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Chicago Tribune: Glenview open house a 'one stop service'


Continuing what has emerged into an annual happening, a series of mostly government agencies set up shop in Glenview’s Park Center fielding questions Saturday morning Feb. 23 from curious individuals.

For 2 ½ hours, the “Annual Open House” had representatives of the village, Park District, public library, Northfield Township, the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County, as well as Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton, D-14th Dist., in attendance. They were joined in the Park Center lobby by non-government organizations such as the local chamber of commerce and the NorthShore University HealthSystem Medical Group-Glenbrook Medical West.

As questions were answered, many pens, pencils, brochures and other items were given away. Plus there was food to be sampled and free blood pressure checks performed for the steady stream of people wondering about what Glenview has to offer.

The session was hosted by the village in coordination with the Glenview Communicators Group, an assortment of public information people from various local governments, according to Lynne Stiefel, a village spokeswoman. She added it has been a yearly occurrence for approximately 15 years aimed at informing both new and longtime Glenview residents. “For everybody it is a way to get to know all the local governments for which they pay property taxes and the programs and services we provide them,” Stiefel said. “It is one stop services.”

Stiefel said the village representatives appeared to be taking inquiries on property maintenance, recycling and the controversial holding track issue. But it was all polite give-and-take.

“People seem pretty happy about what is going on right now which is fine,” she said. Britton, the newly elected county commissioner whose district includes Glenview, Northbrook and Northfield, said the open house was a chance for him to meet people he represents on the county board. “A lot of people want to know what the county does,” Britton said. “The county does not get a lot of publicity. We are described as stealth government. No one knows what we do.”

He said he was trying to get to know a larger constituent base. Britton sat on the Glenview board of trustees before his election to the county board last November. “I’m trying to get out there and not just press the flesh, but also say I am a resource and let me help you,” he said.

Britton noted he talked about road conditions, bike trails and the abundance of forest preserves within his district.

“We are trying to get people to use it because that is what it is there for,” he said.

Glenview firefighter Steve Roberts noted he was taking questions on the installation of fire detectors or which service station serves a resident’s home.

“I like informing citizens of things they had no idea about,” Roberts said.

While he distributed some miniature plastic helmets to children, Roberts acknowledged the fire department has many engagement sessions for little ones, yet the open house provided an opportunity to connect with adults.

While not a government group, the Glenview Chamber of Commerce had a booth, with Executive Director Betsy Baer saying she took questions on new buildings in town or which shop has the best deals.

“They want to know how they can support the community and what they need to do to shop locally and keeping their taxes in Glenview as opposed to shopping on Amazon and having their taxes leave town,” Baer said. Most of the people did so in conjunction with the recreational opportunities the Park Center and elected to stop off either before or after going swimming or running around on the track.

Resident Howard Korenthal received a blood pressure check that produced good results.

“Any time they confirm I’m alive that is a good thing,” he quipped.

Anthony Nigliazzo, a 40-year resident of Glenview, said the length of his time in the town has allowed him to know much about what the town offers, but he was glad the open house was held.

“People move into Glenview all the time,” he said. “For new residents, this is great.”


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