Elections, Local, Park Forest, Politics

VIDEO: The First Forum for April 4, 2023, Consolidated Election in Park Forest

Judge Ray Runderburk and Joseph Woods
The absence of the second candidate for mayor left moderator Judge Ray Runderburk and Joseph Woods speaking with each other and the crowd in attendance. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- I’m posting here videos of the first forum for April 4, 2023, consolidated election in Park Forest. The forum (held in two parts) was on Sunday, January 29 in the Board Room of Village Hall. This past Sunday’s forums were sponsored by the Non-Partisan Committee in Park Forest.

These were the first forums with a live audience present since the onset of the pandemic. Chairs were spaced about three feet apart for some social distancing. However, few wore masks at this point and the room was full with just under 50 people in attendance. Members of the Non-Partisan Committee did have to add chairs as a larger-than-expected number of people showed up. That still left a small number standing in the back.

two of the rows of people in attendance at Sunday's forum
A few rows of people in attendance at Sunday’s forum. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

The first forum was for candidates for Village Trustee, moderated by Judge Raymond Funderburk (ret). Participating candidates were, in alphabetic order, Andrew Gladstone, Tiffany Graham, John Moore, and Randall White. Absent was candidate Joshua Travis.

The first forum for candidates for the office of Mayor was also held, also moderated by Judge Funderburk. There are two candidates for this office but only one showed up: Joseph A. Woods. The current mayor, Jonathan Vanderbilt, told the Non-Partisan Committee members late Thursday evening that he would not be attending, saying that he was out of town on work. So, candidate Joe Woods, a current sitting trustee, spoke freely with Judge Funderburk for the better part of 45 minutes.

Candidate Joe Woods was interrupted several times with applause.

In addition to eNews Park Forest recording the afternoon’s events, Village technician Martin Suchor (Soo’-kōr) was present to broadcast the forums on local government access cable channels.

Martin Suchor operating the cameras at Village Hall Sunday
Martin Suchor, usually behind the camera, here operating the cameras at Village Hall Sunday. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

This Sunday, February 5, the Non-Partisan Committee in Park Forest will host another forum at 1:00 PM for all candidates for the office of Library Trustee.

Below are videos of each forum from this past Sunday. The videos are only lightly edited.

Forum for the Office of Village Trustee (Three Seats Open)

Forum for the Office of Mayor (One in Attendance)