Maria Maxham served as the Review’s editor before Hoskins appointed her to the village council, so this will be her first election. She was the only current commissioner to attend Hoskins’ election kick-off event, and she said she supported his candidacy.
While Nero confirmed that he is running as well, other commissioners hedged.
“I have not, at this time, decided if I will or will not run in the upcoming election,” Voogd said. “I have been reflecting on the last three years, on my accomplishments, and on how I may continue to be of service as an elected member of this council. I have also been talking with my family about this decision.”
“In September, I will say yay or nay, but right now, I’m leaning towards ‘nay’,” Byrnes said.
He reflected that between 27 years with the Forest Park Police Department and his time as the park district commissioner and village commissioner, he had 41 years of public service in the village. While Byrnes wanted to, at the very least, see the council through some important decisions this summer, he said that this would be a good time to retire.
Voogd said that whatever she may decide, she was proud of all the things she’s done to make Forest Park more environmentally friendly and managing its tree inventory, as well as shepherding the Forest Park Recreation Board through a change in mission. After the village leased most of its pocket parks to the park district, the board, which has been primarily responsible for managing the pocket parks, shifted emphasis on coordinating community volunteer efforts.
“I am very proud of the work I have done with village staff,” she said, adding that everything she did has been successful “in large part due to [the village staff’s] hard work and support.”
Voogd said that she planned to listen to what Hoskins and Doss, and any other candidate that may join the race, has to say before deciding who to support.
“I hope this coming campaign season is open, honest, civil, and [that] we all enjoy a robust discussion about what is working, what we can improve on, and how we can work together for the future of Forest Park,” she said.
Byrnes said that “as the amounting and finance guy” he thought his biggest accomplishments were implementing the sewer tax, which he described as a difficult but necessary step to get the funds that would help with infrastructure maintenance, as well as hiring a collection agency “to get what was owed to us from people that just didn’t want to pay their tickets.”
“I think I’ve accomplished some major good by sitting down and talking to people,” Byrnes said. “Not being right all the time and [others] not being right all the time, but just coming to the consensus.”