Rory Hoskins announced he will not run for re-election as village commissioner in the April 2015 elections. 

Looking back over his eight years on the council, Hoskins has his moment in local history as the first African American to serve as Forest Park village commissioner who won his first race in 2007 with the highest vote count. 

But Hoskins also represents the hardworking, soccer-coaching parents of Forest Park, who send their kids to the local schools, struggle to pay property taxes and mortgages and buy the groceries. That parent voice is an important part of the village that needs to be represented.

 A transplant from Galveston, Texas, Hoskins got the local government bug when he worked as a legislative aide in the Texas House of Representatives during college. 

While a commissioner, he graduated from Loyola University Law School.

Hoskins was often in the minority when the council voted 3-2. 

We appreciate that he showed independence in 2009, when Hoskins, along with then-commissioner Marty Tellalian voted against the hiring of former commissioner Tim Gillian as village administrator. Gillian was Mayor Anthony Calderone’s childhood friend and campaign manager, and the village had 30 resumes of professionals to choose from. 

Since then, Hoskins has said he thinks Gillian has done a good job, and we agree. But we wonder what opportunities the village may have lost and what roads weren’t taken.

Hoskins helped start the annual Juneteenth Pool Party, a tradition he grew up with in Galveston. 

He will make an important contribution after he leaves the council by helping Mayor Calderone’s new diversity commission get off the ground. Officially acknowledging Forest Park’s ethnically diverse population is a way to get buy-in from all citizens to help foster civic pride, he said.

Rory Hoskins has made important contributions to local government and his future involvement will be a plus for Forest Park.