What began as a petty squabble almost 18 months ago to the day came to a most appropriate conclusion last week when those hell bent on reliving this nightmare negated what was otherwise a decent gesture.
In July of 2005 Doc Ryan’s proprietor Jim Shaw and Commissioner Patrick Doolin exchanged terse words over a vote of the village council that did not go Shaw’s way. The criminal charges and civil suit that were filed subsequent to this exposed Forest Park’s personality-driven politics for what they are.
On Jan. 8, Shaw donated his settlement from the suits to an ad hoc committee in the community, all the while continuing to take jabs at his adversary in the ordeal. With the charges dropped and the lawsuit settled, we’ve hopefully heard the last of this.
For those not familiar with this saga and its bitter end, our story on page seven fills in the gaps.
Shaw’s feeble and transparent “apology” to the community could have been much less so had his intentions truly been noble. For all the scathing remarks, innuendo and backhanded comments that led up to his donation of some $9,000 to the village’s Centennial Committee, Shaw should have kept his money and simply addressed the council as a member of the public. It’s difficult to work up an appetite for a steak that’s been dragged through the mud and that’s exactly how Shaw presented his gift.
Doolin continues to take offense at Shaw’s original remarks and certainly wasn’t pleased with the tone of last week’s “apology” from Shaw. But, as we’ve said before, community leaders need to take the high road if they are to deserve their constituents’ respect. Doolin didn’t and, therefore, doesn’t. Politicians with an edge as sharp as Patrick Doolin need to grow tougher skins.
Though it’s doubtful the mayor orchestrated this polarizing debacle, he too shares the blame for at least having a hand in staging such a spectacle. Shaw’s remarks appeared on the agenda as a communication to the board. We’d be hard pressed to recall the last time an item under the same heading was read aloud. The mayor’s actions render his statements of indifference hollow at best.
Like Doolin, Mayor Anthony Calderone failed to behave like a leader and instead, wasted everyone’s time with more political theater.
As for the windfall that planners of our community’s 100th birthday have come into, we eagerly await the chance to celebrate the last century while we look forward to the next. Let’s just hope we can all forget the last three years or so.
A quote in the Review’s Jan. 10, story on redevelopment plans for the Roos property on page six warrants clarification. Plan Commissioner member Marty Tellalian was quoted as saying “I would rather not have town homes.” Tellalian was referring strictly to six of the 28 townhouses in the proposal.