NEW MESSAGE FRIDAY, MARCH 28
I wanted to check in with you before the weekend; it’s supposed to be a wet three days ahead, which should make the decision easy for you to stay inside. Let’s keep flattening this curve!
That is very important now, as Illinois (Cook County in particular) will be getting hit hard in the next couple of weeks, as forecast by the Surgeon General. But if we stay hunkered down and do what we have been told for several weeks, we will make it through. Wash hands, follow the social distancing recommendation. . .
As we agreed before, when the weather is suitable, it is perfectly fine (and recommended) to go out and take a walk and get some fresh air. But large groups congregating in the parks will be disbanded by our Evergreen Park Police Department. Please understand that this is for the good of all residents, as we care for our kids as well as the seniors and those with compromised immune systems.
Chicago is our largest suburb, and they started closing parks and the lakefront yesterday!
Listen, folks. . .summer is on its way, and we all hope to see the parks and baseball fields packed when this is all over. We have to keep safe first.
In the meantime, when you go shopping for necessities, and are ordering take-out food, please, please shop local. I am not too Facebook-savvy, but I did see something yesterday that really hit home. Every year, we ask these shops to be sponsors of our youth sports teams, or to buy ads in school event ad books. Now is the time that we really need to keep investing in them. They need us now, and we need their products and services, not only for the present, but long into the future. Shop Evergreen!
One item of note, our Senior Council has postponed their "Memories To Go" event (the popular Village-wide garage sale at Yukich Field). This will now probably happen in September.
I have nothing to report to you yet on "Day In The Park" or Parade activities. We’re all in a "take-it-week-by-week" mode here, and we will continue to follow the directives of the Federal and State Governments.
Call the Village Hall (708-422-1551) with anything you might need; the staff will get your message and will be happy to answer your questions and to help you out. Keep checking our website for the latest news.
In the meantime. . .enjoy your families, check on your neighbors. Watch a good movie together (a comedy, please!) or read that book you’ve always wanted to read.
Be kind. That is so important now.
And again, a well-deserved shoutout to our first responders, the doctors, the nurses, the grocery staffs, the maintenance folks and the truck drivers that are filling our stores weekly. You Are The Heroes! We will not forget you.
All of our churches have found other ways to bring Sunday services to you; and we all share the same prayer that we can all congregate together soon; in churches, at festivals, in parks, in restaurants. . .everywhere. That day will come soon, folks.
But until then, please. . .take care of yourselves.
MAYOR JAMES SEXTON
(Mayor Sexton will appear on Monday’s episode of The EP Podcast for a discussion with Chris Lanuti about Evergreen Park and this pandemic).
MONDAY MARCH 23
MONDAY AFTERNOON NOTE FROM THE MAYOR
Have you dug out from the Great Snowstorm of March 2020 yet?
I have good news to share. You may have heard about a person involved in one of our Recreation Department Activities a few weeks ago who was tested for the COVID-19 virus. Those tests (two of them) have come back negative. This person is fine, and for that, we cannot be more grateful.
I am hoping you are all doing well. As you know, the Governor has issued the Stay-At-Home order, which has closed the Village Hall to the public for a little while. However, our internal staff is still at work, in split shifts, albeit on a reduced schedule, continuing the daily operations to keep the Village running.
This means we have adapted our means of doing things a little bit, and I encourage you to visit our website frequently (www.evergreenpark-ill.com) where we have posted a bullet list of how to accomplish certain services for now. This list will be amended to and revised as needed.
Again. . .your Village Departments (Police, Fire and Public Works) are all at full strength.
This will come to an end, my friends. It will get worse before it gets better, but it will get better, and then. . .and now. . .the Village of Evergreen Park will be there for you.
Therefore, I continue to urge you to follow all those guidelines as recommended by the medical professionals to keep you and your fellow residents safe. Stay home as much as you can. Wash your hands. You may visit the grocery stores, but please don’t hoard. The stores are stocked every day and there will be enough for everybody.
Also. . .a huge thank you to our heroes; all hospital staff, nurses, doctors, first responders. . .and all those out on the front line keeping things working for us (that means you, too, grocery staff and maintenance personnel!)
We live in a wonderful age of technology. . .call your neighbors and check on them. Facetime your friends and family near and far. Enjoy this time with your immediate family; now you have some of the time to do the things for which “you never seem to have time”.
Most of all. . . everybody stay safe, and please. . . . everybody stay kind. We’re all in this together.
MAYOR JAMES SEXTO
MESSAGE, FRIDAY MARCH 20
I wanted to check in with you again on this Friday afternoon, before the weekend begins; and if you don’t mind, I’d like to check in with you again next week.
As you know, I went through a very difficult illness a few years ago, and I don’t want any of our people to ever go through anything like that. Therefore. . .please continue to follow those guidelines that you hear so much about; washing your hands frequently and avoiding large crowds if you can. If you are sick, even with mild cold symptoms, I urge you to stay home. Please look to www.cdc.gov for more specific guidelines.
You may have heard about a testing station available at 98th and Western by a medical group. Please understand that you cannot simply drive-up. You need to call ahead, at (708) 572-7575. That being said, please call your doctor first, if you are feeling symptoms.
The Village Hall will be closing today (Friday, March 20, at noon) and we are awaiting word from the State as far as our schedule next week. We will pass that information along to you. In the meantime, if you need to pay a water bill, please do so online or use the drive-up box in the parking lot. You can leave a message on our answering system and reach us by email to email@example.com.
Waste Management is on their normal schedule, though they want to suspend bulk furniture pickup for a little while so that their drivers can concentrate on the pickup of everyday trash and recycling, which is, of course, increased now with families spending more time at home.
The Police Department, Fire Department and Public Works are at full strength. You may phone 911 for any emergency.
It is only human nature to find yourselves addicted to the news, and certainly it is important to be informed. And yes, it is a very scary time. I implore you to take some time out from the constant barrage of headlines and opinions during this time of social distancing. Enjoy your families. Watch a movie. Play some board games. Be creative, make up your own entertainment. If the weather is comfortable, go out and sit on your porch and enjoy some fresh air.
Please remember to utilize our Evergreen Park restaurants that offer pickup and delivery. As I mentioned before, they need you and we need them. Now is the time, during this period of national unity, that we buy American and shop Evergreen Park! A few of our grocery stores have designated specific hours for seniors to shop. Thank you to them!
My friends. . .working together, and practicing common sense. . .we will get through this.
from TUESDAY, MARCH 17
To Our Wonderful Evergreen Park Community
First of all, I want to wish you all a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and St. Joseph Day. It is a beautiful Tuesday afternoon, the sun is shining; despite all the news that surrounds us on this day, let’s take a moment to reflect on the many blessings that we do share.
We are experiencing something now that is something very new to us and has forced us all to make temporary changes to our lifestyle. I do not mean to underplay the seriousness of the Coronavirus situation, but I also have faith in the scientists and doctors who are guiding us through this new and unsettling experience.
I also have faith in the people of Evergreen Park and I know that you are following the guidelines suggested by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to take care of yourselves, things that you know already and that need not repeating here.
In an abundance of caution, our programs through the Recreation Department, the Youth Department and our Office of Citizens Services are suspended for now, but I look forward to the day coming in the very near future when they resume with great celebration.
All other public services available from the Village continue; your waste pickup is on schedule, your water service continues, your Street Department is on task, and your Police and Fire Departments are at full strength. As you know, we have reduced hours at the Village Hall, but we are there for you every day and we are only a phone call away.
Also, please remember that our local businesses are there for you. Indeed, by state directive, our dine-in restaurants are closed for a while, but many of them still continue with drive-up, delivery and carry-out services. Please use them. Please keep the green in Evergreen so that, when all this passes, they too can return to full strength. We need them, and they need you.
When you are shopping, please get what you need, but leave enough for those who can’t get out as quickly as you. Our stores are doing the best they can to keep the essentials stocked, but there is no need to hoard unnecessarily. There are things that are far more important than toilet paper!
Friends, we will weather this storm. Again, I urge you to follow the recommendations of your medical experts who are far more educated in this than I. Keep an eye out for your neighbors, help where you can, and most of all, enjoy your families during this time of recommended isolation.
I continue to be so proud of Evergreen Park and, again, we look forward to great fellowship and celebration when this has all passed.
Mayor James Sexton