The managers and administrators from four villages including Forest Park met for lunch last week to discuss ways to pool resources as a cost-saving measure. The meeting follows an announcement last month by Forest Park, and some of the other towns, that the collaborative would be formed. No specific plans came out of the first meeting, though.

Village Administrator Tim Gillian said the rendezvous was “just an introduction to the concept.” The “concept,” Mayor Anthony Calderone said, was born out of a meeting last year between the heads of Forest Park, Oak Park, River Forest and Elmwood Park. Calderone said that the collaborative is still in its rough stages, and added that the village managers and administrators from the four towns would work out the specifics at future meetings.

The mayor said that police and fire services and shared human services might be part of the collaborative.

John Dalicandro, village manager for Elmwood Park, echoed Gillian’s assessment of the luncheon, describing it as “more of an initial dialogue.”

“We just asked, ‘Does it make sense for us to move forward?” he said rhetorically, adding, “We think it’ll work, and we think we should move forward.”

“The idea, of course, is to figure out among the four of us, what possible area can we look at best practices,” Dalicandro said.

Dalicandro said some of the topics that the group discussed included shared employee training, joint purchasing and, in some cases, combined contracts.

“As a group we all recognized the need to try and gain purchasing advantages based on volume and to begin dialogue on any other activity all of the communities share,” Gillian said.

Another meeting is scheduled for Aug. 17, and Gillian said he is “hopeful that we will identify some other areas of collaboration.”


Commish announces fundraiser; continues to mull run for state rep

Commissioner Rory Hoskins’ ambitions for the state’s 7th District house seat were made clearer this week after he sent out a Facebook message announcing an Aug.2 fundraiser at a local restaurant.

The “Citizens for Rory Hoskins Fundraiser,” as it is being called, is at DK Bottega, 201 Desplaines Ave., and Hoskins said he is reaching out to the public and to elected officials at all levels throughout the district. Hoskins said that several officials “indicated” they would attend, but declined to disclose any names. Furthermore, he added that he intends to invite every “elected official in Forest Park.”

“I don’t know that everyone will come,” Hoskins said. For some time now, he has been at odds with fellow board members Mayor Anthony Calderone and Commissioner Mark Hosty, a Calderone ally.

That aside, Hoskins also sent out emails citing recent Forest Park Review articles about the seat’s vacancy and the possibility that he might make a run.

The seat is currently held by state Rep. Karen Yarbrough, who has been in office since 2001. She is planning on running for Cook County recorder of deeds in the 2012 election, and she told the Review that Hoskins has “electability” in Forest Park, but noted she isn’t sure if that would translate to support elsewhere.

Although he has begun raising funds, Hoskins refused to make an official announcement that he was running in 2012. Hoskins said his fundraising efforts have already begun, but he declined to say how much he has garnered. State law does not require him to file those records yet.

He said he is aware that a bid for state rep will cost more than his past runs for the village board; Hoskins added he’d been given estimates that the cost could range from $75,000 to $125,000.


More to come …

In the July 6 issue, we featured a column titled “Getting past the ‘we-can-do-this stage,'” by Sharon Daly. Sharon will contribute to the Forest Park Review periodically.  Her next piece will appear in August, but a specific schedule has not been finalized.