Surely there are other people or entities in Forest Park that actively supported Tuesday’s referendum to hike the sales tax who might have led and then paid for the effort to place a pro-referendum flyer in last week’s Review.
The Chamber of Commerce sent a letter of support for the referendum to the paper and could have paid for the separate flyer. Members of Mayor Anthony Calderone’s political base could have accomplished this entirely honorable mission of backing the referendum.
Instead, the “Vote Yes” flyer was created by the vague and unidentified “friends of Forest Park 2014” group, was delivered to the Review by Village Clerk Vanessa Moritz and was paid for by her with Village Administrator Tim Gillian’s personal credit card.
There are rightly laws written to prevent government entities and staff members from politicking on behalf of referendums which would, after all, benefit the governments which placed those referendums on the ballot in the first place. We know that Tim Gillian is well aware of those laws because he told us so last week in an e-mail when we asked him why there had been no organized effort at any level we’d spotted to back this important effort to fund local infrastructure.
“In terms of any push from the Village,” Gillian wrote, “as you know the only thing that we can do officially is provide information. Our legal group has advised me that recent case law has suggested that almost any information may be construed as promotion. That is the reason we have been staying away from an ad or any information from Village Hall.”
Mr. Gillian should have better followed the legal advice he had received. An unnecessarily awkward situation has been created, another example of Forest Park’s too cozy ways has been identified.