I have a new dead-tree pen-pal, Mayor Anthony Calderone.

Regarding the first letter, it appears opinions differ as to the efficiency and good sense of a mayor spending (our) $2,494.98 to tell 8,300 Forest Park households, again, that it was absurd to believe that Commish Hosty meant what he said.

And how much was that phantom raise again? “$20,0000.00?” Commas matter.

For the sake of Peace, let’s write off the Truther mailing as just another Calderone rant, but make no mistake — if one cannot be bothered to have one’s mayoral snail mail letter proofread, one is ranting.

The second $2,494.98 letter is, at best, a mystery. The mayor announced he is hosting a three-hour open house where residents of 8,300 households have the opportunity to sign up to serve on a Comprehensive Plan (CP) Steering Committee that will “update” our 2001 CP. No other activities were mentioned.

We have a few questions, Mr. Mayor.

What happens if 5 percent of invitees sign up — how many steering committees do you plan on forming? Shouldn’t a resident know the skills, experience, knowledge and time commitment required before signing up, or are none of these things needed? What if mostly vocal minority types show up, or just hungry people thinking refreshments will be served? What does Images Inc., the professional consultants the council hired, think of this scheme?

Creating a comprehensive plan is probably the most serious project a community undertakes and it is disingenuous to invite every resident in town to sign up for the rather sophisticated and demanding responsibilities of sitting on the CP Steering Committee. Certainly there must be qualifying guidelines and time requirements, or how else will you reject people like me?

The letter reads like a con and if it’s not a con, our town is in serious trouble.

How about we (all 8,300+ of us) flash-mob the open house to test if the mayor’s offer is genuine? If you’re not available on Feb. 27 from 5 to 8 p.m., the mayor asks that you call Tim Gillian at 708-615-6201 with all your questions. Go for it.

The third letter to arrive in only two weeks was a glossy survey inserted into our water bills (cost unknown, hopefully a bargain). They reached only about 30 percent of the populace (not renters, not condo owners). Even though two weeks earlier the village council (the one the mayor sits on) approved this very same question as a referendum for our April 9 election. The mayor asks residents to answer Yes/No to “Would you like to see the VoFP allow video gambling in its liquor establishments?” and to return this Public Notice to his attention.

We have a few questions, Mr. Mayor. Why are we voting twice on the same question? Who is counting the votes? Which batch of votes counts the most or does it depend on the results? Why do land owners get two votes? Why did you choose glossy paper this time — was it on sale?

I thought it was clear to almost everyone that the reason residents are not speaking out on the subject of video gambling is because few people understand the issue besides the players. People don’t like speaking publicly on an issue they don’t understand, and they won’t want to vote on it either.

Marty Tellalian said residents need to be educated on this issue in order to make informed decisions. Commish Mannix has pleaded from the dais that surveys need to be executed by professionals if one intends useful results. CUinFP presented an educational forum where people listened to all sides, talked about their concerns, asked questions and then, like magic, started making up their minds on video gambling.

Illinois politicians like to send people mail with their names on it. Think of the organ-donor junk mail you get from Sec. of State Jesse White.

Calderone has been trying to create a personally controlled media racket for years, and when he finds a way to cut out the interactive component, he blows it on inexcusably free-of-content-and-context letters printed on dead trees. It’s almost funny.

I hate to leave y’all in despair, so maybe the You Can Build an Electric Car and Steer a Comprehensive Plan Today! Letter was just a $2,500 teaser, like those save-the-date magnets for weddings and such.

How much do 8,300 printed magnets cost?

49 replies on “Another trip to the mail box”