Pulse: Thanas says Joliet in ‘good hands’ with Hock
October 20, 2013 7:16PM
State transportation Secretary Ann Schneider prepares for a press conference about the Illiana Expressway on a chilly day Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, in Wilmington. | Cindy Cain~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 22, 2013 6:12AM
Outgoing Joliet City Manager Thomas Thanas put in a few good words for his successor when asked what he thought of Jim Hock, who starts Nov. 12.
“I’m very impressed with Jim’s credentials,” Thanas said after Hock was appointed to the job Tuesday. “He’s a professional with a proven track record of success. I think the city will be in good hands going forward.”
Thanas, who said he has no immediate plans, will stay on the job until Nov. 12 and said he’s willing to stay longer if asked to help with the transition.
The total tax value of all property in Joliet is not going up lately, finance director Rachel Mayer told the city council’s finance committee last week.
“We topped off in 2009, and we’ve been going down a little bit ever since,” Mayer said.
The city expects to get $32.9 million from the property tax this year and the same amount in 2014. That’s down from $33.1 million in 2011.
It’s a scream
Joliet Councilman Larry Hug has joined the board of the Plainfield School District’s Foundation for Excellence and is promoting the “village of Screamfield,” a haunted house sponsored by the foundation along with Plainfield’s police department and park district.
“Politics in Joliet may be scary but not as scary as the village of Screamfield,” quipped Hug, who represents District One that includes Plainfield schools.
The haunted house is at the Plainfield police station and continues this weekend. Full-scare Screamfield is 6-10 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with ticket at $10. Family-friendly Screamfield is 2-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday with tickets at $5.
Freezin’ for a reason
Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider wore a skirt and red high heels to Wednesday’s outdoor news conference in Wilmington on the Illiana Expressway, even though the wind was brisk, temperatures were below normal and parkas were more appropriate wear. The weather didn’t seem to affect Schneider one bit as she touted the benefits of the proposed toll road.
State Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields) could have used some boots, however.
“She’s lost feelings in her toes, so I promised to keep this mercifully brief,” Mike Sturino, president and chief executive of the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association, said before his comments.
Why was the news conference held outdoors when the Local 150 Operating Engineers Training Center was toasty warm and a stone’s throw away? For the photo op, of course. Behind the speakers were stacked cargo containers belonging to adjacent Illinois Transport.
Walsh honked off
Last week, Pulse reported that a truck’s horn interrupted Will County Executive Larry Walsh’s speech during a Pace suburban bus agency event in Joliet this month. On Wednesday, Walsh’s speech was drowned out by honking geese at an outdoor Illiana Expressway press conference.
“Last week it was a truck blowing its horn, this week it’s a flock of geese — unbelievable,” Walsh said as the birds flew overhead.
Quote of the week
“This is all about the balance of wages and health insurance. They go hand in hand, and if the county expects us to pay tons more for our health insurance, they also have to realize we have had no cost-of-living increase since 2009.” — Dave Delrose, president of Local 1028 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Will County government’s largest employees union, commenting on his union’s strike authorization vote last week.
Herald-News reporters Bob Okon and Cindy Wojdyla Cain contributed to Pulse.