There was a noticeable absence of reporting the induction of Illinois State Representative Emanuel Chris Welch to the Illinois 98th General Assembly in Springfield January 9, 2013, in a recent issue of the Forest Park Review. It is not a surprise to many elected officials and other public participants who understand the aberration of journalism portrayed by the Review in both editorial and their selective “crisis” news coverage policies. The logic is that both personal opinion and perpetual conflict does exist. Publisher Dan Haley dislikes Chris Welch and the feeling is probably mutual from Rep. Welch. There is a lengthy decade old history of discord fueled by negative public perception crossing political and public education control boundaries “Proviso style” between them. The election is over and the important and current difficult Illinois legislative workload lies upon Mr. Welch’s shoulders and actions and not on Mr. Haley’s critical bias, denial of evidence, rancor, or his permission to govern aimed at certain elected officials. Where is the objectivity? What are the expectations of constituents of the District? The vote by the public grants the office for Chris Welch to serve. I gathered from speaking to him, that this is not a responsibility he takes lightly.

Many Forest Parkers have already found other sources to get their objective information regarding local and regional matters. If you want to have a voice in local participatory politics and try e-government first hand, I recommend starting at the official websites that the State of Illinois provides to elected officials for public communication and exchange including Rep. Welch, Sen. Lightford, and Karen A Yarbrough, Cook County Recorder of Deeds. If we as individuals and community members living in the 7th District, are to connect, work together, try to understand each other, and tackle change for the public good in the future, some mutual listening and tolerance needs to take place. It serves the public well to avoid these personal feuds and start rebuilding the public trust needed for collaborative solving of complex problems. The governance process is not so much about the individuals as it is about the outputs and results of the systems and organization they represent. Can the Review speak to those newsworthy issues once in a while?

Currently those Forest Parkers who want to hear a message of making local government work are starting to tire of the mudslinging. Many are rejecting the non-constructive toxic noise of the Review’s style of “crisis” journalism, the sanctimonious tone of a disgruntled newspaper publisher’s editorials, rants of a handful of whistle blowing wannabes, the voyeuristic online feuding in anonymity, and continually blaming others because of anger, jealousy, prejudice of abilities, or buy-in to flawed misinformation.

Bob Cox
Forest Park

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