Seems like an odd time — mid-pandemic and all — for the Forest Park Village Council to let the powers it granted the mayor and administration under the emergency order to simply evaporate.
But that’s what happened Monday evening when what should have been a routine extension of the state of emergency until a late-May council meeting failed to be approved for lack of a parliamentary second during an imperfect Zoom-based meeting.
Mayor Rory Hoskins put the item on the agenda. Commissioner Jessica Voogd made a motion to open discussion. And, then, crickets. Commissioners Dan Novak, Ryan Nero and Joe Byrnes said nothing, thereby killing the extension and avoiding a transparent discussion of any concerns.
In an interview after the meeting, Byrnes said he had tech problems and could not be heard but that he would have seconded the motion. “I would have seconded it. Extending the state of emergency is something we have to do every two weeks,” he said.
That’s good and it would have provided a majority vote in favor of taking full action to protect Forest Parkers during this deadly moment. Neither Novak nor Nero responded to the Review’s inquiries about their silence on a critical issue.
We’re with Voogd who said this is a crucial topic that deserves at least public discussion. If commissioners have concerns with extending the emergency declaration, if they object to some action taken under the expanded powers by either Hoskins or Village Administrator Tim Gillian, they owed the public their reasoning.
If there are at least three votes in favor of our village taking every possible step to keep residents and villagers safe, then the technology ought to be fixed and this item should be on the next village council agenda.
Meanwhile, we’ll wait to hear from commissioners Novak and Nero.