Below are candidate-submitted answers to a survey Forest Park Review sent out to all candidates running in this year’s elections.
Profession: Business Owner
Years lived in Forest Park: 5
Spouse, if applicable/children and ages:
My wife Beth and I are expecting our first delivery from the stork in March.
Have you ever run for or served in a local political office before? If so, when and which office?
- Forest Park Commissioner, 2011-2015 (Elected)
- West Central Municipal Conference, 2011-2015 (Appointed)
Why are you running for this office?
I believe we all have the obligation to contribute to the betterment of our community to the best of our abilities, and my background happens to be in government service and government operations consulting. I am happy to dedicate my time to the management of our local government, and I believe I was able to make a substantial contribution to public safety through our LED street light replacement program, the creation of a new Comprehensive Plan, working with staff and village engineers to present a five year capital upgrade plan, and keeping the Streets and Public Improvement budget in line with revenues while accomplishing the routine maintenance tasks such as alley repaving, street patching, etc. For the sake of brevity I will not mention all of my specific work, but I believe the dozens of accomplishments of the administration in the last four years are an excellent indication of the progress that will continue with the election of Team Progress 2015 led by Mayor Calderone, which is why I am running for re-election.
What do you think are the three biggest challenges facing the village in the next four years?
The three biggest challenges of Forest Park are the same as all other successfully managed municipalities: 1) to maintain the current level of services we provide our residents and businesses while working to keep taxes and fees low, 2) to remain competitive with neighboring towns in terms of business development, job creation, and technological advances – such as implementing Village wide WiFi, and 3) to manage this balance in the face of shrinking revenue sharing from state and federal government.
What skills/talents do you have that would enable you to deal with those challenges?
The background, experience and training that I have which allows me to assist in dealing with these challenges are 10 years experience working with local, county, state and Federal officials and government entities to overcome similar challenges. The best experience I have is the four years as a Forest Park Commissioner which was given to me by Forest Park voters in 2011. Helping every day for the last four years to improve the way we operate our local government and trying to assist in the goals of the community have been both rewarding and informative.
If elected, what are three goals that you have for the next four years?
To continue to assist the business community in growing our local economy to provide jobs for residents and additional revenue for the village government, to continue to work to alleviate flooding problems which are a continuous problem for any village built next to a river, and to continue to find ways to work in harmony with other local governmental entities to provide the best educational and recreational opportunities for our young people.
If you are running as part of a slate of candidates, why? If not, why not?
All candidates in Forest Park file as Independent candidates. The five community oriented candidates with similar goals for the future of Forest Park whom I have joined insharing coordinated campaign activities are Mayor Tony Calderone and Commissioner candidates Mark Hosty, Rachell Entler and Joe Byrnes.
Like-minded civic activists join together to promote causes beneficial to our community every day, such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis, the Lions Club, the Rotary, the VFW and the American Legion, and the Knights of Columbus — the list is endless. We have five good citizens seeking to continue the progress Forest Park village government has achieved and we want to promote our common goals by sharing campaign responsibilities. I believe cooperation with a group of individuals working towards a common goal is an economical and efficient way to achieve that goal, and is a great example of how we can work together to best serve the residents of our community.