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2022 Residential Assistance Program causes Disagreements between Calumet City Officials

A resident was honored for turning 100 years old

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Quinton R. Arthur
Quinton R. Arthur
Quinton R. Arthur is a creative spirit. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Northern Illinois University, and his Master of Science in Journalism from Roosevelt University. Quinton is an avid reader and connoisseur of nerd culture.

2022 Residential Assistance Program causes disagreements between Calumet City Officials (Calumet City, IL) — A resident was honored for turning 100 years old and there was a discussion about the residential assistance program during the first May city council meeting of Calumet City.

Resolutions

The meeting started with two resolutions. The first resolution celebrated the 100th birthday of Eula B. Lofton, a resident of the city. She was greeted with applause by city officials, the fire and police departments, staff from the Victory Centre River Oaks and residents attending the meeting.

The second resolution declared December 13th as Pastor Anthony Tyler day. Tyler was the pastor of the Higher Ground Community Church in Calumet City with over 30 years in ministry. Tyler was a strong advocate for the city.

Tyler died on March 24, 2022. His widow, Marlene Tyler, gave a few words on behalf of the family for Calumet City’s support.

“It truly takes a village and you all been that village,” said Tyler.

Mayoral Appointments

Shanda Williams, Kenneth Jones, Terry Barnes, and Susie Rodriguez were all appointed to the library board with three-year terms.

Several other appointments were made: Donald Alesksy, Community and Economic Development Director; Stevon Grant, Police and Fire Commissioner; and Jerico Thomas, Zachary Qualkinbush, and Robert Fredericksen as Deputy Commissioners.

2022 Residential Assistance Program

There was a lengthy discussion during the new business about the 2022 Residential Assistance Program. Two motions were made by Mayor Thaddeus Jones. The first was to approve the 2022 Calumet City Homeless Program with a limit of $500 in assistance per resident and $50.00 gas card. The second motion was to direct the Community and Economic Development Department to work with local grocery stores to implement the 2022 Residential Assistance Program.

1st Ward Alderman Michael Navarrete did not agree with the decision to approve the motion due to not having specific guidelines around the program and conflict with a similar program.

He also added the Calumet City Resource Centre does similar work and residents can utilize a resource that has been established for the past 14 years. His suggestion was to take time to ask residents who utilize these services how the money can be best utilized for them.

5th Ward Alderman DeJuan Gardner, who was in support of Navarrete, wanted more collaboration between the Residential Assistance Task Force and Calumet City Resource Centre.

“If we can just do a community partnership to show some togetherness,” said Gardner.

Mayor Jones called Navarette’s recommendation ‘distasteful’.

“I would ask the aldermen to approve this tonight because residents can’t wait for help. Residents are waiting for rent help, help with their water, and help with their groceries,” said Jones.

Navarrete put a motion to defer discussion to the next scheduled meeting, which was seconded by 6th Ward Alderman James Patton. The motion was out of order, but the city attorney approved the request for a motion.

The decision was split with Alderman Navarrete, Alderman Patton, and Gardner voting yes to the motion. 3rd Ward Aldermen DeAndre Tillman, 4th Ward Alderman Ramonde Williams, and 7th Ward Alderman Anthony Smith voting no. 2nd Ward Alderman Monet Wilson was not present.

Due to the split vote, Mayor Jones was the deciding vote, which he voted no.

The motion for the items on the agenda was amended for conditional approval based on providing more information and a meeting between leadership of the residential assistance task force and resource centre.

The vote was split again, with Aldermen Navarrete, Patton and Gardner voting no, and Tillman, Williams, and Smith voting yes. The mayor was again the deciding vote, voting yes to approve the agenda items.

Other items on the agenda included:

  • A motion to approve the financial matters of the city.
  • A motion to pass resolution obligating $540,000 in MFT/Rebuild Illinois funds for the Construction and Construction Engineering/Material Testing for Buffalo Avenue from Pulaski Road to Memorial Drive
  • A resolution to the United States Supreme Court declaring our support for not overturning Roe v Wade decision and demanding that the Justices recognize a woman’s right of choice

2022 Residential Assistance Program causes disagreements between Calumet City Officials

Carmen Navarro Gercone for Sheriff
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