Check out this year’s Forest Park Community Guide!

Online edition –>

I thought the point of our plethora of fests was to offer Tony his days in the sun, his nights in the limelight, and enough showboating ops to soothe his needy soul. Turns out we’re gonna need more fests.

For someone who professes such respect for rules – Robert’s, Illinois statues, village ordinances – Calderone blindsided the July 23 village council meeting, and his constituents, with a not-even-on-the-agenda Special Comment that, in fact, turned into an unruly kangaroo court.

Calderone played dress-up as judge, jury, prosecutor and legal scholar in his quest to punish Commish Chris Harris for allegedly upsetting the village administrator and, also allegedly, exercising his commish powers beyond the already mayorally muddied ordinances of our commish form of government.

For almost an hour, the Mayor tortured and abused his self-appointed roles, under the guise of democracy.

It’s must-see viewing on the village website. But here’s my approximate synopsis:

Mayor: Don’t you [two] agree Harris should be punished?

Any Commissioner: For what?

Mayor: For bringing the Public Works Department to a boiling point!

Any Commissioner: He did?

Mayor: I have a three-page letter from Tim Gillian that says so. Don’t you have any ideas on how to punish Harris? FlogFest? Stockade Night?

Any Commissioner: Don’t you think, in order for us to cast an informed vote, we would need to see and hear the evidence?

Mayor: No, it’s mine. Mine, mine, mine! Doesn’t anyone in this august body have a motion to take away his commish powers? Maybe your powers, too, you dunces. Democracy!

Throughout it all, he called out Enemies from his mayoral past and present, including this local paper, as if it were the media’s fault he was playing Hugo Chavez on the dais.

Yes, it was that weird.

As Calderone seems intent, once again, on molding our commish form of government around himself – for efficiency’s sake – let’s note a couple of inherent principles of Forest Park’s government:

1) The commish form was created as, and by Illinois statute is, a ‘weak mayoral” form of government.

2) The Commish of Public Affairs, aka Mayor, is but ‘chief among equals.”

This is the un-sexy, non-grandiose bedrock of our quaint government.

We look forward to further discussion on this vital issue, Mr. Mayor, so please remember to include ‘Amendments to Your Commish Form of Government” as an agenda item – for democracy’s sake.