1. What motivates you to seek this office? What skills, experiences, and perspectives would you bring to the Commission, and why would those contributions be valuable to the Village of Forest Park?

I own a number of rental properties in town and am a small business owner.  I have a Business and Economics degree from Wheaton College. I want to see Forest Park grow and thrive so want to take an active role in making that happen.  

2. What are Forest Park’s greatest strengths? What are its greatest challenges? What is your vision for Forest Park?

I would love for Forest Park to be a Village that included and respected everyone.  I would love to see a Village hall that included and respected everyone. I would love for Forest Park’s Leaders and its Citizens to work together for the greater good of all thus making Forest Park one of the first choices for people to move to in the western suburbs.  

3. What does transparency in government mean to you? Give one example of an action you would take as Commissioner to reflecting your views on this topic. How would you evaluate the Village’s record on transparency?

Yes, Forest Park has a huge transparency problem.  I would make sure that a full un-redacted copy of the Village’s Budget is on the website for all to review.  I would make sure that the budget meetings are held in the evening when people can actually attend. I would make sure that full copies of the Village’s legal bills are placed on the Village’s website so that all citizens know the real issues the Village is having and hopefully by being completely transparent we as a board with the help of everyday citizens can work collectively to fix those past issues and ensure that they do not continue to happen regardless of what department they are from.  

4. What steps will you take to enhance community engagement with the Village and the Village Commission? What is your view on how local elected officials should communicate with and respond to constituents?

We need to start using social media and the web to communicate with all residents and business owners in Forest Park.  

5. In what ways have you sought to better know and understand the experiences, concerns, and needs of residents outside your demographic group?

We need to work on making the Village feel inclusive to all.  Working with the Village Board, Mayor and Manager to make sure that the Village posts all job openings for all to see as well as work with them to recruit minority hires making Village Hall a more diverse workplace that reflects the make up of our Village.  

6. What do you believe is the biggest challenge to the Village's financial situation? What specific steps would you take as Commissioner with regard to the Village’s budget shortfall?

We need to cut expenses in the Villages General budget so that the $900,000 a year we are pulling from the water department can actually be saved and used to repair and expand our sewer system

7. What should the Village Commission's role be with respect to economic development and attracting new business to Forest Park?

Social Media Marketing is going to be one of the greatest tools we have to promote the charm of Forest Park and bring more people into our shops and restaurants.  Since it is not costly and is easy to implement I plan on making this one of my focuses if elected to the board. Also Village Board members need to actively work with local commercial real estate agents to seek out entrepreneurs looking to start new business or add on other locations.  Meeting with the Real Estate Agents and the entrepreneurs to explain the positives of Forest Park and let them know they have the full support of the Village Council is crucial to getting good businesses into Forest Park. Another important aspect of maintaining the businesses that are already here is for the Village to spend locally when ever it can.  The Village Holiday party, police department Holiday Party, and Fire Department Holiday party should only be held at restaurants in Forest Park. I understand it is also extremely important that all village board members work with the chamber and attend chamber lunches with members to gain insight on what the current business struggles are and what ideas collectively will strengthen the business community.

8. The Altenheim property and future development alternatives are topics of much discussion in Forest Park. What should the next step in this process be?

I believe that two parking / traffic studies where also done.  I think those along with the National Park Service study and any studies conducted by PACE regarding their space around the park and the blue line should be opened up to the public, and a series of town halls should be conducted.

9. The debate over video gambling dominated the recent midterm election in the Village, and while the issue has been resolved through binding referendum, there are still significant rifts dividing Forest Park. Do you think those rifts can be healed? If so, how? If not, why not?

It’s done and over.  It was a binding referendum so we just need to move on and not continue to bring it up.  

10. Do you believe Village Commissioners have a role to play in relation to District 91 and District 209? Why or why not?

The Village Board should be in contact with the school board.  Better schools makes for a better quality of life for all families and will keep more people from leaving when it comes time for High School.  This will add greater stability to our village. We also need to take an active role in D91. Our next generation of leadership needs to have a complete education from day one so it is crucial that we stay engaged in all stages of their education.  

11. What do you see as the best role for Forest Park’s Diversity Commission? What challenges do you anticipate with regard to equity and inclusion in the Village, and how will you approach them?

Making the Village feel inclusive to all.  Working with the Village Board, Mayor and Manager to make sure that the Village posts all job openings for all to see as well as work with them to recruit minority hires making Village Hall a more diverse workplace that reflects the makeup of our Village.  

12. What impact can a municipality such as Forest Park have on climate change, and how will you prioritize that work among other issues? Do you think Forest Park should implement a Climate Action Plan, and if so, what specific elements should it include?

I can and plan to make chickens a legal option for residents of Forest Park to raise them in their backyards!  Oak Park allows Chickens and so should we. They are great in providing a supply of fresh organic non-GMO eggs, and offer better nutrition than nasty battery eggs.  They offer free fertilizer, pest control, and will eat leftovers keeping food out of our sewer system and landfills. Sustainability and the environment are issues for all residents and if elected I would love to create a sustainability commission to look into and implement programs like allowing residents to have chickens and other actions that are pro environment.  

13. The Forest Park Review recently described the Commissioner form of government as “fully obsolete for an urban suburb of our size.” Do you agree? If so, what steps would you take to improve the governing structures of Forest Park?

I am open to discussing and exploring other forms of government.  I believe that it should be discussed with all residents as to the pros and cons of both.  

14. Please list the three largest donors to your campaign by dollar amount contributed.

Mark Bergoff, Wexford, Jessica Voogd

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[The above answers were supplied on 2/20/19. It may be possible to find more current financial information at the Illinois Sunshine website. Illinois Sunshine is also a useful resource for identifying past contributions by individuals to political candidates and committees in Illinois.]

Forest Park Forward (campaign website)

Forest Park Forward (campaign Facebook page)

A citizen advocate speaks (Forest Park Review 3/26/19)

Different ideas but shared goals (Forest Park Review 3/26/19)

I see areas for improvement (Forest Park Review 3/26/19)

An opportunity to change directions (Forest Park Review 3/26/19)

What do commissioners do? (Forest Park Review 3/26/19)

Survey Responses: Jon Robert Kubricht (Forest Park Review 3/1/19)

A real opportunity for Forest Park (Forest Park Review 2/12/19)

Commissioner hopefuls form slate around Hoskins (Forest Park Review 11/6/18)

Forest Park Forward campaign disclosures (Illinois State Board of Elections)

Forest Park Forward financials (Illinois Sunshine)

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About Forest Park’s Government

Commission candidates debate unity, development (Forest Park Review 2/26/19)

No candidates' petitions challenged (Forest Park Review 1/1/19)

A Brief Who's Who in the Commissioner, Mayoral Races (Forest Park Review 12/18/18)