On April 7, residents will have the chance to vote for the candidates for Forest Park village commissioner. They may believe in these people for a variety of reasons: experience, political platform, or allegiance to our village. They have the chance to vote for only those they believe in and trust. Running as an independent in the upcoming election has been truly inspiring, encouraging, and humbling. It has allowed me to reflect on what I truly believe in.
I believe in engaging our residents and business owners. In order for our local government to ensure the satisfaction of our stakeholders we must invest in them. This means reaching out, being accessible and providing a welcoming environment.
We need to encourage more community involvement, fostering a positive community spirit. We need to aim to be a village where residents of all ages are engaged and highly satisfied. As a former young resident myself, I can only hope that many of the children in our little leagues and schools today will be in my shoes someday, raising their families here. We need to make sure the people are satisfied so we can continue to develop the community we have all come to know and love.
I believe in being the independent choice. If elected, my number one priority is to remain true to my platform and maintaining my values, giving people a new, fresh voice. There is a current stigma that many constituents do not feel as though their ideas and concerns are always heard or taken seriously. I know that if the people feel that change is needed, I can provide it.
To be a successful leader you need to listen, be open minded, think outside the box, rather than focus on the way things have “always been done.” I plan to have an open-door policy, encourage discussion and the sharing of ideas so that we can build community trust making our village the best it can be.
I believe in continually improving and enhancing our community. We need to be an efficient and effective place of public service and business to ensure excellence for our citizens. We need to always aim toward a professionally developed and value-driven commission.
Our village officials need to be accessible, accountable and transparent to our community. In a governmental agency (especially in today’s world) we need to apply best business practices, make sustainable decisions to pave the way for the future of our village.
Finally, I believe in Forest Park. It is the town that raised me and the town where I continue to reside 37 years later. The same town my father served as executive director of the park district for 23 years, where my brother serves as Little League president, home to the schools my wife and sister-in-law work, and the place where my three young children will grow up.
I believe that even the independent candidate has a chance to make a difference, and I hope you do too. I take this responsibility and the future of our village very seriously and encourage you to vote for Daniel Novak in the upcoming election.
Daniel J. Novak is a candidate for Forest Park village commissioner.