Cathy McDermott and Roy J. Sansone retained their positions on the Forest Park Park District board Tuesday night, winning by a narrow margin against newcomer John Hosty, who failed to gain the roughly .5 percent he needed to win.
Park district President Cathy McDermott said that the results were a tremendous relief. She knew it would be a tight race, but was “appreciative of the support of the voters.”
The park district’s attempt to acquire the Roos building, at Harrison and Circle, was one of the top issues in the election. The board has spent months laboring over the project. McDermott said that they are still in negotiations over the property, and that it is taking longer than anticipated. She added, however, that “We have set our parameters; we know what we want, and we won’t budge.”
The property tax referendum last year that allowed for the sale of $7 million in municipal bonds to acquire the building had a technical mistake that caused the state to have to pass a law to allow the park to collect revenue for the project. McDermott said that this has not held up the negotiations, and if the board is not successful, they will not levy the tax.
McDermott believes that voters appreciated the fact that board has been able to accomplish a lot, including setting out a comprehensive plan for the Roos property, and that they have used taxpayer dollars wisely. According to her, the park district has nine months in reserve funding currently in the bank.
Hosty ran on a platform of making the park district more accountable to the people of Forest Park. The businessman, currently a project manager at Northern Trust Bank, planned to bolster park district revenues.
“John Hosty is a friend of the park and will continue to be a friend of the park,” McDermott said. “We look forward to working with him in the future.”