As usual, I sat through the North Riverside village meeting on Aug. 13. I expected some controversy over the fire chief situation and was happy to see that any and all who wished to speak could have time at the mike.

There were well-spoken individuals on both sides, but I was really surprised at a few things. Some of the audience apparently were never taught the courtesy of listening to a speaker and kept interrupting. So many of the people just did not understand the meaning of the word “interim.” How come?

There also was an undercurrent worry for the women of North Riverside because of the subject matter.

Well, it appears that many just don’t see or know what goes on in North Riverside.

Right in the room, Debbie Garcia, police chief, in charge of a force of neighborhood-oriented police, who also can respond to any situations in minutes and have done so often, sat listening.

Chief Garcia worked her way through the ranks and is well respected and cared about by her force and all residents. With such a great team of support, no one would dare to sexually harass her.

Also in the room were Finance Director Sue Scarpiniti, Trustee Terri Sarro, Trustee Debbie Czajka, Clerk Kath Ranieri, all respected and cared about by all.

Other anchors of our village are Karyn Byrne, Michelle Cozzone, Teresa Mrozik in recreation and all her girls. Guy Belmonte acts as father, brother and friend to all his girls and others I may have missed.

All of these ladies are respected, loved and cared about by the entire village because of the great job they do: with bright eyes, a smile and intensity to do a great job, which they do.

Hopefully, these words give some insight as to why North Riverside is on the list of the 10 nicest towns in the U.S.

Male or female, we all care about each other, and anyone taking a risk at bothering any lady is taking a huge risk and will be sorry. We all make mistakes and are not perfect. I learn something every day, and I hope we all can.

Jim Zak

North Riverside

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