Joe Byrnes

With Rory Hoskins out of the race, a spot is open for a new village commissioner. Monday, Dec. 15 is the date to begin submitting candidate petitions for the April 7, 2015 elections. 

Four village commissioners will be elected, based on the four candidates with the most votes. Votes for the office of Forest Park mayor are cast separately. In the 2011 village election, 11 candidates initially threw their hats into the ring, including two for mayor.  

Rachell Entler, supervisor for the Park District of Forest Park Recreation Department, was circulating petitions for a run for village commissioner last Friday during the Madison Street Holiday Walk. 

Entler, 38, is the daughter of a retired Forest Park firefighter. She grew up in Forest Park, has two children, and is married to park board President Eric Entler, who is also running for re-election as park commissioner.

“Rachell came to me right away to make sure I was OK with her duties at the park,” said parks Executive Director Larry Piekarz. “I’m happy to see her take involvement with the village and community. I think she’d do a great job.”

Joe Byrnes, a retired Forest Park police officer and 53-year resident of Forest Park, is also collecting signatures. 

Byrnes, 68, served one term as park district commissioner from 2001-2007. He was also a Forest Park police officer and served as interim police chief in the late 1990s. 

 “I’ve been here since 1961 and I know the town very well,” Byrnes said.  

Incumbent Village Commissioner Chris Harris is collecting signatures for a run for both village commissioner and mayor. He declined Monday to specify which race he’ll submit petitions for.

“Some people had asked me to run for mayor, so I was out talking to voters and hearing what they had to say,” he said by email.  

In October 2011, incumbent commissioners Mark Hosty and Tom Mannix joined in a three-way fundraising arrangement with Mayor Anthony Calderone. Their campaign fund, Forest Park PAC,  has a balance of $25,000, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections website. The PAC is run by Forest Park Post publisher Amy Rita.

Other candidates may pop up when the deadline for submitting petitions closes on Dec. 22. 

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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