I don’t wish to send shockwaves through the community but I’m running for mayor. Why? There’s a job opening and I need the money. I also have a vision for the village. I’d like to streamline our government — for example, by cancelling village council meetings. 

First of all, I hate meetings. If we could watch Monday Night Football during the meetings, it would be bearable. But all that motion-making and seconding is boring. Wouldn’t it be more efficient if I just ruled by proclamation?

Besides, don’t we all agree on the big issues? Safety is my biggest concern. That’s why I’m offering the services of my private detective agency to any citizen who doesn’t have an alarm system. If you think this is a conflict of interests, I’m offering a special discount on following Forest Park spouses. 

I’m also concerned about residents from neighboring suburbs flocking to Forest Park. No, I’m not proposing a wall on our southern border — “Berwyn Wall” has a bad ring to it. Besides, I’m more concerned about the people moving here from Oak Park. Will we all be required to listen to NPR? Will my grandson have to wear a bike helmet when he rides his scooter? Will Forest Park be proclaimed a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone? 

Talk about a safety issue. Don’t they know that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with nuclear weapons is a good guy with nuclear weapons? This would betray our legacy of munitions-making. Remember when our village sticker was shaped like a torpedo?

Speaking of vehicles, driving will be safer when I’m mayor. That’s because I’m restoring all of our streets back to brick. Try going faster than 20 mph on a brick surface. I’m also proposing a slight relaxation of our overnight parking ban. Here are my license plate numbers — otherwise the ban remains in full effect. 

As for my campaign, I’m not asking people to sign those pesky petitions. I plan to run a successful write-in campaign. I already took the liberty of printing thousands of “sample ballots” with my name already written in. Sure, they could pass for real ballots but I can’t have voters misspelling my name. 

We don’t want another election controversy like we did with video gambling. I’ve never played video poker, but I am forming a Political Action Committee funded by the gaming industry to help with my campaign. I promise my campaign will not coordinate with this PAC unless we need to buy more lawn signs. 

These lawn signs show how divided we are politically in Forest Park. I would never exploit these divisions for political gain. For example, just because I moved north of the Eisenhower Expressway, I would never say that north-siders are intellectually and morally superior to those south of the expressway. And I would never claim that a rival candidate plans to give the neighborhood south of Roosevelt to North Riverside. 

I would never give away any part of our town. Plus, I would expand our greenspace. That is why I’m proposing the Park District of Forest Park take over maintenance of my backyard. While they’re at it, they should reserve a pool chair for me close to the lap lanes … in case I need to save someone. They should also relax their ban on lifeguards twirling their whistles. Twirling and un-twirling your whistle is one of the sacred traditions of lifeguarding.   

Finally, since I will also be liquor commissioner, I will order all beer lines in Forest Park to be cleaned regularly. 

I’ll be making nightly inspections to make sure this is strictly enforced.

John Rice is a columnist/private detective, who has seen his business and family thrive in Forest Park. He thoroughly enjoys life in the village and still gets a thrill smelling Red Hots, watching softball and strolling through cemeteries. Jrice1038@aol.com

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.

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