Chris Harris

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Below are candidate-submitted answers to a survey Forest Park Review sent out to all candidates running in this year's elections.

 Age: 42

 Profession: Media & Marketing company – Proprietor

 Years lived in Forest Park: 16


Have you ever run for or served in a local political office before?

If so, when and which office? Ran an underfunded campaign for Cook County Commissioner in 2010 with the sole purpose of trying to expose how important the office is and how we, as citizens, need to talk about the issues that are important and demand better leadership after that I was elected to the Forest Park Village Council in 2011.


Why are you running for this office?

It's quite simple: Forest Park has become stagnant. I am not one for blaming the economy or outside sources. To be blunt, our mayor has not been aggressive or forward thinking in all areas of governance. I see it first-hand being on the board but it's something any resident can recognize. I love Forest Park and I know we can do better.


What do you think are the three biggest challenges facing the village in the next four years?

  • Flooding solutions
  • Proper economic growth
  • The revolving door we have become for families


What skills/talents do you have that would enable you to deal with those challenges?

A completely different perspective and approach. My degrees are in Communications, Management and Marketing and I have continuing studies in Political Science: but more important than degrees are real life experience. I was working in Marketing/Communications at a company for a decade before the company was hit by the economy and laid off 50% of the company in 2008, that 50% included my entire department. I took that experience and started my own company incorporating a short time after. Having a small marketing company fighting for jobs with companies requires tenacity and perseverance, once you get those jobs you need planning and creativity. I feel all of those things are what we are missing in our leadership in Forest Park right now.


 If elected, what are three goals that you have for the next four years?  

There are more than 3 – but here are 3 in no particular order.

  • Implement 21st century ideas when it comes to flooding solutions
  • Usher Roosevelt Rd. into a phase 2
  • Have a plan in place for the Altenheim property (not in 4 years but by 2016)


If you are running as part of a slate of candidates, why? If not, why not?

No, I think independence is important. When I ran for commissioner I had the same stance, I think varying ideas and dissenting opinions are really what makes democracy great. I feel that forming a full slate takes away from that very idea. 

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Reader Comments

9 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Comment Policy

Bill Dwyer from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 23rd, 2015 6:39 PM

Enjoy your moseying, Bag Head woman. Anytime you really care to hear my views, log onto Provisofacts. Unlike you, I have actual facts on my side. And you and a lot of people don't like that. Tough.

Cathleen Kushnick from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: March 23rd, 2015 5:51 PM

Fine, I'll post on another thread. I've been wanting to post under Harris' rant about how Claudia is "his" friend not other people's. Or there is the 2008 article about Backman smugly claiming he "does this to everyone all the time" on his surreptitious videographing excursions around people's homes looking for something to bust them on. Lovely neighbors!. Or the article going after Tim by the upright members of the historical society. Looks like Tim is suddenly everyone's favorite. Funny how that goes. Harris is going to shower him with extra powers he now claims. Or there is the piece by Sharon about . . .well, not sure what it is actually about, but . . .and there are so many to choose from. Anyway, I'll mosey over to another article, Billy. You and Jerry can fiddle with yourselves here. Or with Pee Mocker. Do you think the police department is enthusiastic about working with Chris Harris? How do you think they "feel" about him? And I know you abhor personal relationships, but, do good working relationships benefit the village and the organization? Some say good working relationships can make or break any organization.? Let's hear your views, Billy?

Jerry Webster  

Posted: March 23rd, 2015 5:44 PM

Bill, we are in trouble now, her last statement was almost lucid. I guess she didn't like when I pointed out the mayor has done the same things Harris plans on doing, letting the voters get involved. You think she will come Wedesday to keep things on the up and up. Maybe she will even give a link to his band. When he ran for Comm. Cathleen they played the same tune different band, you need to get current. I guess if you say it enough times maybe someone might believe you. Bill, you know what it is, cutting and pasteing that way she doesn't have to keep typing the same thing, what a clever girl ZZZZZZZZZ

Bill Dwyer from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 23rd, 2015 5:17 PM

You win, Cathleen. You typed more words than the rest of us combined. You go girl.

Cathleen Kushnick from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: March 22nd, 2015 5:50 PM

Hi Boys. I did watch the video and Harris did claim that he didn't think the mayor should oversee the village manager or village hall departments. Actually he said he's not going to do that. He said he wanted to see what Tim could do when he doesn't have to answer to anyone. Although I suspect a "citizens' committee" will eventually be involved as, in truth, the village manager does have to account to *someone* like we all do.As regards Chris Harris' music career -- he is the lead singer in a death metal band made up of himself and members of My Life in a Thrill Kill Kult. His new single, with video, is called "Warpath". If you think he's mad about who Medina is friends with -- check it out for a new perspective on angry. The point is, distractors, that Harris feels entitled to unilaterally "reorganize" the functioning of the mayor's office. Delegate is a favorite word of his. Delegate to "the people." Who have no accountability to anyone. As for what democracy is all about -- our form of government is representational democracy. Which means as residents you get to vote. Period. The elected are morally and ethically and LEGALLY bound to make their own decisions and be held accountable for them. Influence on elected officials is corruption. You may have heard people complain about the US Senate and Congress falling prey to that. Now how do the people get what they want if their electeds are deciding for them? Well usually those politicians would like to stay in the game so they tend to "please" their constituents. Not by abdicating their duties and responsibilities to "committees". To understand what Harris has on his mind; read vox's candidate questions. They are all oriented to what vox wants and are very specific about certain things. And since Harris is their man he gives them all the answers they want to hear. These are campaign promises, written and published that Harris is making to vox.

Brian Kuhr from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 22nd, 2015 5:23 PM

Cathleen has also expressed the singularly odd belief that Chis is the lead-singer of My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult. So there you go. But the argument that participatory democracy as a form of government is inferior to rule by boss is a common one among the vocal Calderone supporters who write comments on this site. I don't think this reflects the beliefs of most people in Forest Park. Most people think community involvement is a good thing.

Bill Dwyer from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 22nd, 2015 5:09 PM

Andrew, Cathleen will watch the video just as soon as she returns from orbiting Jupiter.

Andrew Cooper from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 22nd, 2015 4:27 PM

I was at the pubic forum and no such statement was made. If you are unsure what to believe, go watch a video recording of the forum yourself.

Cathleen Kushnick from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: March 22nd, 2015 3:58 PM

Chris Harris announced at the last forum that if elected he will cease to oversee the village manager/ village hall departments. I am a huge fan of village hall. But I must ask you, voters, to think about Harris' unilateral proclamation. Who exactly *will* oversee village hall? He claims he wants the citizens to take on a lot more responsibility for the village; make their own decisions and so forth. Well, I understand not all of you really feel prepared to run the village personally so that will leave it up to the few residents who know it all and have nothing else to do all day. Chris will trouser a hundred grand for granting them these authorities. Some of you may be concerned about exactly who these particular residents are who Chris Harris will have making major 100 year decisions. But the bigger picture is this: he is claiming he will unilaterally and fundamentally alter the duties and responsibilities of the Mayor of Forest Park. The *office* of the mayor. So in the next election there will be no "the buck stops here" at the door of the mayor's office. There will be a sign saying "some random citizen committees made all the decisions and if you don't like them you can . . .well you can do nothing about it since they are not elected nor accountable in any way for what they have done". Current citizens of Forest Park are custodians of the village. You don't own it, per se, and your decisions must be seen in the sweep of time. Tearing apart the organizational hierarchy of Forest Park administration and replacing it with favored citizens' committees is actually ridiculous. There is no government on earth that can operate like that. Neighbor on neighbor. Block bully wins. And Harris has proposed no alternate form for organizing the hierarchy of duty and responsibility in local government. Just abdicating, relegating and delegating of the traditional responsibilities of the mayoral office to whoever backs the candidate that wins?

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