Dear Editor and Residents of Forest Park,

I would like to start by thanking the Review for this opportunity to respond to last week’s endorsements. The theme of “change” was how they qualified their endorsements this year.  In not endorsing me they referred to me as “experienced and business savvy” and “take-no-prisoners.” Well, I think those are exactly the qualities that you would want in an elected official. I have done my job as commissioner exactly this way for 12 years, and with your vote on April 5, I will continue to do the same. I will always put Forest Park first.

What is the change that the Review seeks? Are they looking for a new set of commissioners that want to change Forest Park’s government into Oak Park’s model? I for one do not want to see that. They would prefer that we create a system where ideas and businesses go to die in committees, and I prefer an open government that works with its residents and businesses to respond to their needs in a timely way. The Review’s choice of leadership is a commissioner they say “is prone to grandstanding, complacency, and ineffectiveness,” and “Hoskins has definitely dropped the ball,” and that is who they endorse. It seems the only reason someone would get endorsed by this paper is to be anti-Calderone. Well I must say, I fail on that point, as I am most defiantly pro-Calderone. I have worked side-by-side with the mayor and am proud of our many accomplishments.

The village now has a website that gives transparency to the village’s day-to-day business as well as eases gathering information. I have completed over $20 million in new construction – mostly paid by grant money. This town has grown leaps and bounds in the last 12 years and if being proud to be part of that cost me an endorsement, than I am fine with that. The endorsements that I am proud to have received are from the hardworking men and women who work for the village. I am proud to be the only commissioner candidate that has been endorsed by the Teamsters, the Police FOP, and the Dispatcher’s unions.

The last endorsement I seek is yours. On April 5 you can choose to have great things continue in Forest Park or you can follow the recommendation of a publisher that I have not seen at a Forest Park village council meeting in 12 years.  I would be honored if you chose to vote for me. Thank you for your consideration.

 Mark S. Hosty, Commissioner