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R. Dale Evans: Candidate for At-Large Joliet City Council Seat

3/10/2017, 2:24 p.m.
R. Dale Evans is running for Joliet City Council.
R. Dale Evans R. Dale Evans

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? R. Dale Evans born and raised in Joliet attended Eliza Kelly, Woodland, Dirksen and graduated from Washington Jr. High and Joliet Central High School in 1976. Attended Joliet Jr. College and Northern Illinois University.

Father of Ronald Dale Evans II (Creo) and Mijoi Tilyn Evans (deceased). Grandfather of MyAsia Jones, Nevaeh and Ronald Dale Evans III. Engaged to Valerie Singleton.

I enjoy live theatre, stepping and roller skating.

Profession; Entrepreneur Owner, Askia’s African Attire Legal Shield Associate Producer

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

Over the years, I have built relationships with agencies, organizations, residents and leaders in the City of Joliet. My 13 years of service with the Housing Authority of Joliet has afforded me the opportunity to encourage, inspire and connect families to options and opportunities to acquire diplomas, degrees and certifications, leading to living wage jobs and careers. My work with the Joliet Chamber of Commerce and Unity CDC has connected me to business and neighborhood organizations in Joliet, giving me a comprehensive understanding and connection to the concerns of Joliet Residents and Business Owners.

For the past 15 years, I have been an active multi-cultural community volunteer serving as the President of the Board of Directors for the Exchange Club of Joliet, Spanish Community Center, Community Services Council of Will County Inc., Voices for Illinois Children (Joliet) the Joliet Alliance for Youth and 1st Vice President of the NAACP. I have served on the Catholic Charities Diocese of Joliet and Joliet Police and Fire Boards. I am the founding President of the Reedwood Neighborhood Association and served for 15 years as an Ambassador for the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and currently serve on the Early Childhood Policy Council for Catholic Charities, NHBW Associate and was elected in 2013 to the Joliet Township High School Board. I am ready to serve, prepared to lead and I feel the Time Is Now.

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?

Replacing those fund is a gigantic task but promoting Joliet as the Will County Government hub, touting its educational institutions and recreation sites to draw residents businesses and increase our tax revenues is a start.

The taxpayer support for the Rialto reaches the 4 corners of this city and is received from all demographics. It is only fair to demand that the theatre programs represent those from whom its survival has been supplied. Diverse programming, including children’s programs, would bring families into the downtown area, positively impacting the businesses in the area.

It is truly an untapped gem and can be pivotal in both financial and cultural aspects.

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 make sure it’s implemented? At this time, I do not support a five-year budget plan due to the uncertainty of state and federal funding. The mayor recently announced that Joliet’s water source could run to critically low levels in about 15 years. What should the city do about its long term water source to insure a steady supply?