JOLIET – Voters in Joliet City Council District One will choose between Councilman Larry Hug and challenger Terry Cottrell in the April 7 election.
The district includes the Louis Joliet Mall and the Wedgewood Golf Course. It runs west to the Kendall County border while going as far east as Gaylord Road. It includes a variety of voters – not all with postal addresses that match the city where they live.
“I have Joliet, Plainfield and Lockport addresses in District One,” Cottrell said.
The district includes some of the newest sections of Joliet. But even those subdivisions are aging.
“We’re now going through the first generation of streets and sidewalks,” Hug said. “Some of the streets are 20 years old.”
Caton Farm Road splits District One. Its southern end is roughly Theodore Street, although it’s not an even boundary. It goes as far north as Renwick Road.
A district map can be found at the city website, www.cityofjoliet.info, by clicking on “Government” and then “City Council.”
Cottrell is the chief information officer at the University of St. Francis in Joliet. He previously served a term as trustee and treasurer with the Plainfield Public Library Board.
Cottrell grew up on the East Side of Joliet and said he has a broad view of the city’s diverse culture while knowing the unique needs of District One.
Those needs, he said, include more commercial development along Caton Farm and Drauden roads, more police in the neighborhoods, improved sanitary sewers, and closer connections between residents and City Hall.
“I think there should be more communication between the city and the people who feel isolated on the far West Side,” Cottrell said.
Some ideas include a targeted newsletter, open house events and a community advisory council that would include District One residents.
In more established parts of the district, Cottrell said, the city needs to find a store to replace the Dominick’s that closed on Essington Road.
The Louis Joliet Mall area is underutilized, he said. Office towers near the Interstate 55 interchange could improve Joliet’s image and bring in more customers for stores and restaurants.
Hug is completing his first term as councilman.
He is co-owner of an independent insurance agency, PraireOne, and runs a marketing and consulting business that at times includes political candidates as clients.
Hug said street and sidewalk repairs are needed in the district, along with more police. But he said three of the new police officers being hired this year by the city will be assigned to areas in District One.
In the last four years, Hug said, he has successfully advocated for a program to replace ash trees cut down because of emerald ash borer disease and for the retention of city-employed crossing guards when a private contractor was considered.
“I’m proud to say that I led the charge that kept our professional crossing guards that protect our children every day,” he said.
Hug said the city has stabilized its finances in the last four years, but is likely to lose gambling tax revenue from competition if the state allows more casinos.
Hug said the city needs to hire a “professional economic development director” who would travel and bring new companies to Joliet.