War of words leaves bad impressions
As residents, taxpayers etc., I feel we should be appalled with what seems to be going on during Council meetings. This war of words, comments, articles etc. sure is leaving bad impressions.

Many of the 3 to 2 voting leave me wondering – Isn’t it possible that one from either side could possibly agree with the other? After all, we voted for the five members of the Council for the betterment of the Village, but these split votes lead me to believe that we are only getting the majority and not the full agreement as to what is the best.

As for District 209, what a shame that we were “hoodwinked” and lied to. You all realize that this means more taxes. All of this because the millions of dollars given to Proviso cannot do the job and now we have to pay more for a few. I would surely like the Review to publish costs, contractors, budget etc. Taxpayers would like to study that.

I have never been a critic of Ms. Wozniak, however, at this time I must take exception to her statement which included mentioning that a member of the ZBA probably should reside in Forest Park.

Since I am at present a member of the ZBA, I feel that I have first hand knowledge about this person. This member has family here, business here and probably is the most knowledgeable regarding zoning, building, blueprints etc. and I for one feel that we are better off having someone who is knowledgeable and cares about Forest Park.

Al Bucholtz

Mom’s point of view
I read in the Review that (Police Chief James) Ryan’s Attorney, Patrick Lucansky, successfully argued that allowing my son, Daniel Harder, to remain on paid leave would have a negative impact on morale among the police. I felt the need to call my son and complain to him, because I did not raise a son who should be capable of causing a negative impact on morale.

I started to question him about his history of discipline, because someone who is capable of causing a negative impact on morale would probably have a long list of disciplinary action taken against them. My son went on to explain that from the time he was hired in 1983 until the time he filed a sexual harassment suit against the Village of Forest Park, he was suspended for one day in 1985, because he was involved in an automobile accident. Now I started to see what Mr. Lucansky was talking about, a one day suspension in over twenty years on the force!

Jim Ryan becomes the permanent police chief appointed after the sudden exit of Ed Pope. I then learned that Dan was given a two day suspension for justifiably pointing his service revolver at a woman for about four seconds during a call where someone called 911 and hung up the phone without saying a word. I do not have all the details, but I hope the specifics come out in the trial. In lieu of two suspension days, Chief Ryan offered to take 8 hours of “banked” time from my son. Dan said he would take the two day suspension and fight the charges before the Board.

Now we have this new set of charges. There was an offer of a twenty day suspension, but my son declined to take the offer. He feels he is being retaliated against and the only way to allow the truth to surface is fight the charges before a board made up of people hand picked by Mayor Anthony Calderone.

Would a guilty man accept the suspension or would an innocent man fight them against all odds? My prayer is that the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners are honest and truthful human beings. I am proud of my son, not proud of the language he used, but proud of him for following his convictions.

Mary Lou Harder

Irresponsible Forest Park dog lovers
Forest Park has many dog lovers, but also many irresponsible ones. I walk my two dogs in the mornings as often as I can, because all three of us enjoy it. They are always on leashes. If we pass someone, I pull them close to me or may even cross the street. In my pocket, I carry a baggy and paper towels to clean up after them if they have to do anything as we’re out walking.

On our walk one morning, I saw a man standing on a corner. His dog was watching us and he was looking the other way. I knew there was another dog somewhere and that neither would be on leashes, because I’ve seen this trio walk down the street I live on many times. I’ve also seen how the man conveniently looks the other way as his dog leaves its droppings on someone’s lawn, and then just quickly walks away. Once I was outside and I asked if he was going to clean it up. He said “I always do”, as he fumbled through his pockets. What he found looked like a gum wrapper or cigarette package, which is obviously not what you “always” use for such a thing.

Today, as we got closer, his dog ran across the street towards us. I pulled my dogs’ leashes tight and yelled. The second dog came around the corner, and only then did the guy notice this dog was no longer standing at his side. He yelled and the dogs stopped and went back to him. When I said ‘They should be on leashes”, his intelligent reply was “Sorry I ruined your day, honey”. I told him I wasn’t as worried about me as I was about his dog, because it could’ve gotten hit by a car. He didn’t answer and we both went our ways. I didn’t look back to see if he put the leashes (which had been in his hand all this time) on the dogs then, but I hope so.

That’s just my point. You can’t blame the dogs – they act completely by instinct. This man is just one example, and hopefully one of the worst ones. I’ve had people tell me “Oh, my dog would never do anything”. That’s entirely possible, but you don’t really know until something happens and it’s too late. If one dog gets nervous and growls or snaps at another, then what? Or if a car comes barreling down the street as a dog is running across to make a new friend, why take that chance?

A leash that’s just in your hand does no good. The little bit of freedom you may think you’re giving your pet just isn’t worth it. Take them to the dog park and let them loose there. That’s a safe, friendly place to run, not in our neighborhoods. Its just better for everyone.

Also, please, do you like finding dog crap on your lawn? That gives all dog owners a bad reputation, and a lot of us really do “always” clean up after our furry friends.

One last thing. If you think I’m being a nag on this subject, then you’re probably the exact person I’m talking about. I just hope your pets never have to suffer for your lack of responsibility.

L. Hagen