This newspaper has never kept its disdain for Forest Park’s commission form of government a secret, and our stance has certainly not changed in light of recent events.
We sincerely hope that the hostilities among village council members enhanced by the recent vote not to hire Commissioners Doolin and Steinbach’s proposed public works director will not lead to future revenge votes from either side.
Under the Village Manager or Administrator form of government, where one individual who operates outside of the political process is in charge of department head hires, we are certain that this would not occur.
We thank Doolin for bringing attention to the need for some major changes in the village government system, but we encourage him not to waste time chasing hopeless band-aid style quick fixes.
In truth, there is absolutely zero chance that the commissioners will ever vote to have their department appointments reassigned. Even if they did, we’re not sure it’s the best idea, as it could certainly create some interesting conflicts of interest.
We encourage Doolin to pass on that battle, and instead pursue his 2nd stated option by pushing to eliminate the commission form altogether.
Mayor Anthony Calderone has said that he is open to exploring other forms of government, and with Village Administrator Michael Sturino already playing a large role in the day-to-day operations of village departments, the transition would likely not be all that difficult.
Making this much needed change a reality, however, would only require more of what appears the council’s least favorite pastime as of late: working together to get things done.
Alcohol and firearms
The Review has certainly taken note of the recent surge in letters complaining of drunken bar hoppers shouting obscenities, harassing residents, and even vomiting and urinating on Madison Street sidewalks.
We sympathize with residents and hope the village does all it can to alleviate these problems. Unfortunately, where there are bars there will always be drunken idiots, and we hope residents make some accommodation with that reality.
Though drunken idiots are certainly bad for the village, the problems they bring pail in comparison to their recent counterparts, idiots with guns.
For several weeks now, our police blotter has included an armed robbery, carjacking, or both. Not exactly that “small town feel” that Forest Park advertises.
We commend the police department for their recent participation in CUinFP’s gang awareness workshop, and we hope we can take it as a sign that these matters are being taken extremely seriously.