Tinley Park is involved in the Sister Cities Program, a nationwide initiative to exchange ideas, develop business ties and establish friendships between communities here in the U.S. and those across the world.
One of Tinley Park's sister communities is Büdingen, located about 30 miles northeast of Frankfurt in Germany. Büdingen traces its origins to the mid-13th century, or 234 years before Columbus discovered America and more than 600 years before Tinley Park's incorporation.
Büdingen's rich cultural history has been a fascinating study for the hundreds of Tinley Park residents, municipal officials and business people who have traveled to Büdingen since 1989, and local "natives" have proudly showed off the Village and related its history to more than 500 visitors from Büdingen. A contingent of almost 80 people from Büdingen recently spent two weeks here. In fact, Tinley Park has hosted one of the largest number of citizen "exchanges" of any Sister Cities international participant in the United States.
The Village of Tinley Park also enjoys sister cities relationships with Mallow, Ireland and Nowy Sacz, Poland.
In December 2019, Village officials and members of the Tinley Park Sister Cities Commission traveled to Budingen, Germany to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Sister City relationship between the two communities. At a formal recognition ceremony, Mayor Jacob C. Vandenberg and Budingen Burgermeister (Mayor) Erich Spamer reaffirmed their mutual commitment to strengthening understanding, cooperation and friendship between Tinley Park and Budingen. The Village encourages residents to explore the work of the Sister Cities Commission and all of its commissions, and look for ways to get involved!
Trustee Bill Brady
The Sister Cities Commission normally meets at 7 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month in the Kallsen Center at Tinley Park Village Hall, 16250 S. Oak Park Ave. Agendas, minutes and meeting presentations are posted on the Village website.
New sign honors sister city Nowy Sacz
Members of the Tinley Park Sister Cities Commission recently hosted an installation ceremony for the new sign at 183rd Street and Oak Park Avenue honoring the Village's relationship with Nowy Sacz, Poland. Signs also exist at the same location recognizing the Village's sister city relationships with Budingen, Germany and Mallow, Ireland. Attendees included Mayor Michael Glotz, Village Clerk Kristin Thirion, Village Manager Dave Niemeyer, former Mayor Ed Zabrocki and former Village Clerk and Sister Cities Commission Chairperson Pat Rea.
Village Manager Dave Niemeyer recently received a letter from officials in Budingen, Germany thanking Tinley Park residents for raising nearly $10,000 to help the city recover from a recent flood. Budingen Mayor Erich Spamer and other officials said funds have already been made available to the victims of the flood. They also said the situation in Budingen is slowly returning to normal, but that many residents are still busy with renovation work due to the severity of the damages. "We would therefore like to thank all donors in Tinley Park, and we express our gratitude to the city of Tinley Park and its citizens for the friendship and assistance you have shown us in this disaster," the letter read. "We hope you are fine! Stay healthy and confident until we can meet again."
Village celebrates 20 years with Mallow
The Village recently celebrated the 20-year anniversary of its sister city relationship with Mallow, Ireland. The partnership was established in 2001 for visits by governmental officials; historical, cultural, educational and economic development exchanges; and to assure a future of friendship and cooperation between the two communities. Mallow has existed since the early years of the first millennium, when the area was developed at a point on the Blackwater Valley where the water was low enough to allow a "ford" crossing for passage north and south of the Munster River. The Village of Tinley Park also enjoys sister cities relationships with Budingen, Germany and Nowy Sacz, Poland.