Three commissioners, in a modest village of 14,000 people, form a PAC to ensure their re-election in 2015? In the name of “efficiency?” Let’s hope we’ve reached peak idiocracy; but with 42 months to go that’s probably naïve.

Without question, the most serious problem facing our village since the April election is our chronic flooding and, from time to time, our sewer-backup problems. The disturbing Mayor’s Office of Public Avoidance is up there, too.

Our village government has never made, nor attempted to make, a cohesive plan to ensure a working sewer system – not in 60 years, not in the past 16 years and not in the past six months. While it surfaces occasionally at the council table, the issue can’t seem to get any traction with the “majority.”

The powers-that-be at village hall has controlled our village agenda and tax dollars for almost a generation. Its responses to a second year of flooding?

They are, as follows: 1) You’re on your own; 2) a sort of DIY-fest with tips on how to combat the failing system; 3) The possibility of another flood survey (one that has yet to materialize); 4) a DIY sewer rodder with a camera in it for the public works crew to use (it’s not clear what they’re going to do with it, though, because the village hasn’t said much about it).

But not one word, not one action offered for a comprehensive drainage plan.

And so the news that the voting majority at village hall, only six months into their four-year term, is forming a PAC to ensure their re-election is breaking my brain. That Calderone and Hosty (career politicians), and Mannix (a newbie) think it is high time they be rewarded for their efforts is preposterous.

In non-third-world countries, having your neighbors’ feces forced into your home is considered unattractive to both inhabitants and potential buyers. In theory you can buy your home out of this mess (remember, no guarantees), but we can’t buy the town out of it without government involvement and proper planning.

Check out this recent Wednesday Journal article (http://bit.ly/ruUU1c) for a taste of how another village attempts to resolve flooding. The story is quite unremarkable except in comparison to our government’s non-response.

As I see it, we are devolving into a village in which folks with children and folks with economic choices enjoy visiting Madison Street, but have little interest in owning a part of our charm. Why? Because we have one of the worst high schools in the state, our housing stock is only so-so,  and now our properties flood regularly but our government doesn’t want to talk about it, much less plan to mitigate the rotting problem. Wait ’til folks hear the voting majority on the village council is a PAC.

Maybe you all have this PAC thing figured out but I’m a bit slow and have a few questions.

How much money does an individual candidate, or a slate, need to run a competitive campaign in Forest Park? How many years, out of four, do you want your electeds in campaign mode? After only six months in office, shouldn’t our electeds focus on village needs instead of their own? What is this “picking sides” Mannix speaks of? As PACs are prone to take money from outside special interests, is our council majority/PAC necessarily conflicted?

Most Americans absolutely loathe money-soaked, bought-and-sold politicians and the eye-rolling policies that result. Tea Partiers, occupiers and most everyone in between pray to GET.THE.MONEY.OUT of politics. So what, exactly, is this PAC going to do? Invite more in.

A PAC for our incumbent officials is not some lofty instrument of democracy nor is it a necessary evil for our small town survival. Instead it invites unneeded, unwelcome outside interests into our town, which all but ensures slushy, unsavory, pay-to-play village decisions. Somebody will get their money’s worth here, but it won’t be the taxpayers.

 Simply put: the winsome threesome does not need a PAC to achieve any of its stated goals. While they play coy and we wait for another clue about their PAC (they haven’t filed organizing paperwork with the Illinois State Board of Elections yet), the particulars will eventually reveal their un-stated goals.

Here’s an idea for the PAC money: sponsor a semester of civics lessons for our residents (mandatory for local officials) before the 2015 election with special emphasis on the essential role of a free press in democracy, the value of public “bickering” (a.k.a., policy discussion), and an in-depth session on “of the people, for the people, by the people.”

Start here: “Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor or private interest of any one man, family or class of men.”

That’s John Adams, folks.