Couple devotes time, energy to village
Skokie couple Michael and Carolyn Halliburton are deeply involved in a number of boards and commissions, and take an acctive role in the neighborhood watch group they started. | Provided
Updated: December 18, 2012 3:16PM
Michael and Carolyn Halliburton moved to Skokie from the western U.S. in 1991, and it didn’t take long for the couple to make a name for themselves as the ideal neighbors every homeowner wishes lived next door.
Both are deeply involved in the community in a number of ways, and for more than two decades, the Halliburtons have invested their time and energy into making the Village of Skokie a good place to live.
Soon after moving here from Denver, Colo., the Halliburtons took their first steps in community leadership by organizing a neighborhood watch group on their block.
Over the years the couple’s love and dedication for the village has become evident through the great deal of time and energy they put into volunteering for a host of organizations and commissions and putting together social events that bring neighbors together.
Q: What are some of the ways you’ve become involved in the community since you moved here with your husband more than 20 years ago?
A: I served on the Traffic Safety Commission for three years, and have been involved in the Family Services Commission for the past three years. On the side I do a lot of volunteer work with the Niles Township Food Pantry and serve as the neighborhood block watch captain. Michael is a past member of the Human Relations Commission and currently serves on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Michael is also on a temporary committee called the Landlord-Resident Advisory Committee, which is reviewing a proposed ordinance to license multifamily properties in the village.
Q: Why did you decide to start the neighborhood watch group?
A: Keeping the community safe has always been very important to us. When we moved in and found out our block didn’t have one, we sent out a flyer to our neighbors and about 25 people showed up at our house for the first meeting. It was amazing because so many people had lived in the same home for more than 15 years and had never met their neighbors! We’ve hosted “know-your-neighbor parties” twice since then, in 2009 and 2012.
Keeping crime out of the community starts with knowing your neighbor. If you’re not home and a neighbor sees something out-of-the ordinary going on at your house, you have the comfort in knowing they’ll call the police. We’re focused on keeping Skokie a nice, safe and strong place to live.
Q: What services offered by the Village have you taken advantage of throughout the years?
A: We attended the citizens police and fire academies, which are courses that give you an inside look at what the departments do. In the fire department’s course, you actually learn to slide down a fire pole and put on the real gear a firefighter wears, and go into a mock burning building. It was incredible. There are a lot of free services offered by the village that I think a lot of people aren’t aware of.
Q: Why did you choose to live in Skokie versus the other North Shore-area communities?
A: It’s affordable and we love being close to the lake and the train that takes you straight downtown. It’s an amazing village to live in, also because the village officials are so responsive to the residents’ needs. It’s a cool feeling to be able to call police chief or the mayor and have them pick up the phone and talk to you. You can’t call Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office and just have him call you back.
Q: Where do you find the time to fit in all your community service and volunteer work?
A: We don’t have kids, so we have always had the extra time to dedicate to the community. When we’re not volunteering we take a lot of walks together. Both of us have wanted to be heavily involved in the community since the day we moved here, and we really enjoy it. ~.