I am Chris Harris and I'd like to introduce myself and tell you why I'm running for Mayor, there are a few reasons. I hope you will take a minute to read this.
I love Forest Park and as a former council member I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the group trusted to lead us into the future. My time on the council saw great forward thinking projects; from the start of the Roosevelt Road beautification to the first public town hall on the Altenheim open space. I was very proud to shine a light on the need for long term planning at the Altenheim and it has been wonderful to see citizens move exciting ideas forward.
I also know the struggles of balancing the budget and the tight financial wire we, as a village, have to walk. As commissioner, my department cut our department's budget every year without affecting core services. As a resident I see the struggles of parking issues, increased crime, higher taxes and the ever present need to increase the quality of our schools. These are all high priorities to me, and I have been pleased to see advancements at district 209 – the board needs to continue to move forward with maximum support and minimal political interference.
Issues aside, I am running because I feel we really need to heal the divide that has happened over video gaming. A resident pointed out that even using the word 'sides' when it came to the debate was divisive, and she was correct. Is the village strapped for revenue? It sure is and all revenue helps, moral debate aside. Do citizens have their right to be heard via referendums? They certainly do, and were heard in November. The bottom line is, that is now settled law and moving forward we need to support the businesses in town and respect the citizen's voice. Having friends with differing opinions on this matter I hope I can help heal that still open wound.
In the coming months I hope to make the case on why a vote for me is a vote you'll be proud to cast. I plan to talk about the issues, and the policy differences I have with my opponent, in a civil and collegial manner. We are all one Forest Park and I hope that together we can move this town forward.
Former Village Commissioner & Mayoral Candidate