Will County News Politics spoke with Joliet City Council Candidate Robert O'Dekirk at the recent Informate/Get Informed Candidates Forum hosted by the Unidos Marketing Network.
O'Dekirk is challenging incumbent Timothy Brophy, along with fellow challengers Brian Baltz and John M. Gurka.
O'Dekirk said District Two residents take a lot of pride in their neighborhood and Joliet, saying many District 2 residents have lived in the same neighborhood their entire lives.
O'Dekirk said residents of District Two are concerned about crime, and with the Joliet police department running 40-50 officers short, it is a legitimate concern.
O'Dekirk said among his main goals is getting the city back on a healthy financial track by sitting down and working with the unions.
O'Dekirk said while some have advocated for a 10-20% cut in the budget, he is not sure if citizens are ready for a 10-20% cut in services. Along with cutting back to an economically sustainable point without jeopardizing services, O'Dekirk would like to focus on increasing revenue. For example, he said he would push to prosecute misdemeanors locally so that the City of Joliet could collect the fine money. To do that, Joliet would pass local municipal ordinances that the city could use to prosecute the case and keep the fine money if the person was found guilty. O'Dekirk also said Joliet could increase its use of asset forfeiture to increase revenue.