Will County News spoke with Joliet Mayoral Candidate Michael Marconi at last night's Informate, Get Informed Candidate Forum at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish Banquet Hall on East Jackson Street in downtown Joliet.
First, Marconi said more nightclubs and bars are not the way to bring prosperity to Joliet. Marconi expressed outrage at the recent fight outside an all-ages nightclub on East Cass street. Marconi said no matter how much is spent on banners and decorative lighting, no one is going to go downtown for business purposes until there are more policemen on the street and people feel safe.
Next, Marconi said Joliet needs to stop marketing itself for tourism because tourism connotes short-term stay. Marconi said, "our buildings are suited for commerce. Our roads and our skilled labor force make Joliet a place to make money, and we need to communicate that message--that Joliet is a place to make money--to businesses so they locate here and create jobs. Again, we first need to clean up downtown and make it safe."
Lastly, Marconi shared that on a recent trip to downtown with a family member, as his group was walking back to their car, they saw 3 cars getting parking tickets. Marconi said he would examine the city's parking ticket policies because he thinks if people get tickets while parked downtown, they are less likely to come back to do business downtown. Marconi said if you are trying to get people to go downtown and do business, you need to welcome them and give them encouragements to return downtown, not parking tickets.