Ordinances you don’t know can cost you

From March 2 to March 6, a Forest Park ticket writer came on private property of a private home at 214 Lathrop to write eight tickets on our car which we had parked there-with no notice of any kind.

We live at 218 Lathrop and had no room in our garage to put the car. So our neighbor said it was OK to park the car on her parking slab between the garages. The car has been there since November. I’ve been very ill and under doctor’s care. My medications don’t allow me to drive. The license plates have expired, and as we don’t use the car anymore, we saw no reason to renew them at this time. We were unaware we were breaking any laws. And no one let us know we were, not even a knock on the door, nothing. They just kept writing tickets and putting them under the back of the hood so we could not see them and the ticket writer could make his quota. We will go to court in Forest Park on April 4 at village hall.

Our point is this: Why didn’t the village let us know? Why doesn’t the village send out a letter to homeowners listing all these hidden ordinances-or don’t they want us to know?

We guess our property rights don’t count anymore.

But they sure want their taxes. We wrote the mayor but no answer.

Jim Golden
Forest Park

Cox’s slate has a track record – of excess spending

Bob Cox from Forest Park wrote recently (Letters to the Editor, March 21) about “a BOE candidate who is also an instructor at Triton College.” Since I am the only candidate running in the District 209 race who is a member of the Triton College adjunct faculty (I teach financial accounting), clearly Mr. Cox is talking about me. Although there is more than one Bob Cox in Forest Park, the writer refers to me as “the other candidate,” thus implying that the writer himself is candidate Robert “Bob” Cox of the Proviso First Party who, like me, is running for a seat on the Dist. 209 board.

Mr. Cox says about me, “He is convinced that as a board member he will correct the misguided 209 funding by properly accounting for every penny of taxpayers’ money.” Does Mr. Cox believe that we should not properly account for all the taxpayers’ money? Apparently candidate Cox’s political backers do. The Proviso First Party, on whose slate candidate Cox is running, is led by current Dist. 209 board president and board majority leader Chris Welch. At the most recent meeting of the Dist. 209 board (March 19) Welch and his majority voted, yet again, to continue a $160,000 contract with EMM & Associates for insurance brokerage, a contract that the Forest Park Review itself has previously exposed as a no-bid, sweetheart deal for one of Mr. Welch’s political patrons. If Mr. Cox objects to my belief in “accounting for every penny of taxpayers’ money,” would he rather continue using those taxpayer pennies (tens of millions of pennies, in this case) to fund the personal wealth of political insiders?

The Proviso First Party members also voted at the March 19 board meeting to continue a contract with a public relations firm for more than $800,000. Why should any public school district need a PR firm at all? Shouldn’t our students’ scores be the only PR our district needs? Unfortunately, Dist. 209, after six years of this kind of leadership, currently posts the lowest ranking of any of the 90 high school districts in Cook County. Perhaps we should spend that $800,000 on our students, rather than on more futile PR spin about the dismal record of the Proviso First party.

Mr. Cox also implies that I believe “social sectors” should “become more like business.” But I have never said anything like this, nor do I believe in such a philosophy. I have spent many years working in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors, and I am fully aware of the differences. Government is not business, nor should it be. In fact, this is a central point in my campaign. The current Proviso First board majority, on the other hand, does appear to run the school district much like a personal business, hiring their friends and relatives and cutting deals for their politically connected buddies, as this newspaper itself has pointed out.

I believe fiscal responsibility in our school district is vitally important, especially after the $31 million deficit run up by the current board in just the last two years. But fiscal responsibility by itself is not enough. I believe passionately in our students’ ability to achieve. I believe that all students want to succeed, both in school and in life. But it’s up to us, the adults, to give them the right opportunities to achieve that success. Every decision made, every policy implemented, every action taken by the Dist. 209 school board must serve that purpose, and no other.

Mr. Cox concludes his letter by urging voters, “Find out what the candidates really stand for” and “don’t waste this opportunity to vote responsibly.” I couldn’t agree more.

Kevin McDermott
Candidate, Board of Education, Proviso School District 209

Trolling for votes … in Oak Park?

I know that in Chicago you can vote early and often, dead or alive, but can Oak Parkers vote for the mayor of Forest Park? That’s the question I asked myself as I spotted several CALDERONE MAYOR signs on Madison Street in Oak Park. No, I have decided, Oak Parkers have their own election on April 17 and probably aren’t too interested in ours.

Instead, I came to the realization that when you have 500 lawn signs to get rid of, you can easily run out of places to park them in a small village like Forest Park. So I’m sure it’s only natural for the CITIZENS FOR ANTHONY CALDERONE to look beyond our borders. After all when you accept many thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from way outside our community, why not troll for a few votes next door in Oak Park?

Barbara Plona
Forest Park