High among the progressive values taking root in Forest Park is climate action. So it is good to see the village council re-energize and focus the Environmental Control Commission. At a December council meeting, there was a unanimous vote to focus the charge of this commission, to reappoint most members, and to clarify the terms they will serve.

This commission actually dates back to the early 1970s when most of us first began to have fragmented worries about the impact we were having on our planet. As always, the formation of the original commission was spurred by local activists. However, as happened in many places, energy around climate change has waxed and waned. And Forest Park’s climate commission has been dormant more than it has been active over the decades.

That didn’t stop legitimate progress in areas of recycling, creating a community garden, and beautification (anti-litter). But the focus was lost until the commission was reinvented in recent years. Then came COVID and the nascent return to action was grounded — until now.

It is an impressive group of volunteers who have recently been reappointed to the commission. There is work to be done and collaborations within the village and among neighboring communities to build. Hard choices, sometimes expensive choices, need to be made as the village invests in its lagging infrastructure.

That’s where a sustainability mindset will be so important. Progress is taking place. Much more needs to be fostered and, if necessary, forced. Clearly climate is a global unraveling that needs action on a massive scale and soon. That does not, for a moment, diminish the critical role of each village and city in taking determined steps to save this Earth.

A campaign pledge

The filing deadlines have passed for the April municipal elections. We know where we have contested elections in Forest Park and in Proviso Township.

We also know there is a recent history of dirty campaign tactics in our local village elections. Late, anonymous and venomous campaign flyers in the mail. Social media now plays a divisive role. It has been beyond discouraging to watch this garbage being deployed in the last days of campaigns.

The Review has worked hard to find the sources of the disinformation and defamatory charges. We’ve worked to follow the money. But for all its crude content, the execution has been somewhat sophisticated and we’ve been unable to nail down perpetrators.

With the new year comes the start of the active campaign. We’re particularly focused on the two-man race for Forest Park mayor. Incumbent Rory Hoskins will face John Doss, a man well known in town for his work as an elected official at the park district and as the retired chief of public works at the village.

We believe these are two honorable people who have a proven love for this village. We would ask each of them to make a pledge now to refrain from personal attacks in this campaign and to actively control the dark forces that somehow run parallel to legitimate campaigns.

Forest Park needs to be better than this in 2023.