“If somebody calls, I’ll go over and do anything for anybody. I’ve never said no,” said John Doss, the decent, hard-working chief of Forest Park’s public works department. He was talking to the Review last week about the village installing guard rails on public property to protect a resident’s private property.
This has been in the news lately because two of those industrial-strength guardrails were installed by public works crews adjacent to properties owned by or connected to Mayor Anthony Calderone. Another was installed at the home of a former park board member. And the only other one that Doss could recall as he phoned in from vacation, was down near a T-intersection where Circle Avenue dead-ends at the cemetery.
This would suggest to us that while Doss never says no to a legitimate need, only a small handful of people would ever know it was an option to call public works and ask for a guardrail to protect their backyard fence. “Free guardrails installed” is not a button on the village’s website. There are no minutes which reflect an announcement that an unspecified number of guardrails were donated to the village by St. John’s church and are now available to worthy residents.
This is an inside perk now embarrassingly made public. It isn’t the biggest issue ever but it reflects a mindset on the part of the mayor that is troubling.
“I understand everyone’s going to want one, and it’ll be opening up a can of worms,” said Doss. “There will probably be a process going forward.”
Let’s hope there is a process going forward. And now we’re done with guardrails.