By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
For the third year in a row, the South East Chicago Commission (SECC) was named service provider for Hyde Park’s Special Service Area #61 in a meeting held on Wednesday, Aug. 16.
In spite of SECC’s victory, some of its members were concerned about the many references used against the commission during the Aug. 16 meeting on how business should be conducted in Hyde Park.
“There were many references to doing it ‘the Hyde Park Way,’” said Eric Reaves, program manager of SECC and director of SSA #61. “I vividly understand I am not a Hyde Parker nor a Chicago resident, however, I quickly learned to respect the deep history and passion of its residents and businesses as well as the new vibe that now represents Hyde Park.”
Reaves said in a letter to the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, that he has now adopted Hyde Park as his home away from home and will always strive to make decisions that are best for the community and both its brick and mortar and service businesses.
Reaves admits he’s made some errors along the way in the first year in his new position and that there were times he wanted to quit but “I am neither a person who quits or a person who lets a vision die because of a little resistance.”
Reaves stated that the SSA is a premier award-winning program that is copied across both the city and the country. However, without the help of the chamber and the community, nothing could be established.
“I am confident it would behoove all of us if we work collectively toward common goals rather than trying to covet the other’s work or budget,” said Reaves in a letter to the chamber. “I welcome the collaboration and feedback that is brought to you by your members.”
Reaves said that in spite of the two groups inherently disagreeing on some things with one another, the SECC will always strive to do what’s best for those they serve and veer away from things that fortify just a few.