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The City of Joliet remains on schedule to bring Lake Michigan water to its residents. It has been approximately two years since the decision to provide Lake Michigan water to the area was voted on by Joliet’s City Council. The timeline for the plan development is three to five years of planning and three to five years of construction. Joliet wants to become a water supplier for surrounding communities by forming a Regional Water Commission. Joliet is attempting to form the commission with Channahon, Crest Hill, Homer Glen, Minooka, Rockdale and Shorewood. Romeoville is also considering joining with Joliet’s water commission. Romeoville and Homer Glen are currently members of the Northern Will County Water Agency that also includes Bolingbrook, Lemont and Woodridge. The NWCWA is basically a paper organization.
The City of Joliet is the third largest city in the State of Illinois so it should not be surprising that a lot of attention comes to the city from outside its boundaries. It has been a little over two weeks since the Illinois Attorney General started a civil investigation into the Joliet Police Department to determine if it should be investigated regarding its “patterns and practices.” Now, this last Friday, the Better Government Association, an Illinois Non-Partisan Full-Service Watchdog, has spotlighted an investigation they are conducting regarding Joliet’s “ambitious plan to buy Lake Michigan water from Chicago and resell it throughout the region.”
The Consolidated Election is less than three weeks away. There is very little evidence that an election is on the horizon, save for a few candidate signs scattered around in various locations in the county. This election has all the makings for a low turnout on April 6. Having just come through one of the most contentious national elections in recent history, I doubt there is much appetite for another election in less than three weeks. But there is one and it’s time for a little campaigning background.
Most of us, myself included, often use quotes we have heard to make or to emphasize a circumstance or opinion that makes a point seem more profound than our own words can accomplish. One of those quotes came to mind and seemed appropriate in light of another item in the local media last week. Abraham Lincoln used the quote on more than one occasion probably because it fits so many occasions. He said: “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
Joliet decided last week how it plans to access Lake Michigan as the sustainable source of drinking water for the next 100 years for Joliet residents. They have partnered with the City of Chicago for the solution. What could possibly go wrong?
The beginning of every new year usually carries the desire for a fresh start on positive behaviors and the discarding of old habits. That probably won’t happen quite that way this new year of 2021. Oh, there will be the resolutions some individuals will make regarding weight loss and saving more money for retirement. There will also be the usual predictions by Nostradamus that always seem to coincide with whatever relevant events happen to be occurring and include the always soon to happen disaster.
In past years, the season to be jolly would be in full swing and families would be looking forward to gatherings during this week’s three-day holiday weekend. The greetings of Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas are still being used interchangeably, sometimes to the disappointment of those who quarrel over which is the proper salutation, but it’s not contested much this year. It’s pointed out constantly that this year is different. This is the year of COVID 19. In spite of the COVID 19 hardships faced by many, most of us have a place to live, food to eat, a job, health care and, most of all, a family to take comfort with, even if it’s just a virtual meeting on Zoom. However, the plight of homelessness for families and individuals is a real and growing problem. Affordable housing is in short supply for many. The average rent in Joliet for a one-bedroom apartment is $950 per month. Add another 10 or15 percent for a two-bedroom place. What if your living quarters was a 3 x 5 outdoor shelter with no privacy or a place to store food? You have no financial resources, or possibly family to visit? Close your eyes for a moment and picture yourself in that situation.
Peace prevailed at Monday’s Special Joliet City Council Meeting. This last Monday the Joliet City Council received the annual proposed budget presentation for the upcoming year. There was no bickering, no outraged concern and no disagreement among the Council members or objections from the Mayor regarding the budget. Actually, there was almost no discussion or questioning of Finance Director, Jim Ghedotte during or after his presentation that proposes spending $334.4 million during fiscal year 2021. That’s almost as much expenditure as last year’s budget that sparked a year-long City Council feud. The Council also approved Herb Lande as the at-large council member to replace Don Dickinson who resigned the elected position last week. Again, no disagreement. He was sworn in right after the near-unanimous vote to be the Council Member-At- Large. Bettye Gavin abstained from the vote. Is it going back to a more congenial problem-solving atmosphere? Perhaps. We’ll see.