Last weekend the Forest Park Review caught up with two candidates for village board out on the campaign trail.
Eric Connor, candidate for commissioner, held a meet-and-greet at Harrison Street Café on Saturday, and mayoral hopeful Marty Tellalian held a fundraiser at Molly Malone’s Irish Pub on Sunday.
Connor was camped out at the café from 9 a.m. and noon, but no one had stopped to talk to him when the Review finished speaking with him at 11 a.m. Connor, a public defense attorney and member of the village Youth Commission, took the time to discuss some of his campaign initiatives.
He wants to replace the village’s problem-plagued sewer system – which he said might require a multimillion-dollar federal grant – so basements don’t flood after storms. If elected, he said he would also direct more government resources to youth activities to stymie gang involvement. Finally, Connor said he is interested in trying to change Forest Park’s commission form of government.
“I’m talking about applying to the state for a different form of government,” Connor said. “There would be no [more] three votes beats two votes.”
Across town, Tellalian’s event was a much larger draw. About 20 people turned out to support the mayoral hopeful; the total money raised was not announced by press time.
In a speech to supporters, Tellalian laid out his political priorities: participatory government; responsible spending; and, like Connor’s proposal, coordinated government efforts to increase youth activities.
Tellalian rattled off his initiatives as a list of do’s and don’ts:
“We don’t need to spend $14,000 on a band for Ribfest.”
“We need to get new people involved in our government.”
“We need to focus on activities for our kids; then I think a lot of the issues we are seeing with the youth in town will go away.”
Tellalian is currently the commissioner of Public Property; he will try to unseat 12-year incumbent Mayor Anthony Calderone in the April 5 municipal election.