Talked to a couple of village people last week, looking for some good news to go with our lovely spring weather. Nah, nothing much came to mind: it’s budget time and the village is broke and crabby, the Comprehensive Plan is still a useless re-hash, but village hall morale is decent and staff are soldiering on. Folks did, however, want to vent about village council bad boys, Mark Hosty and Tom Mannix.
Their most recent shenanigans conjure a scene from Blazing Saddles where Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman) is scheming to reduce a small, charming town to ashes, needs a bit of help, and states his recruitment demands: “I want rustlers, cut throats, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men…” and my favorite, hornswogglers.
It’s brilliant comedy when Mel Brooks does it; Hosty and Mannix not at all. To avoid future confusion, perhaps they could ‘make a motion’ to have the above language included on village RFP’s – ATTENTION: All Rustlers…
After two years of machinations regarding our grade schools, Hosty/Mannix are fixated on the school district’s cash reserves – they want it spent, apparently on their own interests. Their most recent village embarrassment was trying to bully D91 into awarding RedSpeed Illinois, LLC (a campaign contributor to the Forest Park PAC and Mayor Calderone) a contract that could, in theory, protect our school children from negligent drivers and, assuredly, enrich their patron. This was followed by blubbering whining because, you see, as village electeds they are helpless to protect our kids as they have only the Forest Park Police Department at their disposal.
It doesn’t get more blatant than this, folks.
If the issue was truly about our kids’ well-being, we wouldn’t allow a fifth-grade class to watch recent village council meeting videos without adult supervision and advice: “Class, please notice that Commissioner Hosty and Commissioner Mannix are performing the opposite of Public Service. See right here? And again here – and here. Our culture has various names for this untoward behavior – some are not nice, some are not allowed in community newspapers, one or two are in Latin – but for now we’ll just call it Self-Service. Please make a note to never, ever vote for that type of person because elections have consequences.”
Mark Hosty’s weaknesses are not aging well, his years of transgressions are piled dangerously high, and “volatile” just doesn’t cut it. Tom Mannix, the Carpetbagger with a Thousand Schemes, has drained our coffers on gimmicks and brought a nasty darkness to our town. If Tony Calderone decides to run for mayor again next spring may I suggest he choose his ‘team’ more wisely as we are judged by the company we keep. Mr. Mayor, these two have got to go.
If Forest Park wishes to attract responsible and involved residents, and we do, we simply cannot have elected officials serving up chronic “don’t do this, boys and girls” embarrassment. Getting rid of ‘the bad boys’ won’t solve all our problems but, as they say, it’s a start.
On the issue of campaign loot, I still can’t figure out why a village of 14,000 residents has a PAC. It seems rather grandiose, don’t you think? Vox 60130 (formerly Citizens United in Forest Park) will offer a smart presentation on PACs before next year’s election with experts to provide answers to the wild world of campaign financing. Disclosure: I serve on the Vox board of directors.
By the way, Vox is celebrating ten years (!) as the voice of good governance in our village. The annual meeting is this Thurday, May 22 (that would be tomorrow!) at 7 p.m. at The Snug in Molly Malone’s, and you all are welcome. We have an election in less than a year, so consider adding your voice to matters of importance in Forest Park.