Joliet's looming budget deficit has become a huge issue in the upcoming April 5th City of Joliet Consolidated elections.
City Council and Mayoral candidates have been asked to take a stand on various projects in Joliet that cost the city money, such as the Rialto, the Historical Museum, and Slash Station. Some candidates say Splash Station should be sold. Some say its sale should be on the table. Some say that before it was built, the taxpayers should have had to pass a referendum approving the building of Splash Station.
Here's what I want to know: Why haven't I heard anyone say they want to improve Splash Station? I'm not saying no candidates have advocated for improving the water park, but I am saying that in all of the websites and papers I've read, I haven't heard any creative ideas for improving Splash Station.
So, in the spirit of the song "Try" by The Lisps:
Maybe the candidates could focus on:
--Trying to increase attendance by forming more partnerships with local summer camps which might increase attendance.
--Trying to reach out to community centers who run summer programs for kids in Joliet. Maybe they wouldn't be able to pay full price, but I would be okay with taxes going to Splash Station as long as it provided a fun, safe, and healthy place for all Joliet kids to play in the summer.
--Trying to reach out to communities south of Joliet for whom Splash Station might be the closest water park.
Maybe all of these ideas have already been tried and still Splash Station loses money. Then I think the candidates need to "try to be in the place they're already in", Joliet. I think Joliet needs Splash Station. Families and kids need access to fun, healthy activities in their own community.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Joliet Mayoral Candidate Dale Vollmer: "540 Million dollars came in from two gambling casinos and there's none of it left. We're Broke."
Responding to a question about term limits at the Plainfield Township Republican candidate forum, Joliet mayoral candidate Dale Vollmer considered that Joliet may need term limits, saying: "I believe that not having term limits got us into the position that we're in today. We have councilmen that have been there year after year after year after year and I could say that 20 times. I think they get a feeling where they have a right to the office and they don't have to do what's right. That's why we're broke. 540 million dollars came in from them two gambling casinos and there's none of it left, we're broke. Maybe we do need term limits. I'm not for them. But I think that's why we're in this position. If we get new blood every four years, we might not be in the situation we're in now. But that's where we're at, that's the reality of it, there's no money."
I think Vollmer has a point.
Warren Dorris responded to Vollmer's comments: "Let me defend the city. We did get a lot of money from riverboat gaming. What did we do with it? We cut our property tax 42%, we eliminated city stickers, we built a west side library, we helped build a ballpark, we did some wonderful things. We gave most of the money back to the citizens. And right now we have some issues. No one saw the downturn coming in 2008. No one. We did have a reserve. Why did we have a reserve? Because we put the money away. It's easy to be a Monday morning quarterback, but it's not time to turn this city over to someone who's a trainee. We need people who really know the system, who can put a plan together, and make change. We spent the money. Where did we spend it? We gave most of it back. We've got issues now, we need to come together and address them."
See for yourself:
Saturday, February 19, 2011
This is how Wisconsin stands up for labor:
Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill Protest from Matt Wisniewski on Vimeo.
On Monday, February 21 at 11am, according to the group Warehouse Workers for Justice, "Employees of Reliable Staffing agency will attempt to collect billing and pay records from the temp staffing agency. Workers have complained about problems with their pay to the company and delivered written requests for records from the company but have not received records they are entitled to by law. A community delegation will be there to support employees claiming thousands of dollars in owed back wages. Workers and community supporters will march in to demand billing and payment records that would serve as proof of wage theft."
Reliable Staffing is located in New Lenox, Illinois at
Even if you are not a warehouse worker in Will County, you are still affected by warehouse work in Will County. For example, this warehouse worker described how even though she was working full-time, she still qualified for government assistance:
Father Raymond Lescher explained how the issue affects those throughout Will County, even those "on the West Side of Joliet":
At this point, I think it is reasonable for these warehouse workers to ask for records of the time they worked and the amount they were paid. If there was no problem, then the records should show that. The question is, how many community workers, if any, will show up to support these workers?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.