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Proviso Probe

Thursday, February 08, 2007

F07, Calderone, Doolin & Steinback take Qs together [FP]

Last night all three candidates for mayor addressed about 170 people at Field Stevenson Middle School. As school board member Steve Johnsen observed, pretty much everyone there had already picked which candidate they were supporting.

My take, for what it's worth is that Mayor Anthony Calderone and Commissioner Patrick Doolin did quite well at presenting what they had to say. Steinbach's presentation was fine, but the other candidates excelled at the style portion of the presentation.

On the issues:

All three candidates are against home rule.

All three candidates want to develop Roosevelt Road.

All three candidates committed not to use eminent domain to acquire homes for parking.

On the Roos property Calderone said Forest Park "should embrace progress" and seemed to indicate he was more inclined to let developers do what they think is profitable. Doolin said Calderone raising money from the developers was an example of pay-to-play politics.

Doolin favors removing administrative authority for commissioners to eliminate politicians meddling in day-to-day management of the village. Steinbach said the politicians getting involved was better than leaving decisions to unelected bureaucrats. Calderone claimed that the commissioner form of government gives commissioners the right to meddle and so Doolin's proposal didn't make sense.

Doolin seemed eager to put a car dealership or a big box store on the site of the reserve center.

Doolin accused Calderone of engaging in political meddling in the police department. Steinbach indicated that her solution to problems in the police department were to hire the "best and brightest" and have them practice good management. Calderone portrayed the conflicts in the department as getting rid of bad cops who were "cheating the system" and blamed the bad PR on the newspaper.

Calderone said, "Ninety-five percent of police officers think the police department is doing well. This is what I hear from the police chief."

Regarding District 209, both Doolin and Steinbach advocated for mayors to get out of school board politics. Calderone characterized involvement as not being about politics but "forging cooperation".

Steinbach used her vote against a water rate increase to contrast herself with Calderone and Doolin and put her on the side of senior citizens. Doolin responded by saying that the village was subsidizing the cost of water so the rate increase was the fiscally responsible thing to do.

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  • I didn't get every issue, so feel free to add stuff you thought was important if you were at the forum.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 12:12 PM, February 08, 2007  

  • That was good and fair reporting of the evening.

    By Anonymous ambivalent, at 12:44 PM, February 08, 2007  

  • Good report -- and I agree, Ms. Steinbach was not as comfortable here as she was last week at Mr. Backman's forum. She was presenting more like a lecturing professor and less like a campaigning pol --which
    is something Mr. Doolin is much better at.

    Overall -- I think FP is fortunate to have such good
    candidates -- and as long as they all stay involved, I don't think it makes much difference which one gets elected mayor.

    I thought the questions were at least as good as the ones Mr. Backman asked last week.

    But I did notice that this forum had no direct question about Chief Ryan.
    As I recall from last week, Mr. Doolin would have him fired.

    By Blogger chris miller, at 2:09 PM, February 08, 2007  

  • So is this to say that at last week's forum Backman had all the questions?

    And he called last night's forum rigged!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:38 PM, February 08, 2007  

  • refer to anonymous above as "all the questions".

    In the future please pick a pseudonym. Discussions become confusing with more than one person posting as "anonymous".

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 5:47 PM, February 08, 2007  

  • The format of both forums was basically the same: questions were submitted in writing to a
    moderator (or team of moderators) who then selected which ones to use. Last night, they used about 17 of 70, and I'm guessing that about 80% of the questions submitted last week to Mr. Backman weren't used either.
    (by the way -- none of my questions were used in either one !)

    This system, of course, gives the moderator a lot of control over discussion -- which is why it's probably a good idea here to have a separate forum run by each of our two major interest groups -- the residents and the businessmen.

    I hope that next time around all candidates will feel comfortable attending both forums

    By Blogger chris miller, at 7:12 PM, February 08, 2007  

  • IIRC (if I recall correctly) I think Backman finished about 80% of the questions submitted at the CUFP forum.

    However, with two candidates instead of three the event moved quicker. Also, the bigger audience last night probably submitted more questions than the CUFP audience.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 8:55 PM, February 08, 2007  

  • It's going to be Calderone and Doolin. Steinbach is out of her league with those two and should have run for re-election as commissioner if she wanted to continue to serve. She looked incompetent up there. I have never really been all that impressed by her anyway. Not much substance. The Calderone/Doolin race is going to be one for the ages. looking forward to watching it happen. No predication from me though. Way to close to call.

    By Anonymous two cents, at 10:52 PM, February 08, 2007  

  • two cents, I'm perplexed. Can you say specifically why you think Steinbach looked "incompetent"?

    I didn't detect any major miscues or gaffes by any of the candidates.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 7:41 AM, February 09, 2007  

  • I don't think the Mayor said he won't use eminent domain or that he was against home rule.

    He said "I am not in favor taking people's homes for parking," Which I believe was purposely vague.

    On home rule, he said that the people voted against it, so he had nothing else to say about it. Again, I believe he was purposely vague.

    By Anonymous read between the lines, at 1:51 PM, February 09, 2007  

  • I agree -- on Wednesday night, the Mayor said:

    "I am not in favor taking people's homes for parking,"

    - and - " On home rule, he said that the people voted against it"

    This means that -- as we look to the future -- it's correct to say that none of the three candidates now advocate using eminent domain (to get parking lots) or
    home rule (to raise taxes).

    But it's also important to look at the past -- and people who are new to Forest Park should know that the Mayor once pushed for home rule -- and the Mayor's administration recently placed a proposal using eminent domain on the Village Council's agenda . The Tribune story is is here .

    If you also consider the Roos Building redevelopment controversy, there seems to be a recurring pattern of:

    1. The Mayor's office makes a proposal that seems to serve various business interests better than it does the residents.
    2. Many Forest Park residents (including both of the other candidates for mayor) rally against it
    3. The proposal is withdrawn. (or,in the case of home rule, defeated by referendum)

    By Blogger chris miller, at 7:29 PM, February 09, 2007  

  • Incompetent may not have been the best word or the appropriate word. Uncomfortable, unnatural, out of her environment and seemed to lack what I'd call a Mayoral presence. Both Calderone and especially Doolin looked, acted and spoke the part with much greater authority. Steinbach was just out of her league against these two.

    By Anonymous two cents, at 9:04 PM, February 09, 2007  

  • Calderone blamed the layoff of a dozen village employees on the citizens and voters of Forest Park because they didnt vote in favor of Home Rule and give the emperor himself more weilding power

    By Anonymous Phony Tony, at 11:28 PM, February 09, 2007  

  • I'm not sure how important it is for the leaders of Forest Park to be good public speakers --- since only a few hundred of us get to hear them speak in person --- and they never have to step in front of a television camera.

    But still -- even if it's only an issue of respect -- I want to be respected by the speaker.

    I'm not a student in the class -- I'm not a personal friend - and I don't want to hear about their personal feelings.

    I want to see a thoughtful, intelligent public servant -- and that's what Patrick Doolin showed me Wednesday night.

    By Blogger chris miller, at 12:02 PM, February 10, 2007  

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