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Proviso Probe

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Forest Park: Doolin vs. Calderone

Forest Park’s Mayor Anthony Calderone and Commissioner Patrick Doolin don’t like each other.
Doolin has reason to be angry with Calderone.
Under Forest Park’s commissioner form of gov’t, each commissioner is responsible for a department of village government. Doolin is the commissioner for streets and public improvement. Doolin was recently responsible for the search for a public works director. Doolin claims the search lasted fifteen months.
Calderone, along with commissioners Gillian and Hosty, who reliably, if not always, support Calderone, voted down Doolin’s candidate for public works director. They claimed to disapprove of Doolin prioritizing academic qualifications. Doolin’s candidate had a masters in public administration. The interim department director did not pursue academics since graduating from high school.
If Calderone and the others disapproved of having academic prerequisites for the job they should have raised this earlier in the process. Waiting for Doolin to invest considerable effort and then objecting to a decision made in the beginning is an unprofessional way to do business. Doolin has cause to be mad at Calderone, Gillian and Hosty. Their conduct was disrespectful. Any normal person treated the way Calderone, et al, acted would be pissed-off.
Given that the sleight has occurred, what should Calderone do? Should he try to mend fences? Should he ignore Doolin? Or should he bait Doolin to escalate the controversy?
From the Forest Park Review (Seth Stern):
This is Tim Gillian’s attitude:
"Those people out and out dislike us," said Gillian referring to Steinbach and Doolin. "There is a complete lack of respect. I’m sure that in their opinion I do not respect them, but that is not the case. I respect anybody who throws their hat in the ring. I certainly respect the office. I try real hard to keep personalities out of it. Right now it is very strained."

And Mark Hosty’s:
"They came in contentious, and it has stayed contentious" said Hosty who is now in his second term on the village council. "It has been contentious since the swearing in. It’s been made personal."

Calderone referred to Doolin's complaints as "sour grapes".
I’ve attended a couple village board meetings and differ with Gillian’s analysis that Doolin and Steinbach have showed “a complete lack of respect”. Hosty sounds like he’s whining when he accuses Doolin and Steinbach of being“contentious”. The minority is supposed to ask questions. Based on the meetings I attended nothing raised by Doolin or Steinbach could be categorized as unreasonably contentious in content or style.
The onus for reconciliation falls on the people in power: Calderone, Gillian and Hosty. The minority has nothing to offer except capitulation.
On a personal level I like Calderone and Hosty, but they’re playing this situation foolishly. Calderone should figure out what his priorities are. He should hold firm on his priorities and let Doolin and Steinbach win some of the other stuff. Calderone should be cagey enough to take his ego off the priority list and be humble toward the minority. Apologizing and kissing ass is cheap.
If Calderone is shrewd, he’ll do what he needs to do to persuade Doolin to stop writing letters to the paper accusing Calderone of being a crook. There’s enough smoke that the allegations and insinuations hurt Calderone’s reputation.

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