It has been an honor to serve the Village of Forest Park the last four years. It is the town that raised me and the town where I continue to reside 41 years later. The same town my father served as Executive Director of the Park District for 35 years, where my wife and sister-in-law work (School District 91), and the place where my three young children have and will continue to grow up. I believe in Forest Park.
With nearly two decades of municipal government agency experience for the Wheaton Park District, I am confident in my abilities to serve the public. The last four years have been eye opening as to the true state of our Village. We had some great successes in four years: the Roosevelt Road- 2017 Street Scape Project, resurfacing of numerous alleys and streets, continuous infrastructure improvements, the welcoming of many new small businesses, and capital asset acquisitions such as emergency response and police vehicles.
I believe our town though is at a crossroad, now more than ever we need sound leadership that is passionate about grounding our Village and willing to push to be fiscally innovative and take an aggressive approach to municipal business.
On April 2nd voters will find my name, Daniel J. Novak, on the ballot again. I am asking for residents to believe in me as the best candidate for Village Commissioner. I believe in being the Independent choice and plan to run again without affiliation to a slate. I firmly believe that 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 take action on April 2nd to do what is best for Forest Park.
If elected, my number one priority is to remain true to my original platform. To use my values as a guide toward making a positive impact on the community and giving our residents and business owners a voice. To be a successful leader you need to listen, to be open minded, and to think outside the box; rather than focus on the way things have “always been done”. As a leader you need to be prepared to make the best decision to benefit the entire community and not just because it is the popular choice. I plan to continue an open-door policy, encouraging discussion and the sharing of ideas so that we can build community trust and work to make our village the best it can be. It is important as an elected official to engage residents in person, whether it be at Ed’s Way, my front yard, a youth sports game, or on the streets at our special events. Over the last four years I have met many people this way that I would now call friends. I truly enjoy the face-to-face conversations getting to know the people I serve and learning what they need and want as residents. These interactions with the public result in making your ideas and concerns known and set Forest Park apart from other towns, where social media rumors and hearsay tend to divide their citizens. I believe in continuously improving and enhancing our community and its commerce. We need to be an efficient and effective place of public service and business to strive toward excellence for our citizens. We need to always aim to be a professionally developed and values driven commission. Our village council needs to be accessible and accountable to our community. In a government 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.
Municipal government transparency and sustainability is essential. We work with Department Heads annually reviewing the operational budget and over the last few years have pushed staff to consider cost cutting programs, staffing, overtime, and to use other creative approaches to reduce expenditures. Yet, no matter how many expenses are cut or scaled back, the need for new revenue remains. Our Commission has researched and analyzed rates and fees assessed by the Village taking into consideration consumer price index (CPI). Even with these minor increases, our Village desperately needs new creative, non-traditional revenue sources in order to operate without a deficit in the future. This means that the next four years will be crucial in continuing to cut expenses, to explore other revenue source possibilities and to take action when opportunities are presented.
I assure you that I am driven to succeed in this election in order to serve the people of our community. I am an independent candidate and will continue to offer the citizens of Forest Park an independent, fresh voice. My professional success combined with my deep personal ties to Forest Park provide me the best perspective to produce, provide, and positively impact our village. There are four factors that can ensure success and I plan to run on that platform:
Engage the residents and business owners of Forest Park
Ensure satisfaction and excellence
Continually seek ways to do things better
Make sustainable decisions paving the way for the future of the Village
I would be remiss without offering a heartfelt thank you to our outgoing Mayor, Anthony Calderone. He has served our Village for two decades and has been integral in making Forest Park the town we call home. With my experience in government service and my commitment to Forest Park I am confident in my ability to bring together the old and new to continue to make our town the best place to live. It would be an honor to serve my hometown alongside our next Mayor. I can only hope that many of the children of Forest Park will be in my shoes someday, raising their families here. We need to make sure all residents are satisfied so we can continue to develop the community we have all come to know and love.
Thank you in advance for your support on April 2nd.