Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Bears are in the Superbowl

hat tip to Rich Miller of The Capitol Fax Blog

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CUFP candidate questionnaire, biography

CUFP has sent me a candidate questionnaire.

Name: Carl Nyberg

Address: 139 Brown #1, Forest Park

Phone: (773) 430-3538 (mobile)

How long resided in FP? I moved to Forest Park approximately September, 2003.

Employment: Self-employed, publisher and media consultant specializing in blogs.

Educational background:
Organizational membership:

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CUFP candidate questionnaire

Citizens United in Forest Park will hold a forum for commissioner candidates Thursday, March 15, 2007 at 7:00 PM at St. Peter’s church, 500 Hannah.

Included in the invitation was a candidate questionnaire. I used to write candidate questionnaires for Campaign for UN Reform (now Citizens for Global Solutions) and I think they are a great way to enhance democracy by getting candidates to express themselves in detail.

Citizens United in Forest Park (CUinFP)

Candidates Questionnaire for the 2007 Municipal Elections
Village of Forest Park

Feel free to use the back of the questionnaire to complete your answers.


Home address__________________________________________________________

Home phone___________________________________________________________

How long have you been a resident of Forest Park?____________________________

Place of employment_____________________________________________________

Current job ____________________________________________________________


Educational Background/Degrees/Military Service



Organizations in which you are a member ___________________________________


1. What motivates you to want to serve the Village of Forest Park? Why are you running for this office?

2. List what you feel to be the qualifications you possess that will make you an effective elected official.

3. What do you believe are the greatest strengths and weaknesses of the Village?

4. What changes would you like to make to the Village? What specific things do you pledge to accomplish during your term?

5. What do you perceive is the financial situation of the Village? Please comment on your perception of future needs and how those needs might be addressed.

6. What spending would you cut? What new revenue sources would you add?

7. How does Village income currently relate to justifiable expenses?

8. Do you think the current cash reserve is adequate? Explain.

9. How do you plan to achieve a balance between residential and commercial needs in the Village?

10. How do you feel about high-density development in Forest Park? Do you think it should be more carefully regulated?

11. Under what conditions would you advocate exceptions to the zoning density restrictions regarding development? Do you think we grant too many zoning variances?

12. Do you believe that the current zoning laws, the Comprehensive Plan and the existing property uses are completely out of alignment? If so, how do you propose to resolve these issues? And, how important is resolving these inconsistencies?

13. Should we regulate teardowns? How?

14. Do you believe the Village should support and protect historic neighborhoods?

15. Do you think the Village should adopt design guidelines for commercial and residential buildings in Forest Park?

16. What type of development would you support for the Roos property?

17. Do you know how many Forest Parkers are members of the West Cook YMCA and do you know how much a family membership at the Y costs?

18. On most Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings there is garbage all along Madison Street and on many occasions, there are plants that have been uprooted from the planters. 99% of this is attributed to unruly bar patrons. What will you do to clean up/prevent this unsightliness?

19. There has been much attention to the need for parking in and around Madison Street. If surface lots or a parking structure is built, how and/or by whom will it be financed? What should be done about parking for the Madison Street business area?

Parking garage?

Eminent Domain?

Expand present lots?

Distance lots?

Cutting into neighborhoods?

20. What laws or rules are in place governing parking by Madison Street employees? If none, why not?

21. There are many existing parking laws in place that are not enforced (i.e. 2 Hour Parking and No Street Parking between 2am and 5am). What will you do to enforce the laws?

22. How would you address the complaints of a shortage of police presence on the south side of town? Do you feel Forest Park needs to hire additional officers or simply redistribute the existing officers?

23. What would you like to see happen on Roosevelt Road? What would you propose for that area?

24. How do you define “transparency in government?” If elected, will you work to increase transparency? How?

25. How will you encourage citizen input and increase citizen involvement in the Village?

26. Under what circumstances, as an elected official, would you recuse yourself from a vote?

27. How would you define “conflict of interest?”

28. What qualifications would you seek for appointees to the various boards and commissions?

29. Do you favor changing the form of government? If elected, what specifically would you do about this?

30. Would you be in favor of a referendum to support Home Rule?

31. During the last five years or so, the Village seems to have spent a great deal of money on consultants and outside services, with very little in the way of actionable plans coming out of these expenses. Please discuss your views on this subject.

32. The Village has spent extraordinary amounts of money to defend itself in lawsuits. What do you think caused this problem and how would you resolve it?

33. What is your opinion of Forest Park high schools? Would you express your opinion often to encourage change and improvement? How?

34. We are all too aware of the in fighting that has plagued the recent Village Council. Please discuss your views on working with council members who do not necessarily share your beliefs. How will you build consensus on the council?

35. Would you support an indoor smoking ban for public places in Forest Park?

36. Flooding still seems to be a major problem for both residents and businesses. What steps have you taken (or do you plan to take) to address this problem? Does this include the installation of larger storm sewers? If so, when will this be done and how will it be paid for?

37. If an issue or vote is legal, at what point, in your opinion, might it considered unethical?

38. As a Village Commissioner or Mayor, do you think it is appropriate to accept campaign contributions from companies that work for the Village, Village employees and developers? Do you think it is appropriate to accept campaign contributions from people not connected to the Village? What, if any limits do you think are appropriate?

39. How can citizens hold you accountable? How will you demonstrate accountability?

40. What would you say have been your top accomplishments as a Forest Parker?

Please add anything more you would like the voters of Forest Park to know.

This is a long questionnaire. I will respond to it in pieces over the coming days and weeks.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

allegations and threats against candidate

This discussion began on Proviso Probe.

I've created a thread here because the individual(s) threatened to do a mailing calling me antisemitic in the commissioner race.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

overnight parking

Yesterday I met a Forest Parker who was having trouble finding a reasonably close place to park her car overnight.

When dealing with overnight parking I think we should remember that the village has created an artificial shortage of parking by enacting an overnight parking ban. There are reasons to have an overnight parking ban, but there are reasons to be flexible too.

I would like the village website to include a page for listing parking availability. This would make it easier for landlords to list their parking places and easier for tenants to find convenient parking.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

village council will hold hearings on smoking ordinance Monday

I just received an email from Citizens United in Forest Park:
The Mayor has placed a smoking ordinance on the
Village Council agenda for Monday evening (1/20/07).
The item reads as follows:

“An Ordinance establishing smoking regulations within
the Village of Forest Park”.

We have no information regarding specifics.

As past practice has shown us, the “public comment”
section of the meeting may be the only opportunity for
citizens to voice their opinion. Council meetings
start promptly at 7:00 PM followed immediately by
public comment.


Steven Backman


Unfortunately, the Illinois legislature may take the issue out of the hands of Forest Park. Sen. John Cullerton (D-Chicago) has introduced legislation to ban smoking in all public places, minus some very narrow exceptions. There are no exceptions for veterans halls.

I favor the state legislature passing a law that requires communities to have at least some non-smoking bars. But the local government can allow smoking bars if it has at least as many non-smoking bars.

Patrons would be able to choose if they want to go to smoking or non-smoking bars. And municipalities could make a little money selling smoking licenses.

I would also favor making Forest Park smoking bars either provide employees with uniforms or pay to have their employees clothes cleaned. In my experience the extra cleaning required is the biggest objection of employees at smoking bars.

Friday, January 19, 2007

fundraiser scheduled

I've scheduled a fundraiser for March 5, at Los Cazadores, 1113 Lake St, Oak Park, IL. It will be finger food and a cash bar.

Los Cazadores is managed by Eddy Garcia, former Northlake Alderman.

Thanks, Eddy.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Madison Street businesses & parking

I spent my Saturday afternoon going to Madison Street businesses and talking to them.

The hottest issue was parking. At least some of the business owners feel that the issue pitted businesses versus home owners in the minds of the activists opposed to the recent parking proposal.

My perception of the activists opposed to the proposal is that they are upset with Mike Sturino and Calderone/Hosty/Gillian block on the village council. Admittedly, I talk to people who are more political. However, I have a hard time seeing residents as being anti-small business. Who lives near Madison Street who doesn't patronize at least one of the businesses?

Commissioner Mark Hosty is running for re-election. According to the website he's the First Vice President of the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce.

The Calderone/Hosty/Gillian block failed to deliver on their pro-business sentiments. Rather than seeing the residents as being anti-business, the Madison Street business community should see them as being rational actors.

If someone hatched a scheme to make Forest Park better that involved tearing down six Madison Street businesses the business community wouldn't be happy, right?

The village did at least a couple things wrong.

Instead of moving ahead secretly the village should have engaged residents earlier.

There should have been more than one option on the table. There are probably dozens of ways to increase parking. Why did the village settle on one and make it a take-it-or-leave-it proposition? It's hard to not suspect that the politically connected owners of Doc Ryan's were getting a sweetheart deal where a large chunk of the parking was going to be closer to their business than anyone else's.

And the deal further stunk when Sturino and Calderone brought in a law firm that gives large campaign contributions to Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico and was clearly over charging Forest Park.

Yes, let's improve the parking situation on Madison Street. But Mayor Calderone and Commissioner Hosty got a chance to work on the problem and they failed to get results.

Sometimes life requires more than good intentions.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

part-time cop victimizes citizen in Maywood

Proviso Herald (David Pollard):
A part-time Maywood police officer has been charged with taking and using a credit card from a person he had arrested.

Back when the part-time cop issue was being discussed in Forest Park I wrote:
Here's my question for defenders of the Calderone part-time cop program in Forest Park.

Do you see how part-time cops have much less to lose when they abuse their police powers?

If part-time cops behave badly in Northlake and Maywood, why wouldn't it happen in Forest Park?