Check out this year’s Forest Park Community Guide!

Online edition –>

Multiple corridors

I have read over the past year the plans for our village celebration, all of which are laudable. I have one small problem though. Why is it that we can find money to make elephants to help commemorate our local historic cemetery, but cannot find the money to put the planters that are on Madison Street in the rest of the village. I do not see them on Desplaines Avenue, Roosevelt Road or Harlem Avenue, all of which are heavily frequented. Does the rest of the village not deserve the same treatment and expression of beauty? As much as I applaud the resurgence of the Madison Street area, I would like to see the city fathers’ recall that there is life on the other side of the expressway.

Cathy Hastings
Forest Park

Paperback columnist

This letter is in response to Bill Dwyer’s column, “Forest Parkers not the only ones with questions.” Where are your questions for mayoral candidate Terry Steinbach? You don’t have any? Are you too busy daydreaming up conspiracy theories and channeling negative energy? My questions don’t make for Tom Clancy novels or primetime television like yours; they come from my own eyes.

Where was Terry Steinbach when the backup generator caught fire on top of village hall in the middle of the night? I know where Mayor Calderone was … at the scene ensuring everything was handled properly and taking notes for himself.

Where was Terry Steinbach when a tree fell in a violent storm on the 400 block of Thomas Avenue crashing down on top of a car? I know I saw Mayor Calderone there talking to residents and Public Works employees late into the night. Where is Terry Steinbach at the wonderful community event Groovin’ in the Grove? I see Mayor Calderone throughout the evening talking to residents and visitors alike.

Where is Terry Steinbach at your neighborhood block party? Have you seen Mayor Calderone at your block party? I know he makes a considerable effort to attend every block party at some point in the day. Bill Dwyer, open your eyes and your mind to all the positive things happening in Forest Park. You have the audacity to state that after eight years Calderone is still unfit to run this town!

Terry Steinbach has shown me she is a very nice neighbor; that I am thankful for. As for being the leading representative for my town, I don’t see it, I haven’t seen it. I have seen Mayor Calderone providing exceptional leadership on all levels, at all events, day and night.

Glenn Garlisch
Forest Park

Breakup the bloc

On March 19 I attended D209’s school board meeting and came away both highly encouraged and deeply disappointed. On the brighter side, selected students received awards for academic and athletic excellence. On the darker side, I witnessed the “power” of a board majority gone astray.

Bear in mind, there’s no problem with a board majority – if it is committed to doing the right thing. It was obvious that board votes casts in unison by Chris Welch’s board majority were clearly not in the best interest of the taxpayers, nor students. The board minority, particularly Charles Flowers, fought valiantly to save taxpayer dollars by making a motion to terminate two specific contracts with vendors who are major political supporters of board president Chris Welch. Danielle Ashley Communications has received from D209 roughly $840,000 for PR work while producing literature for Welch’s (failed) state rep. campaign. EMM Associates (a.k.a. Gene Moore) receives from D209 roughly $160,000 in broker fees as the “broker of record.” Such fees serve to increase the cost of insurance paid by D209 and employees even though a broker is not a necessary ingredient to obtaining renewal insurance.

It’s amazing to me that the board majority seems so “hell-bent” on doing the WRONG thing. It’s as though they have been acting in this manner for so long that they are oblivious to acting otherwise. It’s clear that the only way to put an end to this insidious cycle of wrong-doing is to break up the existing board majority. The only way to do this is to NOT elect any of the candidates being backed by Chris Welch and Gene Moore. Instead, a vote cast for Reform party candidates Ralph Harris, Kevin McDermott, and Theresa Kelly will provide support to individuals that have the best interest of students and taxpayers at heart.

Barbara D. Cole
Maywood, Ill.

Seeking re-election

I have filed as a write-in candidate in the April 17 election for a two-year Forest Park School District 91 board member position. I am proud and honored to have been a school board member for the last 12 years. It has been both a challenging and rewarding experience. Forest Park is a community that has many assets and the schools are one of the most important.

School board members are elected to represent all citizens of the community. Every citizen has a stake in maintaining the level of high quality education that our schools provide. This is a team effort and there is always room for improvement.

I believe a school board member’s responsibility is not to run the schools, but to see that they are well run. The school board as a whole makes decisions that enable all students to develop to their full potential. These decisions can cover any number of areas including: the students, staff, curriculum, budget, buildings and grounds and transportation.

If I am re-elected, I will continue my commitment to represent all citizens of Forest Park in ensuring a high quality education for our children with fiscal responsibility.

I ask for your write-in vote on April 17 for a two-year Forest Park School District 91 board member position.

Catherine Denham
Forest Park

Trash disappointing

After going out for a walk on the morning of March 18 I was embarrassed to say I’m from Forest Park. The bar owners on Madison Street should be ashamed of themselves. The way the sidewalk and street was littered with bottles, trash and broken glass make the whole village look trashy. All of the hard work in the past 15 years to change the image of Forest Park and Madison Street just went down the gutter. I know St. Patrick’s Day is a big day for the bars and restaurants, but with the extra profit made why wasn’t a little extra effort made to clean up.

John Trindle
Forest Park