications students can earn.
Sarah Jerome, retiring superintendent at District 25, introduced her successor, Lori Bein, who will take over July 1.
Mayor Tom Hayes spoke about upcoming plans for a new police station. Early estimates of a $40 million price tag have been reduced to $20 million to $22 million, he said, and officials will decide on a location later this year
Hayes also discussed major economic development projects such as the Arlington Downs apartments and the pending approval of a new Tax Increment Financing district for the Hickory-Kensington area.
Library board President Kerry Pearson discussed the job search programs that have been held at the library, recently completed renovations and the debut of a new "One Book, One Village" program that will take place this fall.
Organizer Deb Whisler, director of communications and marketing for the library, said she thought the event was a big success.
"This was a great opportunity for community members to be updated on what everyone else is doing," she said. "When you come together, you find ways to work together." Resident Suzanne Sharer said she enjoyed the event and hearing from each government body.
"This was an excellent idea," she said. "I've lived in Arlington Heights my whole life and taught at Hersey High School, so I just wanted to come hear what is going on around town."