Gaming gets a vote

Our View

Opinion: Editorials

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By Editorial

After an extended period of bluster and bullying, it seems near certain that Forest Park's bellicose bar owners have lost their final route to silence local voters on the subject of video gaming. With the decision of the Illinois Supreme Court not to hear a final appeal of a lower court ruling, that court's approval of the effort of Let Forest Park Vote on Video Gaming to place a binding referendum on this fall's ballot is finally heading to voters to decide.

This vote is several years overdue.

Over those years you've been abusive of voters on Facebook. You have demeaned our elections with your nonsense referendum questions designed to clog the ballot. And you have spent heavily at multiple levels of the legal system working to deny ballot access based on a technical argument over the headings on petition signature pages.

All of this has created a considerable divide in Forest Park and left a very sour taste in the mouths of ordinary citizens who just want a vote. 

Here's our advice to bar owners: It is time to proactively make your case for video gaming in Forest Park. Pretty simple. Explain honestly the benefits gaming has had on your business. Admit to more and necessary money in your pocket but tout renovations, charitable contributions, and a stronger competitive situation with gaming common in neighboring towns. Spell out how you've lived within Forest Park's fairly stringent rules on signage and visibility of game machines, the ban on stand-alone gaming salons and how, in your collective view, gaming has not diminished the appeal of Madison Street. And make the case for how a cash-strapped village government has benefitted from a new revenue stream.

Be positive. You do have a story to tell. And let gaming opponents make their case, too, without insult and belittling.

And while it might be hard to do, we'd suggest starting with some sort of apology, or at least some humility, in explaining past actions which have been rude and actively divisive. 

Bar owners might win. They might lose. But we still have a community to build. 

Individualized learning, testing

Standardized tests in schools are a stressful and imperfect measure of student performance. That's especially true in Illinois where the state blows up the testing model every two or three years and everyone from the second grader to the superintendent is left head-scratching. 

That's why we've been fans of ongoing testing keyed to individual students and their achievement in very particular learning modules. The real-time testing that Forest Park's District 91 has undertaken with the FastBridge system in the past year offers teachers immediate insights into a single student's progress. That's actionable information.

The results of this testing and of other social and academic goals set a year ago by teachers, principals and the administration are encouraging. At a June school board meeting, Supt. Lou Cavallo reported decided progress in most areas. And where the schools fell short, it was mainly the result of having set audacious goals for improvement. 

We'll never fault those ambitions. 

Reader Comments

7 Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

John Gorny  

Posted: July 13th, 2018 12:22 PM

John, those are all good things. They are all probably wonderful spouses and parents too. My point is the same. The bar owners and others have made a long term effort to keep this anti-gambling initiative off the ballot. They did it because they did not want to risk getting beaten at the polls again. Maybe they were avoiding the hard work of trying to convince people to their side through long and vigorous public debates. I don't know. For or against gambling does not matter. Economics is secondary. What is most important is this. The opportunity for citizens to decide this issue one way or the other at the polls. Now it looks like we'll get that opportunity.

John R. Hosty Jr.  

Posted: July 13th, 2018 8:05 AM

John- your vote- your decision. Note I have ZERO interest in any bar, but my economic stance is not a "boss tweed". These bar owners are first to host a fundraiser for town events, donate to kids sporting events, sponsor clubs -etc. Also they bear the highest property tax- So all I stated let them have a level economic playing field with other towns. The village has regulated signs etc- so we will not have cafe's and whorish signs. I will vote with a economic view and hope others do the same- best for FP is NOT open store fronts and higher personal taxes.

John Gorny  

Posted: July 12th, 2018 10:44 PM

I am in favor of video gaming. However Mr. Hosty, your comments, along with the Boss Tweed political machine type strategies used by the bar owners to get what they want, have convinced me to vote in favor of the ban.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: July 12th, 2018 12:43 PM

I'll comment on anything I please, Johnny. Those comments aren't directed at honest business people trying to succeed. They're directed at dishonest people, like your brother, who resort to deception to undercut the democratic process. By the way, FWIW, I just returned from three weeks in Europe as part of my "economic plan," and will spend three months in Spain and Portugal this winter. But you be sure to enjoy your own economic plan this January and February, OK?

John R. Hosty Jr.  

Posted: July 12th, 2018 11:51 AM

Bill- your "distain" for people smarter than you is not their fault, but calling business owners "arrogant"-fighting to keep their business running in a level economic field (yes other ancillary towns allow VG), is really wrong. This only shows you just lash out on your injured pride. Stay in Maywood and leave Forest Park alone. Surely your personal economic plan is working for you.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: July 12th, 2018 9:29 AM

What a damn shame. Gambling is demonstrably providing an economic benefit to village government. People can check the figures on a state website, and FOIA the village for all fees imposed related to video gambling. Ofcourse,the village could simply put those figures its website if it at all cared about transparency. My deep distain for Tony Calderone, Tom Mannix and Mark Hosty aside, if I still lived in FoPa, I'd have voted for allowing it. But I fully understand the anger of others at the arrogant bar owners and the village's servile mayor. If voters shoot down video gambling, bar owners and certain village elected officials will have only themselves to blame. Chickens coming home to roost.

Tyler Schofield from Forest Park  

Posted: July 12th, 2018 7:06 AM

I can't wait to vote against video gambling in Forest Park. Sadly, when I moved into my first home here four years ago, I probably could've been convinced to vote for it. I know the village needs money, so do the small business owners running the bars. But I cannot abide the sort of democracy busting, voter disenfranchising politics that have been used to ram the legislation through to put these machines into place and keep them there. The Forest Park Review is exactly right, it is high time bar owners in this town provided a real sales pitch to the people of Forest Park on the benefits of video gambling. I hope for their sakes it's a good one and they can convince others, but it's too late to convince me.

Facebook Connect

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Forest Park.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Latest Comments