It’s election season again, and the battle lines are drawn.
Perhaps most apparent are those etched in the sand by Forest Park’s village commissioners and mayor. The council is fractured into obvious teams: Hoskins and Tellalian versus the mayor, Hosty and Curry.
Such is the reality of the village’s governing body. Hoskins hangs out at Tellalian’s mayoral fundraiser; Calderone is invited to judge a charity chili cook-off at Hosty’s bar; and Curry lauds all-things Calderone with Facebook posts such as, “We have the BEST mayor!” That’s all fine and dandy.
But, when council members spend the bulk of the time at twice-monthly board meetings – where, lately, as candidate Eric Connor pointedly noted, “politically, nothing [of substance] goes on” – arguing, it makes you wonder. Especially, if their communication is so dwarfed that they are governing ineffectually; and this appears to be the case.
Arguing is also fine and dandy, if board members are debating something of substance. We would certainly welcome debate over the village’s finances, its vision for Roosevelt Road, or, maybe, a healthy spat over what to do about that empty car lot on Roosevelt and DesPlaines, that could be bringing in sales tax revenue if another dealership were there, as candidate for commissioner Chris Harris recently noted.
No, the village board prefers political theatre, free of charge, with show times usually lasting around a half hour. Instead of discussing any substantive issues, the citizenry has to listen to Hosty and Hoskins squabble, or Calderone and Hoskins take shots at each other, which we’ve seen in the last two meetings.
Round 1: Hosty takes on Hoskins over comments Hoskins made to the Forest Park Review regarding last year’s $200,000 budget surplus. Round 2: Hoskins surprises the mayor – who doesn’t seem to like surprises – with a Moody’s report, informing him that the village’s finances are “deteriorating.”
Great job, guys. Instead of staging attacks on each other – and believe us, both of these incidents were carefully premeditated – why don’t you get together and actually discuss how you’re going to deal with a current revenue shortfall, and manage the $15.3 million in bond debt.
It’s called governing. That’s what you were elected to do, in case you forgot, in all your combined years of incumbency.
Citizens, before you go and vote for any of these incumbents on April 5, we suggest you pick up the phone, call any one of them, and ask: “What have you done for me lately?”
Send us their replies, if they can give you any, and we’ll consider publishing them next week.