please vote on Tuesday for either Doolin or Steinbach
I want to emphasize that Tuesday's election will be determined by who goes to the polls. All active Forest Parkers should encourage their family, friends and neighbors to vote.
On Tuesday, Feb. 27, I recommend my fellow Forest Parkers vote for change when picking a candidate for mayor.
Some would argue Forest Park has benefited from economic growth that would have happened whether or not Anthony Calderone was mayor. However, I think the fairest interpretation is that Calderone helped bring businesses together for innovation. But Calderone did have some luck in the people around him, including having commissioners Patrick Doolin and Theresa Steinbach on the council to restrain his impulse to spend.
I first met Calderone at Dave King's Christmas party in 2000. Calderone was the only person I didn't know from before who I remember meeting that night.
In 2000 Calderone was more dynamic and probably more willing to reach out to new people. Now Calderone seems more set in his ways. His people are his people.
Calderone tries to marginalize, ignore and freeze-out citizens who question village decisions, especially citizens skeptical of ambitious development.
Under Calderone the village has fumbled on creating new parking for Madison Street businesses and repaving Industrial Drive in south Forest Park. Largely these fumbles have been caused by poor communication.
I doubt Calderone would have made these fumbles in 2000.
Calderone's mistakes and bad decisions have hit the police department especially hard. Under the commissioner form of government the mayor supervises the police department.
Calderone associates himself with the police when good things happen-like routine arrests-and distances himself from problems in his police department. In fact Calderone would like voters to believe the police department problems aren't really problems but controversy manufactured by the Forest Park Review to create drama.
One of the ways Calderone uses the police department to his political advantage is community policing meetings. Calderone milks these meetings for the maximum interaction with voters. How many community policing meetings happened in the first three and a half years of Calderone's term compared with the six months leading up to the election?
I have asked Calderone, "What is the mayor's role in the police department in the commissioner form of government?" Calderone refused to answer.
Calderone probably doesn't want to answer because he wants to have it both ways. In private Calderone-a former auxiliary police officer-likes to micromanage. But when his decisions and policies produce bad results, Calderone hides behind his flunky chief of police who is happy to be the mayor's fall guy for $100,000 per year.
Calderone will get some votes because he throws great community parties. And if we were electing the president of a fraternity I would be campaigning for Calderone. I like his parties too. But the village has serious issues and the 2007 version of Anthony Calderone is controlling and secretive. The guy who shepherded Madison Street's blossoming has left the village.
Please take the time to vote next Tuesday-at your usual polling place-and please vote for a new mayor.