Mayoral Endorsement: Rory Hoskins

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By Editorial

It is a positive and future-focused spring in Forest Park. And it is in that spirit that we offer our enthusiastic mayoral endorsement to Rory Hoskins.

Hoskins has the experience as a village commissioner, the deep local ties essential to earning a place in Forest Park, the demeanor to lead a village with genuine challenges while also leading us past the divisiveness that has fundamentally defined Forest Park for too many years. 

Rory Hoskins is both quiet spoken and plain spoken. In this campaign he has directly addressed Forest Park's unsustainable financial path. Those challenges of rising costs and flat-to-declining revenue are not unique to Forest Park and are not, despite some noise, particularly impacted by the exit of video gaming. 

Forest Park will benefit from the fresh eyes of a new mayor and a substantially remade village council as it looks hard at the cost structure of the village. Our local government is not fat, but it is unexamined, as one would expect after any 20-year mayoralty. Hard choices on costs must come.

But it is on the growth side that Hoskins has the most to offer. He has an expansive and inclusive view of the potential for economic development in Forest Park. He will work his wider state and regional network of contacts, he will find local expertise, and he will work hard to sell the village's considerable virtues to investors who see our prime location as an asset.

A longtime soccer coach as his kids came up, Hoskins has also been very active as a dad in District 91. He founded the fabulously fun and inspirational Juneteenth Family Pool Party in 2008 as a way to showcase this town's unifying and powerful diversity.

We don't mind for a minute that Hoskins, an attorney, has a full-time job downtown. Being mayor was never intended as a full-time job. While he says he has the flexibility to make any meeting, we like the idea of a village administrator fronting the village's day-to-day operations and a mayor and council focused on policy decisions.

It heartens us to hear Hoskins' view on the obsolete commissioner form of government bending toward the Review's longtime position. Whether he moves us directly toward a referendum on the topic is less important than his clear message to village department heads and staff that they are valued and respected professionals and that he and the new council members will let them work.

Forest Park has had a sub-par village council for far too long. We are recommending a mix of incumbents and newcomers who, directed away from staff meddling, will be empowered as leaders helping to set and debate an actual agenda for the future.

A word about Chris Harris, the other mayoral candidate this year. It is always good to have a contested election and Harris, to date, has run a credible and positive campaign. We admire his past efforts to engage residents in important town hall discussions. That urge toward transparency and dialogue is essential in this divided town. Our hope is that Harris will remain active and that as mayor, Rory Hoskins will look for ways to involve him.

Reader Comments

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Robert C. Cox from Forest Park  

Posted: March 22nd, 2019 6:00 PM

Business to business experience is just one dimension of economic development. Policies and strategies are processes that require participation by multiple community actors .It is not pure government regulations either. I read a general but pretty good economic plan by Rory on his website( open to the public) and have had discussions with him face to face. Maybe it went by and was missed. A long term plan is a great start so is dovetailing to the Comprehensive Plan that everyone seem to have forgotten. If the community can get better at private and public efforts everybody wins. Other issues that are also components of ECD. are affordable housing and plain housing, the value added viability of PTHS impact on economic development and recognizing the job creator that it is becoming. There are more in his general plan and Mr. Hoskins has demonstrated a commitment to Smart planning. He inherits a pretty conservative ad hoc, random action process and power regime, practicing as a closed shop for over two decades... that needs to be changed. Vote April 2

Al Mollsen from forest Park  

Posted: March 21st, 2019 11:44 AM

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Al Mollsen from Forest Park   

Posted: March 21st, 2019 11:42 AM

I can see that Rory has never worked in the construction industry since most construction workers don't have the time or the money to go out to lunch and bring their lunch boxes to the job sites with them. Even if the Construction crews went to lunch every day the short term economical gains would benefit a select group of restaurants for 6-8 months. Overall, I do believe that Rory does have a lot to offer Forest Park. I just don't see the Economic Development as an area of strength and have additional concerns of his lack of true business to business experience. As a town if we are really going to rely on AM Radio advertisements and construction crews ordering lunch on Madison to innovate and stimulate economic development? If so, we are in for an interesting 4 years.

Al Mollsen from Forest Park  

Posted: March 21st, 2019 11:41 AM

I can see that Rory has never worked in the construction industry since most construction workers don't have the time or the money to go out to lunch and bring their lunch boxes to the job sites with them. Even if the Construction crews went to lunch every day the short term economical gains would benefit a select group of restaurants for 6-8 months. Overall, I do believe that Rory does have a lot to offer Forest Park. I just don't see the Economic Development as an area of strength and have additional concerns of his lack of true business to business experience. As a town if we are really going to rely on AM Radio advertisements and construction crews ordering lunch on Madison to innovate and stimulate economic development? If so, we are in for an interesting 4 years.

Al Mollsen from Forest Park  

Posted: March 21st, 2019 11:39 AM

I don't see how the Review is coming to this conclusion in regard Rory's expansive economic development plans that are noted in this article or previous articles. Here are just a few things that come to top of mind?. Your Statement on the most that Rory has to offer? "But it is on the growth side that Hoskins has the most to offer. He has an expansive and inclusive view of the potential for economic development in Forest Park. " This is pretty vague statement and the only specific plans that he has for Economic development include a previous statement of "Taking out radio advertisement similar to Bedford park current marketing campaign" ?" First, this is not an innovative plan its basically duplicating another towns subpar marketing efforts. This old outdated marketing platform is losing listeners in droves while other media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Curbed, Crain's Chicago and LinkedIn are more cost effective and continue to grow expediently. Another comment on economic development that I read in this article was the following: "If there's construction there, that construction has economic inputs that benefit the rest of Forest Park," Hoskins said, "Where do the construction workers eat, is there participation from local businesses in construction? I believe there is. It creates traffic for Madison Street and it creates consumers who will probably spend money in Forest Park." This is another curious statement in regard to how Rory plans on Economic Development. Most construction companies already have procurement contracts in place where they have been purchasing from supply houses and distributors for years. I don't see these developers walking down to Schuaers hardware to purchase supplies and materials. Also, Rory seems to think that the Construction workers will need a place to eat and they will be morphed into consumers " who will probably spend money in Forest Park" ? I can see that Rory has never worked in th

Kathy Driscoll from Forest Park  

Posted: March 19th, 2019 10:17 PM

Since leaving elected office, for what community organizations has Rory Hoskins volunteered that did not involve his children?

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