CALUMET CITY | The City Council approved payments to maintain a website for 3rd Ward Alderman Thaddeus Jones and to reimburse Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush for a little more than $1,100 in city funds.
One item was a $3,000 payment to a company to maintain a website at 3rdwardcalumetcity.org. It is meant to promote activities in that ward on the west side of Calumet City along the Bishop Ford Freeway north of Sibley Boulevard.
It also touts the activities of Jones and of businesses in Calumet City.
Last month, the council approved the payment to K & I Communications to maintain the website for the upcoming year. Jones now wants the WDB marketing firm to handle the website.
He asked the council take a vote to rescind the K & I payment.
But when he then asked for a vote to approve the WDB contract, 1st Ward Alderman Eric Schneider objected, asking why the money is coming from a citywide fund in the municipal budget that covers miscellaneous expenses.
Schneider said he believes the money should have come from the portion of the city budget allocated to Jones for his ward expenses.
“There are line items for each ward, why can’t that be used,” he asked.
The council ultimately voted 4-1 for the WDB contract — with Schneider the lone opponent.
Jones was upset that Schneider brought up his objections in public during a council meeting, saying he thinks Schneider should have brought his concerns to him personally prior to the meeting.
Another municipal expenditure was to reimburse officials who had to pay for something out of their own funds because a particular expense could not wait for approval at a future City Council meeting.
Among the payments approved Thursday were two made directly to Qualkinbush for amounts of $587.50 and $551.50. She said she used her own money to provide assistance to someone in need because of damage to their home.
The city still had money in a Special Needs Fund, and Qualkinbush sought reimbursement from that fund for the money she spent, although she did not elaborate specifically what the money was used for, saying she believed it would violate the privacy of the person who was in need.
The measure passed by a 5-0 vote.