Joliet city manager quits, maybe
BY BOB OKON email@example.com May 22, 2013 4:33PM
Updated: June 24, 2013 2:09PM
Joliet City Manager Thomas Thanas told the city council again that he quit, although council members are wondering if he meant it.
Thanas, according to accounts, walked out of a closed council session Tuesday night, saying he was resigning and suggesting they discuss a transition plan.
“He probably didn’t really mean it,” Councilman Robert O’Dekirk said. But, O’Dekirk added, “At this point, I don’t know if anyone knows to take it seriously.”
Thanas, who was at work at city hall Wednesday, would not comment.
Just two months ago, Thanas sent council members an email telling them that he planned to resign by the end of the year. The next night, the council voted to reject the resignation, and Thanas in effect pulled his resignation without making any long-term commitment to stay.
Both in March and this week, Thanas quit after run-ins with council members.
Sources said Thanas in closed session Tuesday had a disagreement with Councilwoman Jan Quillman before walking out of the meeting.
Quillman on Wednesday would not discuss the matter but acknowledged that she does not know whether Thanas will remain as city manager.
“I really don’t know. You’ll have to ask him,” Quillman said. “I don’t know what he’s thinking.”
When asked if Thanas had resigned, Councilman Terry Morris said, “I don’t know if he did or didn’t.”
While Thanas has had disagreements with some council members, he has always appeared to have the support of the majority of the council, as was evident in the March vote to reject his resignation. All but one council member voted to reject the resignation. Larry Hug abstained, saying it was up to Thanas to decide whether he wanted to stay or not.
“There hasn’t been any talk of us firing Tom,” O’Dekirk said.
Mayor Thomas Giarrante was in the hospital Wednesday for knee replacement surgery and could not be reached for comment.
Councilman John Gerl would not discuss the closed session but said on Wednesday that he did not know whether Thanas would remain city manager.
Thanas has been city manager since March 2008 and was the city attorney when Joliet brought in casino gambling.
In March 2012, his future as city manager appeared uncertain when a recruitment firm began calling people in Joliet to check Thanas’s references for other jobs.
Thanas acknowledged that he was considering two public administration positions but eventually decided to stay in Joliet.
Later that year at a public council meeting, Thanas made repeated remarks during a discussion of the budget suggesting he could be leaving. He said after the meeting that he was feeling a “little edgy” but had no immediate plans to leave.