In a recently published One View written by Mayor (Anthony) Calderone “Here are the Facts” (Feb 11, 2015), the mayor once again talks down to all residents, smugly dismisses our concerns and goes on at length with a ‘trust me’ attitude and glosses over actual facts. So for the record:
The mayor not only says that I haven’t offered up ideas on flooding in town but insists the claim is “bizarre.” Well, obviously I have and here are facts, actual stories written about it dating back to 2011 and as recently as in the same edition of the paper where the mayor’s letter ran. Perhaps the digital edition can even include the links. However, I see why some of these ideas don’t stick with him, because they are 21st century ideas and the mayor is stuck in the 1990s. We need all ideas on the table, and we need short and long-term planning. In November 2011, the story in The Review titled “Village seeks grants to fight flooding” talks of myself, (Village Administrator Tim) Gillian and Village Engineer Jim Amelio discussing ideas and ways to fund such efforts . Iin a Feb 11, 2015 story “Village approves state grant capital projects” I, for about the 12th time in 4 years, attempt to add green solutions via permeable construction but am again shot down. It’s a simple fact that when it rains the water needs a place to go and if you consistently pave over every inch of the town it over-taxes the sewers and heads straight to your basement. Permeable green solutions have proven to be quite effective, but the mayor consistently avoids them. As for one of the long-term solutions, I requested that if we are going to raise the sales tax as we did in 2014, that it only be used as a sewer tax so we have a fund that is dedicated to long-term planning. Again the mayor has had 20 years and done nothing.
As for the other “wild claims” the mayor attempted to rebut, I will keep my response brief and encourage you to reach out to me with any questions, I will also post links and items on my Facebook page to show the real facts: www.facebook.com/ForestParkChris.
Empty storefronts: Do our eyes deceive us? The mayor has gone stagnant, and anyone can see Berwyn is aggressively pursuing new business, not just doing an election year stunt like forming an “economic committee,” such as our mayor has.
The Altenheim: The mayor thinks making a decision after 14 years of owning the land is rushing into something? When I held a town hall on the subject in 2012, we had a full house and plenty of ideas. The mayor, in the 12 years prior, never asked for public input – do your thoughts not matter? And, if you didn’t attend, please watch the town hall and let me know if you think I was pushing for paddle tennis courts. We brought in a gentleman to discuss a private/public option where an outside person foots the bill for development but the village reaps the benefits in tax dollars – another 21st century idea that the mayor mocks.
Higher property taxes and failing schools: The mayor passes the buck and blames the school districts. Mayor, please take responsibility for the village’s portion, which has gone up every year under your watch. And no one, not one person, thinks your “support”‘ for Ned and Claudia running for the 209 board is genuine. Your history dating back to 2001 and as recently as last year have shown continued support for the failed leadership there, attempting to attach yourself to Ned and Claudia now, because it would be political suicide not to, is laughable. I have been at just about every Ned and Claudia event and fundraiser. They are my friends and I support them – I’ve looked everywhere, and I couldn’t find you at these events. Step up, we all know you can make two calls and raise $20k for them. You can call your mayoral buddies throughout Proviso and get them meetings – help them out, oh and we also see you conveniently left long time independent board member Theresa Kelly out of that mention too. We can see through it all.
Summerfest and the Fireworks: A standard Mayor Calderone response – throw the Chamber and the park district under the bus. These events were canceled for security reasons. The mayor oversees the police so unless the park district and Chamber have a police force we don’t know about the onus is on you, Mr. Mayor.
I will post additional stories, videos and articles that reinforce everything written above. Leadership is moving forward not casting blame and being asleep at the wheel. I still say we thank Mayor Calderone for his service, but 20 years is too long. The fire is gone and complacency has set in.
Chris Harris, currently a commissioner on the village council, is a candidate for mayor in the April election.
One of the attempted times to use sales tax as a sewer fund: 34:20 in the video
Nov h, 2011 “Village seeks grants to fight flooding”
Feb 1h, 2015 “Village approves state grant capital projects”
Altenheim Town Hall
March h, 2012 “Forest Park officials helping Welch Campaign”
October 1h, 2011 “Welch’s fundraising outpaces competitors”
included: 2001 ad supporting Welch. 2011 mailer supporting Welch slate and endorsement of Welch Mailer