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.

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