Former "Best Place to Raise Kids" Title Still Helps, Leaders Say
Despite Tinley Park no longer holding BusinessWeek's "Best Place to Raise Your Kids" crown, the honor still helps the village, officials said.
Tinley Park might no longer be BusinessWeek's best place in America to raise kids, but the honor will have long-lasting effects on the village, officials said.
When BusinessWeek magazine's website rated the best place in America to raise kids this year, it looked only at smaller towns, cutting off at 50,000 or fewer residents. This left Tinley Park and it's nearly 60,000 residents just too big to be considered.
But just because Tinley Park was too big to make the new list, it's still a great place to raise kids, local leaders said.
"Fortunately, all the qualities that were discovered to give us this honor are still here," Tinley Park Chamber of Commerce President Kim Scalise said.
Scalise said the current economy makes it hard to say if there will be any economic effect from the title, businesses wanting to move here, etc. Any tangible business effect would be down the road once the economy recovers, she said.
Mayor Ed Zabrocki agreed that effects would be long-range, but also said the award itself goes back in time.
"I look at this thing, being honored that way, as being a long-range thing," he said. "We didn't win that award on what we did in the last two years. We won that award on what we were doing, the last five, 10, 20 years."
Zabrocki said the honor was earned by the whole village, not just the village government.
"It validates a lot of the things not only the village but other entities have been doing over the years. I'm counting the park districts, the school districts, the service organizations," he said.
Zabrocki said the best sign of being a good place to raise families is not the award itself, but the families themselves.
"One of the proudest things we have is the second and third generations of people living in Tinley Park," he said.
As for the signs around village hall and around town touting the honor, Zabrocki said those would likely stay up.