Chris Welch is “officially off to the races,” his campaign committee informed potential supporters in an e-blast, last week. With that pun, The People for Emanuel “Chris” Welch advertised the Nov. 11 fundraiser at the Maywood Park horse-racing track in Melrose Park that formally kicked off Welch’s second run for the 7th District state House seat. 

In an email to the Forest Park Review, Welch said that 204 people attended the event, and 250 tickets were sold beforehand, meaning at least $10,000 was raised. A tally of any additional money raised has not been done yet, Welch said. 

The night’s attendees included both members of the public and local politicians; some of whom have already donated to his campaign.

Some of the elected officials who turned out included Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico (who has already contributed $1,000), Broadview Mayor Sherman Jones ($500), and Welch’s colleagues on the District 209 school board, Readith Esther, Francine Harrell and Brian Cross.

According to an amended report from the Illinois State Board of Elections, Welch’s committee currently has $58,225.52.

“It is clear that my message is being heard, and that the residents want an experienced, tested and homegrown candidate like myself to be their next state representative,” Welch said.


Electrical aggregation goes to referendum

The village passed an ordinance at its Nov. 14 council meeting that paved the way for a referendum question about electrical aggregation that will appear on the ballots of Forest Parkers who vote in the March 20, 2012 primary.

The question basically boils down to whether voters want to allow local government to enter into an “opt-out” program for electrical aggregation. Under such a program, residents would automatically be part of a system where the village contracts a company to conduct competitive bidding from power companies looking to sell it energy.

It is called an “opt-out” program because, if residents don’t want to participate, they can simply do as the name suggests.

Electrical aggregation is touted as a cost-savings measure because power companies will compete for the village’s business.

It can also be used as a way to leverage green energy, since purchasers can lay out eco-parameters they’d like providers to adhere to. This would likely cost more money.

According to the ordinance, the village will contract NIMEC to handle its bidding. David Hoover, a representative from NIMEC, discussed the topic in front of the village board and members of the public at the council’s Oct. 11 meeting.

Mayor Anthony Calderone had expressed his support for the initiative before his “aye” vote on Monday night.

“There is no downside to this,” he said.

-Compiled by Nick Moroni