As your Mayor I feel that I must reply to the One View recently published in the Forest Park Review written by Commissioner Chris Harris [Why I am running for mayor, Feb. 4, 2015]. My opponent makes claims that do not ring true.
His claims of contributing ideas to end flooding in Forest Park are bizarre. Not True. To date he has not shared this plan with me, the village administrator or his fellow commissioners. It’s easy to say we need to fix flooding but the facts prove otherwise. My leadership has set the stage for long term solutions which is the only real fix and we are not alone. The agency Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago which is responsible for managing storm water cannot accept the volume of storm water during torrential rains. Until they are ready to accept this water no community will be able to end flooding. The last thing I want to have happen is your house flooding.
He blames me for empty store fronts, but the truth is we have had more businesses open in Forest Park per capita than other surrounding communities. Because of my personal concern and commitment, last year I formed an economic development committee and we are actively working on a sound development plan.
The Altenhiem space has been talked about a lot over the years. Here are the facts: We purchased the property to maintain control over one last vestige of green space and it will be paid off in six years. We do not need to rush into any bad deal that divests the village of this precious piece of property. We can take our time and do what is best for you and your family. My opponent wanted to make paddle ball courts of it. That is not the right use.
Higher property taxes are always a topic of discussion and I agree. That is preciously the reason that I have worked steadfastly in keeping the lid on village expenses which in turn has a direct effect on the villages’ tax levy. The largest part of your tax bill goes to education both elementary and high school, both of which I have no direct control over. This is the reason I am supporting two Forest Park residents, Ned Wagner and Claudia Medina for Proviso Township High School District 209. I feel it is very important to have Forest Park’s voice heard at the high school level.
My opponent claims that Summer Fest and the 4th of July fireworks were somehow cancelled by me. Not true again. The Park District of Forest Park is governed by a separate elected body and they were the ones who chose to cancel the fireworks. Additionally the Chamber of Commerce is a wholly separate organization from the local government and their board of directors made the decision to cancel Summer Fest. While I too was saddened to learn about the cancellation of both these events I am equally pleased to learn that the Chamber of Commerce is working to return their event in a different format. I am confident the Park District of Forest Park will someday return a spectacular 4th of July to you.
It is not my intention to get caught in the mire of back and forth with my opponent’s wild claims. I would welcome the chance to speak with you directly. Let’s work together to continue progress for Forest Park. I have always been and will continue to be a mayor that simply does not make things up, I don’t believe in smoke and mirrors. You have to question any candidate that launches an attack against an opponent and then ends with a statement that essentially says “let’s have a campaign built on facts.” My opponent needs to learn the definition and meaning of facts.
Anthony T. Calderone