Sunday, February 27, 2011

Joliet Mayoral Candidate Michael Marconi says campaign is self-financed, would donate salary back to the City of Joliet

According to an ad he took out in the Joliet Herald-News today, Joliet mayoral candidate Michael Marconi's campaign is self-financed.  Marconi's ad stated he has "No Sponsors, No Fundraisers, No Donations."

Marconi is a retired Joliet Fire Battalion Chief and has served on the executive board of International Fire Fighters Association Local #2369.  Marconi states he has negotiated many contracts with the city.

Marconi's ad states he is a "lifelong, taxpaying resident of the City of Joliet" and "As Mayor, Mike will donate his salary back to the City of Joliet, and work full time to balance the budget, spend only where there is a need and cut all money-draining projects."

Marconi identifies the following as costly mistakes made by the City Council of Joliet:
"--Silver Cross Field, $27 million and ongoing debt
--Joliet Splash Station, over $8 million and ongoing debt
--Joliet Historical Museum, $9 million and ongoing debt
--Westward expansion that cannot be sustained with city services
--Insufficient revenue from prosperous times saved for the leaner years (extravagant spending)
--Raised water rates 35%
--Increased property taxes 12%
--Eliminated 62 police officer positions and 9 fire department positions compromising public safety"

Marconi is one of 9 candidates for Mayor of Joliet.  The other 8 candidates are:
Kevin Hegarty
Andy Mihelich
Jan Quillman
Tom Giarrante
Diane Harris
Lester Brown
Warren Dorris
Dale Vollmer

Here is Michael Marconi at Joliet Chamber Candidate Forum:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chaos in Wisconsin Capitol as Gov. Scott Walker's Budget Repair Bill passes in Wisconsin Assembly to shouts of "Shame" from Assembly Democrats

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's Budget Repair Bill passed in the Wisconsin Assembly Friday, February 25th. Here is the dramatic video from the Wisconsin capitol :

From the gallery:

Talking Points Memo video from the Wisconsin Assembly floor:

Full article on the bill's passage from Talking Points Memo and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Joliet City Council District 1 Candidate Larry Hug Tired of Career Politicians

Joliet City Council District 1 Candidate Larry Hug has released a press release stating that if he is elected, he will present a plan to eliminate health insurance for sitting council members as well as any and all retirement plans in addition to banning lifetime health insurance for former council members.

Joliet City Council District 3 Candidate Richard Rodriguez started a website calling for an end to free lifetime health benefits for retired Council Members, and the Joliet City Council voted to end those lifetime benefits for future council members at a February 2011 meeting (see details here). 

"Call me old fashioned, but I believe that running for election is a call to civic duty," said Hug, "not a chance to force your fellow residents to pay for your personal benefits that many can't afford for their own families."

"When you are elected and compensated in dollars for your time you are answering the call of civic duty," said Hug, "but when you also receive health insurance and retirement, in many cases for life, you are involved in a career.  I for one am tired of career politicians on any level."

Hug has outlined a plan to eliminate lifetime health insurance  for former council members that would also eliminate health insurance for sitting council members and all retirement for any council members.  He estimates this would save the city over $300,000 a year and "end the insanity."

"Whoever originally enacted this lunacy should be ashamed," said Hug,  "There's no way it can be logically explained other than to say those people  were  looking out for their personal interests only, and not the interests of the people of Joliet."

Hug is one of six candidates for District 1 challenging incumbent Joseph Shetina.  The six challengers are:

IIona Vaughn
Larry E. Hug
Vanessa Romeo
James Lipinski
Donald C. West Jr.
Steve Cammack

If any candidate for elected office in Joliet (or anywhere else in Will County) would like to send in their press releases, email them to:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

US Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) stands with the "Wisconsin 14"

US Senator Dick Dubin (D-Illinois) has posted a petition on his website stating:

"Stand with the Wisconsin 14

An assault on unions anywhere is an assault on working families everywhere.

That's why we must let the "Wisconsin 14" know working families across the country stand with them as they boycott against Governor Scott Walker's assault on Americans' hard-earned collective bargaining rights.

Add your name to our petition today.

Petition Text

I stand in solidarity with the Wisconsin 14 and their courageous boycott against Governor Scott Walker's assault on American workers' hard-earned collective bargaining rights. "
The Wisconsin 14 are, of course, the 14 Wisconsin State Senators who have left Wisconsin in order to prevent the quorum in the Senate needed to allow Walker's bill to come to a vote. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Joliet City Council District 2: 3 Challenge incumbent Timothy Brophy

Three challengers are up against incumbent Timothy Brophy in the Joliet Consolidated Election to be held April 5, 2011.  The challengers are: John M. Gurka, Brian Baltz, and Robert O'Dekirk.

Timothy M. Brophy is the current Joliet City Council Member serving District 2.  His biography from the Joliet City Council Website:
"Timothy M. Brophy – District 2 City Councilman
Councilman Brophy has represented the residents of Joliet since 1995 and has served on several city council committees during that time. Tim graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University and received a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Tim is currently the President of Dow Mortgage Co., and Broker/Owner of Dow Realty, Inc.   Other activities include membership in the Joliet Rotary Club, Joliet/Will County Project Pride, the Irish-American Society of County Will and the Will County Continuum of Care. Tim is also a board member of the Joliet Area Historical Museum .
Family History
Tim is married to Rayna J. Brophy, nee Hemphill. He has three children: Danny 10, Taylar 9 and Braden 4.
Goals for the City of Joliet 
Tim has both big and small goals for the City of Joliet . On a larger scale Tim would like to make Joliet a place we are all proud to call home. He would like to augment and diversify our economy and to maximize all revenue sources so we can keep pressure off property taxes. He would like to continue the revitalization of downtown Joliet into a vibrant and active place to live, work and play. He continues the work of changing the Evergreen Terrace housing project area. Tim emphasizes the importance of working together with other units of government, especially Will County , to effectively and efficiently get the most out of taxpayers' dollars.
On an individual basis Tim would like to completely eliminate basement flooding from every home. He would also like to relieve neighbors of problem houses, drug houses, over-crowding and other residential abuses. Tim would also like to continue to work with the Joliet Police Department to eliminate noise pollution from loud vehicles."

I was unable to find any official websites or YouTube videos for John M. Gurka, Brian Baltz, or Robert O'Dekirk.  If you know of any sites with their information, please email me at  I will also check for more information as the election nears. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

7 Vie for Joliet City Council District 1 Seat

6 Challengers are running against incumbent District 1 Joliet City Council member Joseph Shetina in the City of Joliet Consolidated Election to be held April 5, 2011.

According to Shetina's biography on the City of Joliet Website:
"Councilman Joe Shetina has served the residents of Joliet since 1974 and is currently the longest serving person on the City Council. Joe chairs the city’s Land Use Committee and Legislative Committee. He is a self employed accountant and appraiser. He majored in accounting and was educated at Joliet Junior College, Northern Illinois University and Lewis University after graduating from Joliet Township High School. His other activities included being involved in the Jaycees and Easter Seals.

Family History
Joe is married to Susan and they have three children and seven grandchildren.

Goals for the City of Joliet 
Joe would like to see the City of Joliet continue to grow in the industrial and commercial sector and for Joliet to maintain a strong presence in the economy by helping to bring more jobs to the area. He would also like to see Joliet continue its tradition of helping the local schools and to maintain a strong public safety presence in the community."

The six people challenging Shetina are:

IIona Vaughn
Larry E. Hug
Vanessa Romeo
James Lipinski
Donald C. West Jr.
Steve Cammack

During an event sponsored by the Homer Tea Party, Ilona Vaughn said she is running for Joliet City Council "first and foremost because Joliet City Council is falling completely apart."  Vaughn also identified the City's budget deficit as a reason she is running.  Watch the rest of IIona Vaughn's comments here:

Larry Hug listed the following information about himself on his Facebook page:


-Married to my wonderful wife Susan. Together we have
two beautiful children, Douglas and Lauren

-Strong advocate for the residents and locally owned
small businesses

-A a sincere believer in our children's education and the
schools that educate them

-Someone who believes in fiscal responsibility

-Graduate of Northern Illinois University


-Local business owner for many year, Mr. Bill's Music.

-Reporter and editor for several area newspapers

-Illinois Licensed Independent Insurance Agent

-Member Official, Illinois High School Association (IHSA)

-Member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 179

-Founded the Federation of United Retail Music Merchants to fight for small businesses against the large corporations mistreating them. This movement lead to a nationwide FTC investigation into the retail music industry

-Member of the National Association of the Self-Employed


-Founded and organized the larges Post-Hurricane Katrina relief effort in the Midwest. Arrived as the second truck in, three days after the hurricane hit, following up with 16 more trucks and a total of over 70 tons of medicine, food, clothing and other necessities.

-Over the years have personally and professionally supported many groups including United Cerebral Palsy, Wish-Upon-A-Star and several homeless shelters among others.

-Organized local relief efforts for several families who lost their homes to fire over the years.

-Youth Athletics Coach

-Volunteer Firefighter/EMT


-Be readily available to all my District 1 neighbors

-Rein in the spending and focus Joliet's limited resources on the core needs of Joliet and its residents, not the needs of large corporations and private investors who want to pad their profits or avoid their private business and investment losses.

-Require large companies to finally pay their fair share in local taxes thereby leveling the playing field for the many locally owned small businesses that have already stepped up to the plate and done so year in and year out.

-Restructure the garbage pickup contract so that the residents reap the benefits and not Waste Management as it is currently structured

-Address the looming $50 million sewer upgrade the city has put off while spending lavishly for unnecessary luxury project. The Federal EPA will wait no longer and a new city council will carry more legitimacy in negotiating a real phased in plan as opposed to being hit with a large one time project that has been estimated to triple or quadruple current residents' water bills."

Vanessa Romeo
I could not find a facebook page or any YouTube videos for Vanessa Romeo.  If you know of any, please email me the link at

James Lipinski
I could not find a facebook page or any YouTube videos for James Lipinski.  If you know of any, please email me the link at

Donald C. West, Jr.
I could not find a facebook page or any YouTube videos for Donald C. West, Jr.  If you know of any, please email me the link at

Steve Cammack
According to Steve Cammack's website: "Steve Cammack is a fiscal conservative who believes that government must live within its means.  His priority as a District One Councilman is to scrutinize the budget, examine new options to attract business and industry, and make District One a place where people want to live, work, and play.

For far too long, the city has focused its economic development on restaurants and retail.  The city must recruit industry and manufacturing in order to increase revenue as well as gain additional employment opportunities for Joliet residents.
Joliet needs businesses that attract consumers from across the region.  The Apple Store, for example, attracts hundreds of people to downtown Naperville; the Promenade attracts thousands to Bolingbrook each year.  This is a long-term relationship, and we should be open to tax incentives necessary to compete with our neighbors and to lure new business that will attract new families to Joliet.
Studies have shown that families will spend 40% of their income in the city where they live.  Cities also receive the tax benefits. Unfortunately, there are many empty homes in Joliet, including here in District One.  Therefore, we should consider incentives to attract families to our community.  It not only will help build a robust economy, but strengthen our high quality of life.
The residents pay to keep Joliet running.  Every time the city council spends your money, I believe they must ask three important questions:
First, how will it benefit the entire city and all of the residents?
You deserve equal benefit and enjoyment when the city council invests in a project, a foundation, a charity, a park, a historical landmark, a statue, or a baseball stadium.
But they also must ask “Is this necessary, and can we afford it?”
People across our nation ask these questions every day in their own personal lives.  I believe the city can pull itself out of its economic troubles by beginning to ask these questions as well.
As a member of the city council, you can count on me to ask these questions."

This election will be very important to the future of Joliet.  Recently, Yahoo included Joliet on a list of 16 cities that could go bankrupt.  Obviously, there is much work to do, and the citizens will have to decide which person they believe is capable of leading Joliet to a better future.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Joliet Mayoral Candidates Andy Mihelich and Jan Quillman Sign Petition to End Free Lifetime Health Care Benefits for Joliet Mayor and CIty Council

Joliet Mayoral Candidates Andy Mihelich and Jan Quillman have signed City Council Candidate Richard Rodriguez's online petition to end free lifetime health care benefits for City of Joliet City Council Members and Mayors.

The City of Joliet is in major financial trouble.  Yahoo recently listed it as one of 16 cities that could go bankrupt in 2011.

The following people are running for Mayor of Joliet:
Kevin Hegarty
Andy Mihelich
Jan Quillman
Tom Giarrante
Diane Harris
Lester Brown
Michael J. Marconi
Warren Dorris
Dale Vollmer
The election will be held April 5, 2011.