With petitions circulating, election season has officially begun as of last week and residents can now vie for a spot on the village board – including the mayor’s seat. Positions will also be open on the park and school boards.
Interested candidates must gather signatures from registered voters in Forest Park and eventually turn in their nominating petitions between Dec. 13 and Dec. 20 this year, according to the Cook County Board of Elections. The election will take place April 5, 2011.
It is still unclear whether Mayor Anthony Calderone, who has held the village’s top post since 1999, will run for re-election. He told the Review he will announce his decision within a week or two.
As for the rest of the village commissioners, three of the four men have said they intend to run again for a spot on the board: Rory Hoskins of accounts and finance, Michael Curry of public health and safety, and Mark Hosty of streets and public improvements. Public Property Commissioner Martin Tellalian said he has not yet decided his plans for the upcoming election.
Candidates can either run for commissioner or mayor. Specific board positions are decided among board members after the election. There are no political parties in Forest Park and mayoral candidates do not have to build a slate, Calderone said.
“We have non-partisan elections, so everyone is really like a free agent,” he said.
Joining the village council is a great way to make a difference in town, Curry said, noting many improvements that have been established since the last election in 2007, including the Blue Line entrance at Circle Avenue as one example.
“It’s an opportunity to help my community, the town, my home,” he said. “There’s more to be done.”
As for the District 91 school board, three seats will open up including the spot of President Frank Mott. Vice President Sean Blaylock and board member Rafael Rosa will also have terms that expire in April.
Mott said the school board has done a great job in moving the district forward, and he intends on running again.
“For me, we have made a lot of positive changes,” he said. “There is still more to see and more to be done and I’d like to see this through.”
School board members will serve four-year terms expiring in 2015, and board officers are selected by the members after the election in April.
Two seats will be up for election on the park board. Those seats are currently held by President Cathleen McDermott and Commissioner Roy Sansone. McDermott said she plans to run for another six-year term. Sansone could not be immediately reached.