Will be another month before we fully understand the contours of next spring's municipal, parks and school elections. Nominating petitions do not have to be filed until mid-December for inclusion on the April ballot.
Already, though, we know that a full slate headed by Rory Hoskins — mayoral and four commissioner candidates — is forming. Chris Harris, a former commissioner and past mayoral challenger, is also passing petitions. And all signs point to a re-election run by Mayor Anthony Calderone and we expect additional commissioner candidates, possibly some running for re-election.
In the Proviso Township High School race the slate of hard-charging incumbents is ready to seek re-election. And an opposing slate is also forming. While we have been enthused supporters of the 209 Together slate, we welcome competition in a district that suffered for too long under the foot of a political machine.
Meanwhile, our own District 91 public elementary schools don't often see a contested election. There was a time, depressingly, when a full slate of candidates was not available to voters on Election Day. Two write-in candidates happily stepped forward and served. That seemingly won't be the case come spring when three seats on the five-person board are up for election. This is all good for democracy in Forest Park.
How we talk to
A week out from the vote on video gaming, we're encouraged by the tone of the conversation in Forest Park. Whether it is one-on-one (always best), in letters to the editor of the Review and even (so far, fingers crossed) on Facebook, there seems to be a sincere effort to be civil, not to gloat, and, wonderfully, even to offer genuine ideas on how Forest Park can grow.
Good for us. All of us. Well, there is always the exception. And last week in our town it was a doozy of an insane, demented, horrifying mailer that hit homes just before or just after Election Day. The motivations seem unclear given the odd election timing. The origin of this spew remains unknown as attribution was, of course, cowardly unclaimed and the head fakes toward multiple possible sponsors were lame.
We're done with this venom and division and we are hopeful — we'll find out come the spring election season if we are also naïve — that Forest Park is ready to actively move past this meanness and cruelty.