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Local News

Giarrante is taking resumes for Rialto board

Mary Beth Gannon likely to get interview

JOLIET – The mayor is taking resumes for the Rialto Square Theatre board, opening up the possibility of an appointment from the group that opposed and blocked a theater marquee already in construction.

Mayor Tom Giarrante announced that he would take resumes after a member of the “Rialto Belongs to the People” Facebook group spoke at the Tuesday City Council meeting and urged him to put one of his colleagues on the board.

Giarrante said he was going to make the announcement anyway because his choice for the board, former City Manager Thomas Thanas, has declined to take the position.

“So, I’m going to open it up,” Giarrante said.

He will take resumes starting Wednesday through Jan. 28 and wants resumes delivered to his office at City Hall.

The leading candidate from the “Rialto Belongs to the People” group is Mary Beth Gannon, who said later she would apply. Gannon came to a City Council meeting two weeks ago asking why she was not being considered for the opening. Giarrante said Tuesday he would consider Gannon for the position.

Gannon was at the meeting and said later when asked about Giarrante’s statements, “He said I’m going to get an interview, so I’m going to hold him to it and hope I get a fair chance”

In another Rialto development, Councilman Bob O’Dekirk agreed to set up a meeting that would include the council, the Rialto board and members of the “Rialto Belongs to the People” group. O’Dekirk, who last week said he believed Gannon should be reconsidered for the board, is the council liaison to the Rialto board.

The meeting was urged by Ronald Gruber, another member of the “Rialto Belongs to the People” group. Gruber delivered a lengthy statement, calling for his group to have more influence in the future of the Rialto.

“I can assure everyone that we are not going away,” Gruber said.

Gruber also said Gannon should “be on the top of the list of candidates and should be accepted.”

The “Rialto Belongs to the People” group developed in opposition to a marquee that was announced in November. The marquee featured a digital board and a memorial to the parents of Ed Czerkies, a retired businessman who had donated $350,000 for the marquee.

After weeks of controversy, Czerkies pulled his donation. But sign construction had already started, the Rialto has put $120,000 into the project, and the board is trying to decide what to do next.

Gruber said the “Rialto Belongs to the People” group has raised $6,700 in a GoFundMe.com campaign and has another $4,000 in assets available.

“We are ready to help,” he said.

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