Colona gets criticism on its hiring economic development person | Politics and elections

WHAT WE KNOW: Resident Don Ropp has questioned Colona about its decision to hire the former mayor as economic development administrator.

WHAT’S NEW: Resident Stu Parker expressed concern Monday about the hire, saying he saw the position advertised online for four days at $60,000. He asked how the salary grew to $80,000 to $85,000. Acting Mayor Mick Painter said that at no time did former Mayor Rich Holman hold both positions at once, and the city had worked with its attorney and the Illinois Municipal League to ensure things were done properly. Painter also said Holman had recused himself from any vote about the position and from all closed sessions where the position was discussed. City officials said after the meeting that the position had been advertised for at least 15 to 20 days and it was always at $80,000 and benefits. During the committee of the whole meeting, aldermen discussed the possibility of hiring a part-time secretary for both the mayor and the economic development administrator; Holman said the position could be covered this year using a portion of the $16,000 left in wages from the economic development administrator position as well as funds in TIF 3 and TIF 4.

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WHAT”S NEXT: Holman told aldermen he was recommending the city accept the transfer of Cleveland Road from the state even after state notification that the state wouldn’t raise its offer of $1,040,200. The road will need resurfacing within the next couple of years for $300,000 to $500,000 depending on what’s found when it’s ground up. Alderman Larry Swemline questioned the economic development aspect of the plan, saying Holman was “dreaming.” Holman, however, said there were 40 acres there that people were willing to annex that could be developed. He noted owning the land opens several opportunities for economic development that the state has blocked in the past.

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