Supporters of mayoral candidate Marty Tellalian and Commissioner Rory Hoskins packed the party room at Jimmy’s Place, 7411 Madison St., for a fundraiser on Mar. 3. The event was organized in part by Mary Rueda, a former village employee.

“I enjoy organizing gatherings – personal, business and political,” Rueda said. A ten-year resident of Forest Park, she wants voters to make an informed decision on Election Day. “Mayor Calderone has done a good job,” Rueda admitted, “But it’s time for fresh ideas. I’m supporting Marty and Rory because they can bring about change.”

The candidates themselves spoke briefly to the throng. Tellalian led off by introducing his committee and thanking them for their efforts. “Only through involvement of the citizenry will we have open government,” Tellalian said. He also touted his engineering expertise as an asset in dealing with Forest Park’s flooding problems.

Hoskins recognized the public officials in the crowd and mentioned that a friend’s 18-year-old daughter plans to cast her first vote for Tellalian. In speaking of the current mayor, Hoskins noted, “When you hold the same seat for twelve years, it’s hard to be the same person.”

If they are elected, Hoskins said he and Tellalian will bring more “transparency and accountability” to village government.

Another fundraiser for the Tellalian ticket is scheduled for Mar. 20, at House Red, 7403 Madison St.

In a phone conversation with the Forest Park Review after the event, Tellalian said he will not take donations from businesses outside of the village.

Nick Moroni contributed to this article.

This article has been updated to the correct the date of Marty Tellalian’s fundraiser.

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.