Cal City mayor wants to hear from residents

2013-11-17T00:00:00Z Cal City mayor wants to hear from residentsGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
November 17, 2013 12:00 am  • 

CALUMET CITY | Officials are compiling the results of a survey sent out last month to local residents, asking them what needs to be done to improve the quality of life in Calumet City.

Those survey results were to have been completed by last week, in time for a hearing held Tuesday giving people a chance to speak out about their community. 

Yet Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush said late results were deemed worthy enough to be included. The mayor said hundreds of people responded to the survey and about 50 participated in the hearing Tuesday at the Calumet City Public Library. Economic development and flood mitigation were the issues at Tuesday’s hearing. Other issues will be taken up during two more hearings that will occur in coming weeks.

Qualkinbush said she is looking forward to seeing the final results.

“I want to know what the people think about Calumet City,” she said. “I think we can learn some things from our residents.”

The survey asked people about the quality of services such as police protection, garbage collection, local parks and school districts.

It also asked people what they think the city’s biggest challenge is and what the focus of city government ought to be in coming years. That survey was mailed out to residents, and also made available to people at calumetcity2013.wordpress.com.

The survey was meant to benefit a plan commission created earlier this year. It does not consist of city government officials, but instead includes among its membership assorted business and real estate executives, Pace suburban bus system officials and educators from the south suburbs.

That commission has had a few meetings, and Chairman Mike Hoffman, of Teska Associates, said the survey results will provide the commission with a sense of direction as they work to develop a comprehensive plan dictating what direction officials should take to improve local quality of life.

The commission’s efforts have been supported in the early stages by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, which provided grants totaling $88,750 to pay for, among other things, the cost of conducting the survey.

Teska Associates is being helped by South Holland-based Robinson Engineering; Business Districts Inc.; and LD Barron, of Barron Chisolm Planning.

Qualkinbush said the survey and the commission ultimately will help municipal government officials when they apply for state and federal grant money in the future.

“We, along with the residents, have an opportunity to assess both the strengths and weaknesses of Calumet City, and use those to create a roadmap for the future of our city,” she said.

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