In a time of endless crisis teams can coalesce or they can fracture. So far, as Forest Park rolls from the COVID-19 pandemic and blends it with righteous protests and criminal looting related to the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, it feels as if the team is gathering strength.
There is something powerful and endearing in observing the constant presence of Mayor Rory Hoskins, Village Administrator Tim Gillian, Director of Public Health and Safety Steve Glinke, Police Chief Tom Aftanas and others in public works, the fire department, community center as they pull against this monumental moment.
Pragmatic decisions are made and executed as Walmart and Forest Park Plaza are barricaded by public works against intruders. Personal connections are made as officials visit with shell-shocked restaurant owners who, with strong village action, just had successful patio reopenings and are now being asked to close quickly to avoid possible violence. Then there was Hoskins standing watch for hours Sunday outside Cardinal Liquors on Roosevelt Road as liquor stores are prime looting targets.
These are moments when tight small towns can be at their best. And Forest Park is proving it.