We’ve got both useful news and troubling news today. Good news first.

Possibly like you, I’ve had a plethora of overnight guests this summer and no place to put their cars. You know how it goes: first you explain our fair village doesn’t allow overnight parking to quizzical faces, then ask for their license plate number/make of car, but they don’t know it because it’s a rental, then you go outside (rain or shine) to capture the info, and then wait until after 8 p.m. to ‘call it in.’ 

On subsequent nights, especially if there is reminiscing and alcoholic beverages involved, you remember ‘to call it in’ just as you’re falling asleep. Or, you remember first thing the next morning. That’ll be 30 bucks, ma’am – for your brother’s car.

There’s got to be a better way! So I emailed Village Administrator Tim Gillian with, “hi there. on the record, are there any plans in place to make this (overnight parking mobile apps/online links) happen? seems years overdue. thanks. sharon.” Hrrumph, right?

As a matter of fact, Tim replied, there is indeed a phone app for overnight parkers -­ since summer of 2012 and is used by 200+ residents per night!

“What? How could I not know this?” I asked. Tim, being a professional, did not answer my question as he may have been thinking it 🙂

If you, too, missed it (and there’s a good chance you did as over 13,000 overnight tickets were written last year, and just shy of $550k was billed) the village has both mobile apps and an online link for us to ‘call it in.”

The phone app can be accessed via the Forest Park app which was advertised in our water bills, street banners and e­blasts. It can be downloaded for iPhones (iTunes store) and Androids (Google) by searching “Village of Forest Park.” I attempted a test run on my iPhone but only came up with three Illinois Supreme Court decisions for the village of Park Forest – but that’s my long sad relationship with the digital world. Odds are great it will actually work for you.

Also, the online link is now findable! And it’s a breeze. Go to the village site www.forestpark.net, pull down Departments, click Police, where it is presently front page news and linked in the first sentence. May I suggest we need a doohickey/direct link on the village’s opening page?

Now for news of the weird. 

What in the Sam Hill, Bob Cox? You write in this season’s Post, “The Forest Park Post Magazine, serving the local Forest Park community with their commitment of writing about Our stories, Our People, Our Village and bridging the gap left by the scurrilous missives and crisis journalism spawned by the other local newspaper.”

Bob, you’ve developed a rather cowardly habit of lobbing cheap shots at our (only) local newspaper but not offering examples to support your missives. Additionally, you wrote this year that the most accurate source for news is best gotten directly from government officials and their spokespeople, and we don’t need the messiness of the press, which is certainly a novel idea.

Bob, can you explain how a democracy could actually function within your model of political self-policing? History, if you’re interested, does not support your curious thesis. Neither does Thomas Jefferson, also a historian: “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

It appears you just don’t like newspapers, Bob, perhaps finding news about your poor choice of political pals inconvenient? Your ambitions have gotten the best of you, Bob.  and these past few years of convolutions have left your credibility in question.

Since you bring Bill Moyers into your piece, we’ll let him have the last word: “News is what people want to keep hidden and everything else is publicity.”

6 replies on “A solution to overnight tix? Forest Park has one”