Development, finances among top River Forest issues
River Forest Village Administrator Eric Palm of Mount Prospect looks through village maps in his office at the River Forest Village Hall. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 14, 2013 4:47PM
RIVER FOREST — During the debate over home rule in River Forest, Village Administrator Eric Palm was one of the village’s spokesmen on the matter.
Formerly village administrator in Hampton and assistant to the city manager in Des Plaines, Palm is a resident of Mount Prospect. He has a master’s degree in public administration from Northern Illinois University and a master’s in broadcast and cinematic arts from Central Michigan University.
Now that home rule has been voted down, Palm addressed some of the other challenges facing River Forest.
Q: Can you briefly describe the top three issues River Forest faces?
A: Continue the financial security, economic development initiatives and intergovernmental relationships.
Q: Given the economy, how would you describe River Forest’s fiscal situation?
A: I think we are on the move. We are on better footing than we were two years ago. I don’t want to give some false sense of security … We will need to remain vigilant and look at our finances more than ever before.
Q: How is the state’s pension crisis affecting River Forest?
A: The state crisis is not really affecting us. We do have our own pension system for police and fire. We need to start looking at that and addressing that.
Q: What is River Forest doing to promote economic development?
A: We pride ourselves on being an organization that is very business-friendly. If someone knocks on our door and is interested in coming to town, we’ll roll out the red carpet to get them in the community. Ask one of the businesses that recently opened in town and they will tell you that we have a great reputation of making it easy for businesses to get up and running. I think we do a pretty good job on working with anyone, going over the possibilities with them.
Q: Do you think River Forest is doing a good job conducting its business transparently?
I think so. Our website allows people to research and read through information. Our budget and audits are on there. I think the Government Financial Officers Association giving us the Distinguished Budget Award shows transparency in our process.