Tuesday, January 30, 2007

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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