Setting the record straight
I would like to respond to the statements Mayor Calderone made in your “Gas Leak Causes Evacuation” story, in the April 6 edition of the REVIEW. No doubt his comments were aimed at me to portray me as an unreasonable, uncooperative, bitter witch, while he is the ever caring, unappreciated mayor. I would appreciate space in your paper to refute his statements with facts that I can prove with names, times and witnesses.
To set the record straight, the Saturday Memorial Weekend gas leak, that he has chosen to zero in on, occurred as follows:
The mayor was out of town when the leak started Saturday morning and he did not call me from the Holiday Star theatre, as he claimed regarding the night leak problem. He called me Sunday morning, from Forest Park, after the leak had been repaired, and after we had had a trying time, from Saturday morning to midnight, at my building which is located directly behind Madison Commons. All the Village did Saturday morning, was to tell me the leak would be repaired and then taped up my entire parking lot, making prisoners of’ my tenants. The leak had never been in my lot.
At 5 p.m., that evening, the tape was still there and I called the police dispatcher and asked if’ someone would take the tape down. Although I was told someone would be sent over, no one came.
At 7:00 p.m., my son cut the tape because it was obvious my tenants were not going to have access to their cars for the entire three day holiday.
At 11:00 p.m., that night, a tenant called me and said a gas odor was in her apartment and she was getting light headed and ill. I immediately called Nicor and told them I had an emergency and Jamie Field was sent out. He was in my tenant’s apartment at midnight. He checked it out, called me on her phone and told me he would have a crew out by 2:00 a.m. to repair the leak”which he did. So how, mayor, did you solve the problem?
My question is Mayor Calderone, why wasn’t that leak correctly repaired and followed up on Saturday morning when it first became a problem? Did you solve it by driving over, as you claim, and looking at the leak after the Nicor crew that I got there was already working?
When you finally did call we the following day from Forest Park, after the leak was fixed, you said you had gotten the Nicer crew out, and you had taken the parking lot tape down. That was a lie and I told you that. When I double checked with Nicor, I was told I was the only call they had received that Saturday night and they had never gotten a work order for the Saturday morning repair.
As for your finding parking for my tenants, also in the April 6, REVIEW, after my lot was destroyed because of the construction, that was done between myself and Rich Czarnik, from Focus Development. I gave him all the license numbers and descriptions of my tenants cars and he took it to the police, so my tenants would not receive tickets for street parking. This had already been done before”I called the dispatcher and asked if a temporary sign could be put up to reserve spots in front of my building and, because there had been a two inch snow forecast, I asked if my tenants could leave their cars on the street and not have to move them in the middle of the night if plowing had to be done. I left the same request on your phone mayor.
The chief of police called me and, although he was very nice, my request was denied. You never called me mayor, check it out”there is absolutely no parking during the day for my tenants on the 300 block of Marengo, because it is and has been taken over by construction workers. The nights the bars are going full blast and it is also impossible to find parking. So once again mayor, although you said you did, you didn’t find one apace for anyone. But, it sounds good.
When the recent gas break happened, my building was evacuated and one of my tenants was left standing out in the cold, hanging on to her walker. A neighbor finally gave her a chair to sit on. No one from the village helped. her. So you see mayor, that’s why I’m tired of the lack of concern at Village hall. Every problem I inherited I have had to solve myself.
The village board granted variation after variation, with no setbacks or boundaries that allowed a hotel-sized building to be built, creating a density that no other property in town has. Yet, no provision or consideration was ever given to the surrounding area. They were just expected to absorb the impact of construction crews and machinery working in what was left of a postage stamp-sized work area.
I have never seen a building inspector during the entire construction. When stone and brick were being ground, the clouds of dust went on week after week until I talked to the Focus supervisor and he agreed to wet the stone to try to keep some of’ the dust down. The building department and mayor were oblivious to the problem.
The hardship of being able to use only one fourth of the public alley during the months of construction, or not at all, when it was blocked with trucks and construction equipment didn’t bother anyone at Village Hall either.
When half of my parking lot was destroyed, my fence damaged and the tuck pointing on the brick wall of my building opened up, no one from the village was concerned. The Focus supervisor, my son and myself have since met and Focus has agreed to repair the damage. You mayor, once again, were nowhere in sight, but I suppose somewhere down the line, you’ll say you made all of the arrangements”even if you know differently.
I would suggest if you talk the talk, you ought to walk the walk. And if you did you would be one terrific Mayor. However, if all you do is philosophically talk about progress when it’s not in your backyard, it’s like the wind whistling through the trees. A lot of noise going nowhere and a prelude to what the next two construction sites will produce.
In closing I’d like to refer to the REVIEW, March 25 article about taking the zoning board advice. You didn’t take it when they said no to zero parking for Commissioner [Mark] Hosty’s bar and restaurant and for the rest of the businesses packed into the Krader Wolf building”now you have a traffic, safety and parking problem
You didn’t take it for the corner of Marengo and Madison when they said 0 parking f or a retail store only. Commissioner Hosty reworded the 0 parking to include a restaurant. Could this have been because one of the owners of the property is part of his relative’s organization?
Let’s hope mayor that with all of’ your “small town charm” power, when you finally leave office, there is still some of’ Forest Park left.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to our friends and relatives for their prayers during Marv’s illness and words of sympathy since he passed away. Special thanks to Rev. Dr. Donald Gnewuch of St. John Lutheran Ev. Lutheran Church for his visits, prayers and words of comfort these past weeks and at the funeral service. This outpouring of kindness is comforting.
The Marvin Rodenbostel Family
Thank you FP Garden Club!
The students and staff of Garfield School would like to thank the Forest Park Garden Club for their generous donation this past fall. We would also like to thank parent Heather Jackert, for using the donation to purchase and plant tulip bulbs for the planters in front of the school on Jackson Blvd. The blooming flowers remind us of the books we have read through the Reading Counts program. Thank you for making our school community a little brighter!
Garfield School Principal