In defense of our mayor
A reader recently wrote to criticize Mayor Anthony Calderone over hishandling of a gas leakage. The writer seemed to criticize the Mayor for taking credit for something he hadn’t done. The mayor becomes fair game for anyone who takes the time to write a letter. This letter, though, is the opposite.

Two and a half years ago, my husband suffered a major heart attack and underwent openheart surgery. During his recovery, our huskies, as huskies will do, got out of the backyard and went for a run. Their “escape” upset him so much that he was close to returning to the hospital. Our police force was instrumental in the dogs’ return. The Police represent Forest Park, as does our mayor who oversees that department.

We first met the mayor when he was campaigning for reelection. He came to our home and the mayor spoke not only of politics, but also sports and the military. When my husband mentioned that I was a Chicago schoolteacher who took my class to Hines Hospital to perform a patriotic show for the vets, the mayor said he’d like to attend. I explained that the show honored each branch of the Armed Forces and recalled the major conflicts since World War I through songs, dance routines, and short skits. To my surprise, who was there, taking time out of his busy schedule to watch the show? Our mayor. When I announced we had the mayor at the show, the vets felt important. After the show he shook their hands. These vets were not eligible to vote for him. But that didn’t matter. The mayor appreciated their service for protecting this country, even though it was before many of us were born. There was no television camera or newspaper coverage. It was simply the mayor thanking the vets. Since that first show, the Mayor has attended many of them. At our most recent performance, the Mayor extended a compliment to me.

The shirt I wore said, “These colors don’t run. Never have. Never will.” The only public attention the mayor got out of this was the applause of a bunch of military men and women who felt very honored.

The mayor wears many hats as the leader of our village. His public role places him in the spotlight and there are those who will criticize him. But I have seen a side of him that tells me he cares about our village, doing his best on the big issues with which he deals as well as just one schoolteacher doing a deed for our service men and women.
Joan Brown
Forest Park

P.S. The enclosed photos were taken the day of the Hines Hospital visit.

In defense of Michael Cody
I have worked with Lt. Michael Cody for a little over seven years. I have had the opportunity to have him as my field training officer, sergeant, and immediate supervisor.

He is the supervisor of records, communications, parking, auxiliary police unit, and crossing guards. He has supervised many female employees in the department with no incidents of harassment in any form.

I am happy and proud to be employed by the Village of Forest Park. I’m confident nearly all my co-workers feel the same. This is not the divided hostile environment the citizens have been led to believe”it’s merely the opinion of a few disgruntled employees.

If you want an accurate account of what the department members think about the events that have drawn attention to us over the last two years, you need to obtain and print information from many sources.

You cannot get a full story when you only print skewed accounts from a few police officers. Speak to all thirty-eight sworn officers and then draw a conclusion.   
Officer Debra Taylor #223

Shame on you Calderone
At the close of the March 28 village council meeting, Mayor [Anthony] Calderone took time to review bills being considered in the Illinois legislature that affect Forest Park. Not mentioned, although it certainly will affect Forest Park, was Illinois Senate Bill 1296. This bill weakens the Open Meetings Act by allowing just two public officials in a commissioner form of government (which Forest Park is) to meet in private to discuss administrative matters.

In fact if [Steve] Backman, a member of the public, and Commissioner [Theresa] Steinbach had not disclosed the existence of the bill and its intent at the May 9 village council meeting, we would have known nothing about this bill, currently being considered by the Illinois House.

While the merits of this bill should be debated, what cannot be is the fact that Calderone secretly sponsored this bill using Forest Park’s paid lobbyist to shepherd it through the Illinois legislature. If, as Calderone says, this bill can only help the mayor and the commissioners to function more efficiently, why keep it a secret from the very people who will benefit from it? Why trump democracy and its prerequisite open government by such “secret” legislative moves?

Congratulations to those solid Forest Park citizens who work to keep Forest Park government transparent and to Commissioner Steinbach for doing her homework, being vigilant, and bringing her findings into the light of a public forum.
Suzy Ance
Forest Park

Re: Censorship and the Forest Park Library
 It is somewhat shocking that the president of the Forest Park Library Board of Trustees would be in favor of censorship. Perhaps she should keep in mind this quote from George Bernard Shaw”who knew about censorship first hand: “Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads.”
Natalie Martini
Forest Park

Many thanks
On behalf of the Forest Park Food Pantry, I want to thank Mike Elliott and co-workers, NALC #825, Forest Park Post Office, for organizing, collecting and delivering food to our Pantry.

I also want to thank the residents of our great Village who generously donated non-perishable food items. Without your help our pantry would not exist. Thanks to everyone!
Beverly Thompson
Director, Howard Mohr Community Center

A lesson in semantics
It has fallen on me to give Debbie King, president of the Forest Park Library Board of Trustees, a lesson in semantics.

In the REVIEW on May 11, 2005 King was quoted as saying “We (referring, I believe to the library) censor everyday, we censor based on budget…” 

There is a big difference between the words to censor and to choose. The staff at the library chooses (selects) what materials to purchase “to meet the informational, educational, professional and recreational needs of our community’s diverse population.” (Forest Park Library Mission Statement)

King becomes a censor”one who acts as an overseer of morals and conduct”when she arbitrarily removes a book, purchased at the request of a patron, from the library shelf.

By trying to get a book banned from our library, King is going against the very core values of the American Library Association, the Illinois Library Association and the Metropolitan Library System of which our Forest Park Library is a member.

And, for that she should be censured (reprimanded).
Barbara Plona
Forest Park

Many thanks
The Betsy Ross School PTO would like to acknowledge those people and businesses that contributed, to the success of the annual Spring Fling Fundraiser.

The following businesses made donations: Brown Cow, Circle Bowling Lanes, Ed’s Way, Ernest Hemingway Museum, Forest Park Firefighters, Forest Park .Police FOP, Forest Park Bank, Geo’s Auto, Healy’s Westside, Hobbytown USA, Illinois Railway Museum, Jimmy’s Place, Kevil’s Restaurant, Krenek’s Antiques, Louie’s Grill, Molly Malone’s, Old School Records, O’Sullivan’s, Open Door Theater Company, Pampered Chefs Denise Murray, Painted Plate, Park District of Forest Park, Pumpkin Moon, Quitsch Florist, Schauer’s Ace Hardware, Second City, Shanahan’s, Starship Subs, Team Blonde, Trage Brothers, Tri-Star Gymnastics, Two Fish and Zanies.

We would like to thank the awesome teachers, families and staff at Betsy who volunteered their time and energies to ensure a fun-filled evening for all who attended. We of course need to thank our returning Guest Bingo Callers, Mayor Anthony Calderone and Youth Police Officer Bob Kendall.
Betsy Ross School PTO Board