By Nona Tepper
Forest Parkers will vote on video gaming come November.
Despite an appeal by bar owners currently sitting in the Cook County Appellate Court, village attorney Thomas Bastian said the Forest Park Electoral Board will direct the village clerk to certify a question related to video gaming for an upcoming election ballot. The next election is Nov. 6.
The question, "Shall video gaming be prohibited in the village of Forest Park?" is binding, which means that if a majority of Forest Parkers were to vote against the practice, video gaming -- which is now allowed -- will be outlawed in the village.
"We can't wait for that" to be ruled on, Bastian said.
The Appellate Court mandated in March the binding referendum must appear on the upcoming election ballot, overturning the decisions of a circuit court and the local electoral board. "This decision mandates that it be on the ballot," he said. Bastian was waiting for the Illinois Supreme Court to comment on an appeal submitted by bar owners. The state's highest court declined to hear the appeal on July 6.
"The Village Clerk of the Village of Forest Park is hereby ordered and directed to certify the public question regarding video gaming," a state court order reads.
The Forest Park electoral board will hold its public hearing at 11 a.m. on July 30 at Village Hall, 517 Desplaines Ave., just in time for the village clerk to certify the decision to election officials by August 30.
The electoral board consists of Mayor Anthony Calderone, Village Clerk Vanessa Moritz and Commissioner Tom Mannix.
"I think it will be very short, they will convene, make a motion to approve the order and sign it," Bastian said, adding: "We will schedule the hearing in ample time for it to be certified to the ballot."