It’s ‘tween’ time: The time between Christmas and the New Year when the focus changes from gifts to resolutions; from recuperating after various Xmas parties to wondering how you are going to survive the New Year’s parties. It’s a time when many people use vacation days to wind down from all the Xmas frenzy and to ponder what the next year will bring. Personally, my Xmas was scaled back from previous ones, and I had one of the most enjoyable experiences in recent memory. In some instances, less is better.

The Village started its celebration on the 17th of December with the recently reinstated Christmas party being held at Francesca Fiore’s; a place at which I have yet to dine (excepting appetizers during a progressive dinner). People I know who were fortunate enough to attend said a good time was had by all. The obligatory speeches were made; service awards distributed, and anyone who left hungry or thirsty had no one to blame but him or herself.

A source inside village hall tells me, however, that there were a few Christmas presents left over under the village hall Christmas Tree. These gifts were either rejected or misplaced and after hearing what they were. I feel it would be in the best interest of the entire village for the owners to pick them up at their earliest convenience. They are, in no particular order:

To: Sgt. Harder, From: The FPPD: A fair settlement offer along with a written apology. Let’s start 2006 off correctly. This public servant has a family to support and has been forced to endure several months of acrimony. Quit blaming his attorney for the delays.

To: The Police and Fire Commission, From: The residents of Forest Park: A conscience. While I have not been to all of the hearings, I have been to enough to understand that this village-imposed drama should be ended with an immediate 3-0 vote in Sgt. Harder’s favor.

To: Village Administrator Michael Sturino, From: The Village Council: A promise, in writing, to allow you to do your job without interference or cross fire from the political mechanizations in town. Recent events such as the Industrial Drive SSA debacle lead me to believe that Sturino may be caught in the political tractor beam that rendered his predecessor ineffective. Mr. Sturino comes with impressive credentials and should be allowed to run the Village on a day-to-day basis without interference from either side of the political aisle.

To:Village residents, From: The Park District Board: A clarification and description of exactly what your official position is on land acquisition for the park. There has been a lot of rhetoric, usually near election time, and little follow-through. Yes or No? Is land acquisition on the Park District Board’s radar screen? The indifference toward the Roos property strongly suggests that land acquisition is not a priority. Please advise.

To: Main Street, From: Various businesses: Tenants to fill the holes at the east end of Madison and in the old China Night building on what is an otherwise fabulous strip of shopping and dining. The glare of Madison Street’s success at times blinds us to the fact that there are gaping holes in Madison Street store fronts, and may suggest that Madison is getting to the point of being overbuilt.

To: Business owners on Roosevelt Road, From: Village Council: Acknowledgement that you exist. Every town has its “Main Street” and while you’re not it and never will be, you are an important cog in the economic vitality of the village. Maybe in 2006 you’ll start being treated that way.

To: Citizens United in Forest Park (CUinFP), From: Village “nay Sayers”: The admission that what you’re doing brings benefit and value to our community. Please don’t rest on your award-winning laurels. Momentum when lost is hard to regain. Don’t lose it.

To: Parents of future high schoolers, From: District 209: A report on how Proviso Math and Science Academy is actually faring. Hopefully District 209 won’t farm the report out to their $150 per hour, politically connected publicist.

To: Wal-Mart, From: Residents of Forest Park: The “permission” to take your cluttered, filthy, property-tax appealing discount store to any other location outside of village limits. Yes, we understand that when you leave you’d be taking your sales tax dollars with you, but this is a town on the upswing and we can easily find a suitable replacement that will be a store of which we can all be proud.

To: All Village Residents, From: Dave Goetz: ” The encouragement to make the decision to run for various political offices. The important upcoming 2007 elections will require able-bodied, opinionated, concerned village residents to make that decision in 2006. The more, the merrier.

Finally, to family, friends, acquaintances and total strangers ” A healthy, happy, exciting 2006.