Pulse: Walsh event isn’t an endorsement, just a thank you
June 16, 2013 9:48PM
Will County Executive Larry Walsh during the Will County Board monthly meeting at the Will County Office Building in Joliet, Illinois, Thursday, February 21, 2013. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 18, 2013 6:12AM
Will County Executive Larry Walsh is hosting his first fundraiser for Gov. Pat Quinn at the IBEW union hall on Monday. But the event doesn’t mean Walsh is endorsing his fellow Democrat’s re-election before all gubernatorial candidates are announced, including potential candidate Bill Daley.
“It means that I feel that Pat Quinn’s administration has been very, very supportive of what is going on here in Will County,” Walsh said. “I’m hosting a fundraiser to say thank you to the governor.”
‘I follow the law’
Pulse hears Will County Democrats may be fielding a candidate to challenge County Clerk Nancy Schultz Voots, who hasn’t had an opponent since she was first elected in 2002. The reason? Voots voted as a member of the county’s electoral board to knock eight Democrats off the November 2012 ballot. (They were later reinstated through the appeals process). Voots said she had to vote her conscience and she believed they were inappropriately appointed to the ballot.
“I don’t do it to keep everybody happy,” she said. “I follow the law. When people get in office you should not even think Republican or Democrat, you should do what’s right.”
Voots and Sheriff Paul Kaupas, a fellow Republican, took heat from their own party in 2004 when they voted to keep Democrat Jim Glasgow on the ballot in the state’s attorney’s race. Glasgow went on to beat incumbent Republican Jeff Tomczak.
Bye, bye, bye
Kaupas is sticking with his plan to reassign sheriff’s deputies who guard the Will County Office Building, the health department complex and the probation office. He has told the county board he just doesn’t have enough manpower and money in his budget to afford the building security details. Nick Palmer, chief of staff for Walsh, said the executive’s office will hire private security to replace the deputies.
“We’re going to have security in the building, it’s just not going to be a deputy with a gun,” Palmer said. “And the Joliet police respond quickly if there’s a problem.”
What’s in a name?
Some time was taken up at the first meeting of the Joliet City Council’s new diversity committee in establishing a name. In trying to decide between Community Relations Committee and Diversity Committee, the panel made its first compromise and named itself the Diversity and Community Relations Committee.
Chairwoman Jan Quillman, while weighing alternatives, said at one point, “We could call it the new CED — for cultural and ethnic diversity.
The CED acronym is pretty entrenched locally with the Will County Center for Economic Development.
Cutting it close
The Housing Authority of Joliet passed a $24 million spending document last week that included a $6.8 million public housing budget, which contained a mere $200 surplus.
Keeping that surplus intact is important because the public housing budget is watched closely by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said Charlene Potts, chief financial officer for HAJ. Unfortunately for HAJ and other local housing authorities, the federal government has cut funding for public housing under the budget sequestration.
Potts told the HAJ board that if the federal budget loosens up, “That could give you more wiggle room in terms of revenue coming in.”
Reporters Cindy Wojdyla Cain and Bob Okon contributed to Pulse.