To the Editor:
Many are unaware that the Joliet Water Commission had its last meeting in December and apparently has been abolished.
As a former commission member, I feel the oversight it provided was and is vital. The issue of future water sourcing for Joliet and surrounding communities is far from complete.
Access to potable water is a human right, but is not free. Much like the interstate highway system and the fees supporting it, funding is needed for water sourcing infrastructure. No city can be allowed to dictate to other communities, let alone Joliet.
Joliet’s water transmission system has a loss of about 22%. This is the manifestation of years of neglect and has a direct impact on future water sources.
This is a tragedy, especially considering the gaming revenue received for decades.
If Joliet bought its water from Chicago, using data given to the commission, in 2025 it would pay about $30 million yearly. Due to neglected water lines and leakage, $8 million in water yearly would be lost. This is why oversight is needed for city staff and consultants.
This process needs to be more transparent. City staff and consultants must be held accountable to taxpayers.
Elected officials need to focus on the city’s future needs and quit micromanaging the police department and demeaning our law enforcement officials.
In my entire life and career in Joliet I have never heard a bad word about Chief Roechner or former Chief Benton.
Joliet needs to focus on the problems at hand, including water sourcing, budget and maintaining the integrity of the city manager form of government. Micromanaging the police or providing port-a-potties is not the role of the mayor or any one council member.
Let’s figure out how to fill potholes and get water at a reasonable cost.