We must find ways to help young people. We lost the Park Forest-based high school athletics and extra-curricular activities that used to provide after-school outlets for our teenagers. We must fill that gap for their good and for the good of the community.

While the Village government has no control over the decisions of our local school boards in closing schools, especially what occurred with Rich East High School, we must recognize the problems many of our youth face today are the direct result of those decisions. We must find ways to help young people deal with those problems. I’m not delusional. I recognize that the possibilities for re-opening Rich East are virtually nonexistent. But to me, that means we must be aggressive in developing new programs and approaches serving the needs of young people.