Commissioner Marty Tellalian has announced his candidacy for mayor of Forest Park in the April 2011 election.
“Simply put, I think I would be a good mayor,” Tellalian said. “As much success as Forest Park has enjoyed, I think we can do better. And I want to be a part of that, shaping the future of Forest Park.”
One of the most important issues he will focus on will be involving more residents in the village council’s decision making process, from creating goals to taking actions, he said.
“The more people involved, the better government we will have,” he said. “Participatory government brings on better government, more efficient government, fair government and a more open government.”
Tellalian, 57, has served as a commissioner of Forest Park since 2007. He was also on the plan commission from January 2005 to May 2007. Born in Pittsburgh, his family moved to Forest Park when he was an infant. He attended Field Stevenson through fifth grade, and then his family moved to Lombard. Tellalian came back to Forest Park in his 20s and has lived in the village for 40 years.
Tellalian works as a tank design manager for Chicago Bridge and Iron Company, an international construction company based in Plainfield that has design, fabrication and construction capabilities. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1975 from the University of Illinois in general engineering with a concentration on mechanical engineering. In 1981, he earned a master’s degree in civil engineering with a focus on structures, also from the University of Illinois.
He has also been active with his church having served 12 years on the board of trustees at the Armenian All Saints Apostolic Church in Glenview. Additionally, he has been a part of various committees for organizations such as the March of Dimes and Junior Achievement, and he also coached baseball at one point in Downers Grove.
Tellalian said he plans to talk to and survey as many residents as possible to find out what they believe is lacking in Forest Park and what they believe is good about the village. In doing so already, Tellalian said Forest Park needs to provide more opportunities for the youth in town.
“Young adults and kids in town need to feel that they are cherished,” he said. “We need to make them feel a part of our community. … We have good resources – a well-funded school system, a good park district – but I think we should have more things for our youth after school.”
He also said he would “hold the line on spending,” look closely into pension plans and make sure that building codes are applied consistently and evenly among residents.
“We have a three-term incumbent mayor who has done some good things in town…but I think we need a change,” Tellalian said. “It’s up to our residents of Forest Park to decide if they want Tony Calderone as mayor or if they want a change.”
Mayor Anthony Calderone did not return phone calls for this story. As of now, he has not made an official announcement to the Review as to whether or not he is running again for mayor.
During the Holiday Walk on Friday, Tellalian said he plans to host a social event at 7441 Madison Street for all candidates in the April Election to interact with residents.