It’s good that officials from multiple state and federal agencies made their way to Forest Park at the close of last week. Bureaucrats from FEMA as well as the state version of the emergency management agency, and the Small Business Administration, all arrived on short notice last Thursday.
But while it’s encouraging to see local, state and federal officials working sincerely to bring resources, it’s best not to get too excited. Best-case scenario is that limited financial aid will be made available and that it won’t actually arrive any time soon.
So first things first: Forest Parkers devastated by flooding will have to continue to make things right on the home front with their labor and their savings.
From Mayor Anthony Calderone and Village Administrator Tim Gillian, the eight-person team of inspectors got the tour of the village’s areas hardest hit by flooding.
Assuming their efforts and those of other municipal leaders work, and we are optimistic they will, the impact locally will be slow and limited. Calderone said a declaration of a disaster will first bring more bureaucrats gathering data. Gillian noted archly that “FEMA won’t come in here with a machine printing money.”
That’s OK. No one wants to see the federal government tossing money around carelessly. What’s important is to see the wheels of government turning slowly in the right direction, to know that the local government is effectively using its levers to influence the situation. And of that, we’re confident. State and federal officials did not show up in Forest Park by accident last week. They came in response to proper pressure from local officials.
We need to keep that steady pressure on.