Annual No Gloves tournament a success

On behalf of the board of park commissioners of the Park District of Forest Park, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank everyone who helped make the 40th Annual Forest Park Invitational Softball Tournament a huge success.

Special thanks to Park District commissioners Sam Alonzo, Howard “Bud” Boy, John Doss, Cathy McDermott and Roy Sansone for their continued support in keeping the tradition of this most prestigious 16-inch softball tournament alive for all of these years. They, along with our great recreation, maintenance, concession and office staff, put in countless hours of work each year for this tournament. The tournament is a must-see for any serious fan or player of “Chicagoland’s game” and we are proud that the tradition continues.

Many thanks to the players, team sponsors, umpires, scorekeepers, announcers, grounds crew and to Mr. Stats, tournament statistician, for their participation in this year’s tournament. I would also like to thank the fans who come out in record numbers, year after year, to enjoy the games.

Thanks to Burke Beverage and the Miller Brewing Company for their 22nd year as tournament co-sponsors. We would also like to thank the Forest Park Review for once again publishing the official program, the Forest Park Post for their coverage and Wilbert Burial Vault for the use of their tents each year for this and all of our special events, as well as to Orthosport and the Mid-City Parking for the use of their parking facilities. Our appreciation is also extended to Mayor Anthony Calderone, the village council and the police and fire departments for their continued support.

We would especially like to express our appreciation to our wonderful group of volunteers who come forward each year to make the food and concessions operation second to none. It would be impossible to list all of them in this letter, but I just wanted to publicly say that without these volunteers, we certainly couldn’t do it alone. Thank you all once again for giving your time for the enjoyment of others.

This year’s tournament marked our 40th anniversary and, with the support of the community, we are looking forward to many more. Again, thank you to everyone who helps make this annual event a great success that showcases the wonderful spirit of our community.

Larry Piekarz
Director, Park District of Forest Park

Irresponsible indeed

Recently, I and six other reform-minded commissioners on the Cook County Board sponsored a repeal of the recently enacted sales tax increase. Unfortunately, President Todd Stroger and his allies defeated the measure in a 10-7 vote. I was sharply criticized by President Stroger and his allies on the county board for putting forth what they called an “irresponsible” proposal. Their dictionaries obviously define the word irresponsible in a different manner than mine.

My position has been and will always be that Cook County should eliminate the waste and corruption from the budget instead of raising taxes. To increase taxes $430 million each year to cover a one-time $200 million shortfall is absurd. This tax increase, which will drive businesses, jobs, and residents from Cook County, will have a long lasting and devastating effect on our county. It is important to note the $200 million deficit was created by adding 1,100 new jobs to the already bloated payroll.

I was not elected to appease political insiders like Daley and Stroger. Instead, I was elected to represent the interests of Cook County residents and taxpayers. I also understand when I stand up for taxpayers I will be attacked for my actions. Nevertheless, I remain undeterred in my support for lower taxes and the elimination of corruption that will lead to a more efficient county government.

Higher taxes are only one result of government corruption. Corruption impacts every aspect of our “quality of life” by diverting tax dollars away from vital services for our residents. Corruption leads to poor performing schools, diminished public safety and inadequate homeland security.

Politicians who support higher taxes so they can give out jobs and contracts to their friends and campaign contributors do so because they are allowed to do so by the people. It is incumbent upon each and every one of us to hold our elected officials responsible for their actions. If the voters continue to allow corruption to go unchecked, it will continue to grow and cost us yet even more tax dollars each year. Now that is what I call irresponsible.

Tony Peraica
Cook County Commissioner