Pulse: Quinn leaves out Will County Board on invite list
July 28, 2013 9:46PM
Pat Quinn, Toi Hutchinson
Updated: August 30, 2013 6:12AM
Many public officials attended Gov. Pat Quinn’s official signing of the South Suburban Airport bill on Thursday at Governors State University, but there was only one representative of the 26-member Will County Board. Don Moran, D-Romeoville, said he was invited by happenstance when he bumped into state Sen. Pat McGuire, D-Joliet, at a golf outing. County Board Speaker Herb Brooks Jr., D-Joliet, got a second-hand invitation at the last minute, but he couldn’t attend. Republican Caucus Leader Jim Moustis of Frankfort Township wasn’t invited at all.
The apparent snub comes after years of Will County officials wrangling for control of the airport with the Abraham Lincoln National Airport Commission once headed by former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. The bill Quinn signed gives control of the airport to the state.
“What he did was divisive,” Moustis said of Quinn. “And it doesn’t bring us together. If this is how he’s going forward with back room deals cutting out Will County, this will become problematic.”
Moustis, who never has been shy about expressing his opinion and once called Jackson a “carpetbagger” for trying to take over an airport project not in his district, also announced on Friday that he is seeking re-election. Moustis, who was first elected to the county board in 1992 and served for many years as county board chairman, said his appetite for public service is not waning one bit.
“I do still have the fire in my gut,” he said.
Moustis, who won re-election as Frankfort Township supervisor in April, said now that he’s retired from the private sector, he has more time to devote to the county board. Nominating petitions go out in September for the March primary.
Something new and different
Fighting a fire by hosing it down from the other side of a prison wall was a new experience, Joliet Deputy Fire Chief Ray Randich said of last week’s blaze at the old Joliet Correctional Center.
“That’s the thing about our job,” Randich said. “When you think you’ve seen all the fire calls you’re going to see, you have something like this, and you say, ‘Well, that was a different chapter of my career.’ ”
Upon further review
In the aftermath of the fire, there appeared to be confusion over which state department is responsible for the closed Joliet Correctional Center.
Tom Shaer, spokesman for the Illinois Departent of Corrections, said Thursday that the warden at Stateville found out that day that DOC, not the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, had control of the closed prison.
Shaer called on Friday to report that DOC had previously known that the closed prison was theirs.
No one, however, has tight control of the state prison.
Amy Sanchez with the Collins Street Neighborhood Council said it’s too easy to get into the old front entrance to the prison.
“Anybody can climb that fence,” Sanchez said. “I’ve seen people doing it, and I’ve called the police on them.”
Cindy Wojdyla Cain
and Bob Okon
contributed to Pulse.