CALUMET CITY | The City Council failed on Thursday to override a veto by Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush of a measure to hire a new company to maintain a website promoting the 3rd Ward and its alderman, Thaddeus Jones.
Jones tried to get his aldermanic colleagues to vote in his favor. But when the issue came up on Thursday, it only got a 4-2 vote, with 6th Ward Alderman Nick Manousopoulos absent. City Attorney Burt Odelson said an override attempt needed five votes to be successful.
The four aldermen supporting Jones’ desire to override Qualkinbush were himself, 4th Ward Alderman Ramonde Williams, 7th Ward Alderman Antoine Collins and 2nd Ward Alderman Magdalena “Leni” Wosczynski.
The last alderman previously had sided in her votes with Qualkinbush. But she said Thursday she changed her stance because the city also supports a website that promotes the 7th Ward — which contains the River Oaks Shopping Center.
“I feel compelled to support this website too,” she said.
At stake was an attempt in November to change the contract to maintain the website at 3rdwardcalumetcity.org from K & I Communications to WDB, a marketing firm based in Calumet City.
The contract called for the firm to be paid $3,000 for the upcoming year. Jones said he wanted the change because he liked the idea of a local firm getting the contract.
Qualkinbush, in her veto message dated Nov. 19, questioned whether Jones’ measures were legally valid in terms of rescinding the old contract and re-awarding it to a new firm. She feared the city might get stuck paying both firms for the website.
Jones was upset Thursday with the council’s action, even though both Odelson and Qualkinbush said he could now craft a new measure to shift the contract that could be voted on as soon as the next scheduled City Council meeting on Dec. 30.
“A new motion can be brought up at the next meeting,” Odelson said following his explanation of the override process.
Jones said during the City Council meeting that he is inclined to pay the $3,000 cost of maintaining a website out of his pocket just to ensure that the site which promotes businesses based in Calumet City is maintained. The 3rd Ward is on the west side near the Bishop Ford Freeway, north of Sibley Boulevard.
But after the council’s meeting, Jones said he may bring the issue again before the aldermen later this month. “Maybe,” he said. “We’ll see.”
In other business, the City Council conducted a moment of silence to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela, the onetime South Africa president who led the struggle against the segregation-like policies of apartheid that used to exist in that nation. Mandela died earlier this month, and a memorial service for him was held in Johannesburg earlier this week.
Jones also said he received a letter from Illinois Department of Transportation officials informing the city of $2.5 million in grants that can be used for repairs to Dolton Road, State Street and River Oaks Drive.