Join me on a whirlwind tour of city leadership! From Mayor Herb’s pride in O’Fallon to Mayor Bob’s vision for Shiloh, the future is as bright as the communities they guide.

We’re Bruce and Karen Carlson. We recently moved to the Metro East area of Illinois. It’s a whole new world out there. Our goal with this website is to share our exploration of the Metro East area. As we find businesses and services we use in our daily lives, we’ll share how these businesses and services have helped make our lives better and easier to live.

We’re calling our move to the Metro East area retirement, but we’re not quite sure what that means. By sharing our story with you, we hope you too will gain a better sense of what the Metro East area has to offer and how their businesses and services can improve your lives and build a better community.

How much do you know about what your city does for you? When we lived in North Aurora, I have to admit, I didn’t really follow along with what the city was doing for me. Yes, I voted when an election came along, we paid our taxes, water, and sewer bills.

The biggest thing I ever did with the city was propose that they change the zoning codes to allow us to install solar panels. It took a while and several tense meetings, but we finally convinced the city to change the code. Now we live in New Athens, and we’re just starting to learn about our new city.

When we joined the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce, I was encouraged to hear that the cities of O’Fallon and Shiloh would have a close relationship with the chamber. It makes sense to have a close relationship with the chamber.

On November 8th, the chamber and cities sponsored a Meet the Municipalities event, which brought together not only the mayors of each town but also several supporting departments from the cities. The event took place in Klucker Hall in Shiloh.

Police and fire department representatives were on the lower level, and city departments were on the upper level. On the lower level, you could freely move between tables. The upper level had a timed rotation, changing every 15 minutes.

O’Fallon police department

I started downstairs with the O’Fallon police by talking to the chief of police. He explained the various pieces of equipment that the police wear. Between the vest and belt, they wear quite a bit of weight during their shift. We also discussed the cost of the equipment and the constant evolution of it. For example, tasers have evolved a lot in recent years.

Shiloh police department

Across from the table of the O’Fallon police department, the Shiloh police department was situated. The discussion revolved around community involvement and the primary responsibility of ensuring protection and safety. Another point of interest was the discreet provision of resources to the people. This aspect was truly enlightening. The police showed respect towards individuals in need and offered help in a quiet and respectful manner. It wasn’t just about what the police did; they genuinely cared for and helped people.

In this day and age, police departments receive close scrutiny. Yet, in my brief visit with each of the police department representatives, I couldn’t help but have great respect and support for these officers. They truly want to provide a safe environment for the people under their responsibility. I give them a tip of the hat and thank them for all that they do.

Forward 50

As I went upstairs, I stopped at the station for the Forward 50 project. U.S. 50 runs east-west through O’Fallon. The City of O’Fallon is starting a fact-finding process on how to improve its look and appeal to those who travel on it through O’Fallon. The project is in its early stages and is collecting input from citizens. At the table, there were aerial photos of the route. Notes and ideas describing potential changes and improvements were placed along the route. There are upcoming meetings for people to attend and give their input. You can find more information at Forward 50.

O’Fallon Community Development

This was a really impressive presentation. There’s much more to cover than the article could. I need to reconnect for an article specifically about Community Development. What I can say is that there are numerous projects on the planning board. It was a non-stop presentation, with one project after another. It’s evident that O’Fallon is a dynamic city with a forward-thinking mindset.

O’Fallon Parks and Recreation

Not to be outdone, Parks and Recreation has a multitude of projects in progress. The community park is undergoing numerous updates in the upcoming years. I was genuinely impressed with the meticulously planned design of these updates. The buildings are strategically utilized to maximize the benefits of various events. The park resources offer a remarkable return on investment.

Mayor Herb Roach

I moved from the Parks and Recreation table to Mayor Herb Roach. The mayor is a well-seasoned man with a great love for the City of O’Fallon. When he talked about the city, it was like listening to a proud grandfather talking about his grandchild and all they’ve accomplished. He knows the statistics of their leadership in how O’Fallon is setting the bar for other cities to match up. He thanks the departments of the city for their work in reaching the levels of achievement they’ve attained.

Mayor Bob Weilmuenster

The last table I visited was Mayor Bob of Shiloh. Mayor Bob is a quiet man, but equally proud of the city he guides, as Mayor Herb is of O’Fallon. His presentation showed how Shiloh is developing its resources and promoting the welfare of the community. Mayor Bob talked about the city’s plans for community growth, reviewing the accomplishments they have achieved. The future looks bright for the Village of Shiloh.

Final thoughts

This was a wonderful opportunity for the municipalities to come and present their stories of how each community is helping its citizens have a safe and secure future. There was so much to share in a short time. The good news is each of the presenters will need their own articles to tell their story. I’m looking forward to reaching out and writing their stories.

We hope you are enjoying these articles and are willing to continue to follow along as we share our adventures of learning about life in southern Illinois, This is an exciting area and we are so happy to be part of this area. Our lives are being fulfilled by the people we are meeting. Bruce & Karen.