Shnay: Letters that we forgot to send
By Jerry Shnay Citizen Journalistfirstname.lastname@example.org March 28, 2013 1:06PM
Updated: May 1, 2013 2:00PM
Dear Park Forest trustee candidates:
At 5:30 p.m. April 14, the village of Park Forest will pay tribute to retiring trustees Bonita Dillard and Ken Kramer at Dining on the Green. Kramer has been on the board for 26 years, longer than anyone in village history.
By that time, three of you will have been elected to serve on the board, and you could learn a thing or two from Dillard and Kramer about what service to the community means.
But then again, after watching the three candidate forums sponsored by the Non-Partisan Committee for Local Government, I can honestly say I have absolutely no idea why several of you are running for office.
Most of you seem to only have a vague idea of the duties of a village trustee, some repeat the same response to any question and a couple of you never bothered to answer a direct question.
And one candidate is now blaming a local news website for distorting what he said or perhaps meant to say. What was that about the “heat” and the “kitchen?”
We are all in agreement. We all want lower taxes, less crime, more business and fewer vacant homes. After the election, we will be able to judge whether the new board can face up to the challenge or if what we heard was enough hot air to float an election balloon.
Let us hope for the best.
Dear Soon-To-Be-Congressperson Robin Kelly:
Getting 52 percent of the vote in a 17-person field in the Feb. 26 special Democratic primary election is impressive and again proved the two most important words in politics probably are “money” and “organization.”
Barring the end of the world taking place before the April 9 election, you will have about a year behind you before you run in the March 2014 primary election.
Some of your operatives whisper that your anti-gun platform puts you (pardon the metaphor) in the crosshairs of the Second Amendment enthusiasts of the Republican Party who, they also whisper, plan a strong campaign against you next year.
Perhaps they will, but others insist that, barring any tradeoffs, the only way a Democratic candidate can lose in the 2nd Congressional District is if it’s dismantled by a Republican-controlled Legislature.
Republicans in the south suburbs clearly have a big problem. While nearly 31,000 people voted for you, Paul McKinley — who served nearly 20 years in jail for armed robbery, aggravated battery and burglary — won the Republican primary with 955 votes.
Some of my best friends are Republicans who still shake their heads trying to explain why, in 1995, a candidate nicknamed “Spanky the Clown” won the Republican mayoral primary in Chicago to run against Mayor Richard J. Daley. Around here, one of the Republicans once muttered to me, “Our symbol should be the bison. We’re both an endangered species.”
Let’s be honest. Your immediate predecessors have not been of noble heart and mind. How former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds, who represented the 2nd District until being convicted of having sex with a young campaign aide, persuaded 454 people to vote for him Feb. 26 is still a mystery. We shall not even discuss the other disgraced congressman you will soon replace.
Let us hope for the best.
It was pleasant to read your recollections about your young years in Park Forest — of playing in Thorn Creek Woods, riding your bike all day all over town, walking to Newman’s/Twins for candy and junk food, sledding on tree-covered hills, rope swinging over Julie’s backyard pond and never, ever having to let your parents arrange a “play date” at a friend’s house.
Your town has changed over the years, but your thoughts are a delightful antidote to the crabs and codgers whose complaints infest a website that’s supposedly devoted to the joys of growing up in Park Forest.
Keep it up, kiddo.