Greeting to all Forest Park residents. My name is Ken Gilbert and I have the privilege to be the new president of the Forest Park Civic Association. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and talk briefly about our community. First, I’d like to thank outgoing President Mike Stone for his hard work on behalf of the community during his two terms. Thankfully, he will be remaining on the board as Past President and will still head up our Outreach Day efforts. I know I’ll value his insight and input as I begin my term. The board has also selected a fine Vice President, Ed Vanasdale, who has been leading our Supplemental Security Program. Ed and I have a lot of exciting ideas we want to work on in 2014 with the help of the board and members of our community.
The first is to strengthen what we have: a fine suburban style community with great housing opportunities in the middle of one of America’s great cities. We have an excellent supplemental security program that your dues support (which, as far as we know, is the only one in the city). We have a great Fourth of July parade running right through the heart of our community. We have great residents who are also great neighbors. My wife Catherine and I are glad we chose to make Forest Park our home in 2002. For me, Forest Park has the strong neighborhood feel I was used to growing up in Philadelphia. For Catherine, it was a return “home” as she grew up on the southeastern border of Forest Park and attended Woodward Park MS and Northland HS.
In 2014, we hope to enhance our Supplemental Security Program and we will be working with the city on items to enhance our neighborhood. Those ideas are still in the planning stage, but I hope to have more information in upcoming Foresters. We will be working on a better plan for street lighting. What we need to be most effective is YOU. Your support of the FCPA with your dues helps us to provide many programs and helps us to keep Forest Park safer. Your input tells us where the challenges are and often where solutions may be found. We can’t do everything. But what we can do is take the concerns of our residents to the right people. We won’t always get what we want. But we promise to do our best to make your voices heard. We need your help to do that. There is no one who knows better where the good and bad of a neighborhood is than those who live there. Help us with that task. As our police liaison officer always says at the Block Watch meetings: “Report, report, report”. We want to teach our members how to report problems and concerns to the city and law enforcement. We will strive to make sure those concerns are heard. Help us to help you. I’m looking forward to a great 2014 in this wonderful neighborhood we all call home.