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Don “Duck” Dickinson: Candidate for At-Large Joliet City Council Seat

3/10/2017, 1:46 p.m.
Don "Duck" Dickinson is running for 1 of 3 open, at-large seats on the Joliet City Council.
Don "Duck" Dickinson Photo by Brock A. Stein

1) Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up, go to school, describe your family life, what are your hobbies, how do you make a living?

I'm a lifelong resident of Joliet. I grew up in The Bridalwreath Subdivision . I attended Carl Sandburg , Hufford Jr High, Joliet West High School and Joliet Junior College. I currently am serving on The District 204 Joliet Township High School Board.

I'm a Single Father of 3 beautiful young adults. Taylor, 26, a Special Ed Teacher in San Jose California . Andrew, 23, a graduate from Elmhurst College with a degree in Computer Game and Entertainment Technology. Allison, 22, a graduate of Joliet Central High School.

My Hobbies include: Umpiring Girls Fastpitch Softball. Volunteering for different events in our community.

I've been employed by The Joliet Park District for the last 15 years. I couldn't ask for a better job.

2) Why are you running for an at-large council seat?

I'm running for City Councilman at Large because I believe in Joliet. I believe we need to have more neighborhood policing. Our Police are down from just over 300 to around 270. This is unacceptable . While I understand the need to watch our costs. I don't believe it should come at the cost of our residents safety.

I also believe we need to all work together to bring in good paying jobs to Joliet. I will work with the Council to get this done.

Also, Our neighborhood streets. Many of our streets have potholes, patches that are just temporary. We need a more permanent solution, not just a temporary fix.

3) Gambling revenue is on a downward trend from a high in 2007 of just over $36 million to just over $18 million in 2015. What are some other funding streams you see as potential options for the city to replace those shrinking funds?

Some streams of revenue that I would push to bring in are: I would push to add Field turf at our Baseball Stadium. Our stadium is operating at a loss. Our field is under used, because our field is a grass field. We could go from holding events 65-70 days a yr to 150-175 days a yr. If we bring in field turf this would bring in so many more opportunities to our city. They could host Concerts, Youth Tournaments, Festivals, IHSA and NCAA Championships. By holding these events it would bring in revenue to our restaurants, hotels and stores.

I would also go after all of the uncollected fines. We have millions of dollars in uncollected fines out there.

4) Mayor O’Dekirk had discussed re-instating a five-year budget plan that had been discontinued under the previous mayor as part of his transition in to office. Do you see that as a useful tool for the city and if so will you push for a 5-year budget forecast and how will you make sure it’s implemented?

Yes, I would be behind the Mayors 5 yr budget forecast . I feel it's important to plan for the future.