Over the next week, residents in Riverside and Brookfield will have a chance to attend important informational sessions about topics of particular interest to each community. We hope that as many residents as possible take advantage of the meetings in order to see what their elected officials have in mind for them in the future.

On Monday, Feb. 7, all of the major players in the effort to rewrite Riverside’s residential zoning code will gather at the village board’s Committee of the Whole meeting. In addition to board members, there will be representatives from the Plan Commission and Camiros, the village’s consultant during this process.

While there won’t be any opportunity for public comment at the meeting, which is a working session for the board, Village Manager Kathleen Rush has said she has received just a handful of comments from residents during the past 16 months.

The new zoning ordinance will address major issues regarding home construction?”from building new homes to additions, fences and driveways. In short, anyone planning on a major renovation to their home in the future will be affected by the final ordinance.

Therefore, if you haven’t already taken a glance at what’s in the works for the new zoning ordinance?”such as a Design Review Committee?”you might want to get acquainted with it. It may seem like pretty dull stuff on the surface, but it will potentially affect every present and future homeowner in the village.

On Monday and Wednesday of next week (Feb. 7 and 9), representatives from District 95 are inviting residents of Brookfield and LaGrange Park who live within its boundaries to sessions on the upcoming tax referendum to bolster the district’s dwindling education fund reserves.

The sessions (one at Brook-Park and one at Gross School) will cover the same ground, and will feature a presentation by school officials about not only the referendum process, but also what the district feels it has been able to accomplish in recent years.

While part of the reason for the sessions is to sell the referendum to voters, they are also a chance for community members to directly question the administration and board about the referendum. If you’re looking for answers to direct questions about how (and how many of) your tax dollars are used, this is the time to do it.

The issue of school funding, in general, is one that all residents should become informed about since it so directly impacts your pocketbooks. And since this is the first referendum in District 95 in over a decade, it’s a pretty good bet that folks in the district are unfamiliar with the process.

Don’t let the opportunity to become informed slip by.