SAUK VILLAGE | Sauk Village Trustee Lynda Washington formed a group to answer questions and facilitate discussion on village issues among the general public.
The Informative Dialogue Committee meets every second Thursday at the Ed Paesel Community Center.
The group's next meeting, its second, will be Thursday, Sept. 12.
The Informative Dialogue Committee is not officially affiliated with Sauk Village government and will require no funding, Washington said. A panel of non-elected officials will be present at town hall-style meetings at which anyone can speak at any time and get answers from those involved in or connected to those in positions of authority.
"I want to enhance transparency in Sauk Village Government," Washington said. "There is a need for residents to have an open dialog with government and each other."
The panel includes Washington, McConathy Library Director Nannette Wargo, Housing Commission Chair Gary Holcumb, the Rev. John Pitts from Holy Praise Tabernacle Church, District 168 President Sharon Davenport and community activist Tokelia Williams. There is one vacant spot that is expected to be filled soon.
"It's an arena for anyone in the village or not to come and not feel intimidated to ask questions," Washington said. "It's not just about one person talking. It's a conversation between two or more people"
Washington knew Sauk Villagers needed a forum for their questions when residents began asking questions during neighborhood watch committee meetings, which she chairs, that had little to do with neighborhood watch. She said Sauk Village residents have become politically divided and hopes the Informative Dialogue Committee can bridge some of those gaps.
"Sometimes there is hostility at (village) board meetings," Washington said. "People should know it's OK to disagree in this setting."
For more information, residents can contact Washington at (708)753-5130.