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Proviso Probe

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

F07, Calderone mailer delivered

Yesterday I received a mailer from Mayor Anthony Calderone’s campaign. It’s 11” X 17”, has Calderon’s picture 20 times and uses purple for color.

My first reaction was that Calderone makes claims that can be rebutted. Some people might even say Calderone’s claims are untrue.

My next reaction was that Calderone’s mailing lacks focus. He tackles too many issues. It just becomes a blur.

Combining these two ideas, it seems like it would have been a stronger mailer if Calderone stayed focused on issues associated with him and conveyed his vision for the future.

Here are the points that rubbed me the wrong way.

“Listening to the community”—Give me a break! Calderone skipped the CUFP candidate forum. Many of the problems under Calderone have been because of poor communications with residents and businesses.

“Demanding fiscal discipline and accountability”—According to Calderone’s opponents they were the ones that raised questions about dubious spending. For example, Commissioner Theresa Steinbach says Forest Park was paying Anthony Bruno $3,000 per month until she demanded an accounting of what Bruno was doing for the village. Both Steinbach and Commissioner Patrick Doolin claim they were the ones who made sure the sales tax increase went into a dedicated fund for streets and alleys, not into general revenue.

“Creating a glass door into government”—This is just false. Under Calderone citizens can no longer use the Freedom of Information Act to get information that was once available. For example, neighbors used to be able to get building plans so they could evaluate if developers were acting in the best interest of the community. Calderone ended this.

“Tough Ethics Ordinance”—An ethics ordinance was implemented, as required by state law. So far the committee created by the ethics ordinance hasn’t held hearings on any complaints. And the ordinance allows the committee to fine complainants $5,000 for filing “frivolous” (not untrue, merely frivolous) complaints. Anyone who files a complaint is exposing him/herself to a $5,000 bill. Calderone’s tough ethics ordinance is exceedingly biased toward protecting those in power already.

“Robust code enforcement”—At the community policing meetings the imperfections in code enforcement has been cited by the citizens, village staff and the mayor as a problem. Calderone and his two supporters on the village council voted 3-2 to acquire 1000 Beloit. One of the reasons given for buying the building was that it was consistently violating code.

When Calderone makes unjustified claims in some areas it undermines his legitimate claims of accomplishment in other areas.

In my opinion (IMO) Calderone would be better off sticking to stuff that’s solid. He should run as the guy who oversaw Madison Street development and has a vision for the future. When Calderone tries to position himself as being an open government guy and a reformer he comes across as pandering and bullshitting.

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3 Comments:


  • "When Calderone tries to position himself as being an open government guy and a reformer he comes across as pandering and bullshitting."


    Maybe it's just me -- but even though I have criticized his policies and never given his bloated campaign chest a dime, he has responded (in detail -- on the same day) to every email question I've ever sent him over the past two years.

    On the other hand, his two opponents have blown me off -- without answering my questions -- and in Ms. Steinbach's case, not even acknowledging my emails to her.

    FP is a very small town -- and it's not unreasonable for its leaders to have some kind of relationship with every resident who's concerned.

    I get the feeling that Tony Calderone is a very outgoing, big hearted fellow who actually enjoys meeting and knowing all kinds of people -- and who is responsive to criticism.

    But it does seem that whenever an issue is raised (home rule, Roos, Madison parking etc) -- I side with his opponents.

    One issue that continues to puzzle me is village finances. Have the village financial reserves dropped since 1999 ? Should the $3.5 million now in the bank be considered a sufficient reserve ?

    I wish that one of the political websites (you -- or CUINFP -- or Forums -- or the candidates) would document the details.

    By Blogger chris miller, at 7:46 AM, February 14, 2007  

  • Well written observations. Same thoughts myself.

    Keep up the good work.

    By Anonymous GODoolinGO, at 9:03 AM, February 14, 2007  

  • Tony Calderone is nothing but a Melrose Park by-product. In his recent campaign mailer, he cites smaller classroom sizes as one of his accomplishments. My question to him is: Since the school district is governed by a separate elected board and operates independent of the village, how did the Mayor have anything to do with creating smaller school class sizes?
    Tony has nothing to hang his hat on other than corruption so he has to steal other peoples accomplishments. This is yet another example of the liar we have as a Mayor. Say good-bye Tony Baloney, your done.

    By Anonymous Baloney, at 9:38 AM, February 14, 2007  

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