CALUMET CITY | Jacob Pallick Horvath was the “junior mayor” for Calumet City on Thursday night, with actual Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush quipping he might possibly hold the title for real — some 50 years from now.
Jacob, 10, is the son of Cynthia “Cindi” Pallick, a former 7th Ward alderman who died last month after an accident at her home.
That led the City Council to approve a resolution Thursday praising her memory, with many aldermen finding ways to offer their condolences throughout the council session.
Among those who were present for the Pallick tribute were her mother, Ruth; her sister, Sheri; and her longtime partner, Cindy Horvath.
Qualkinbush went so far as to have Jacob Horvath sit on her lap throughout the council meeting, as aldermen went through the municipal business that so entranced his mother’s interest. She served six years as an alderman, as well as holding posts with the Calumet City Housing Authority and with the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals.
Pallick lost her bid for re-election in 2009, but many aldermen, along with Qualkinbush, said she continued to make her views on various issues known to them.
“She was a dear colleague,” Qualkinbush said. “She would literally grab me and tell me what she thought I should do. I will miss her very much.”
Expressing a similar thought was 1st Ward Alderman Eric Schneider, who was appointed to the council last year to fill a vacancy.
“She was the first person to call me” to offer advice, Schneider said. “She always hated it when I called her ‘alderman.’ It’s just Cindi, she’d say.”
Not everyone was so enthralled with the tribute. Danelene Powell-Watts, the mother of Stephon Watts — a 15-year-old with autism who was shot to death by Calumet City police in February — was at the council session.
She watched the tribute, then said to those sitting around her, “She got to have a good life while my son was murdered.” When a spectator tried telling her to be quiet, she responded, “You’re one of the people who murdered my son,” before leaving without further incident.
Antoine Collins, Pallick’s successor as 7th Ward alderman, who represents the part of Calumet City surrounding the River Oaks shopping center, has a tribute in mind for Pallick.
On May 26 at 10 a.m., at Michigan City Road and Henry Street near the forest preserve, he wants to have a flower planting of 3,000 seeds — one seed for every household in the ward — with the resulting flower garden of either marigolds or azaleas to be named in her honor.
Collins said he’d like to see a similar gesture done for former city Clerk Gloria Dooley, who died last year following a stroke.
That idea pleased 2nd Ward Alderman Magdalena “Leni” Wosczynski.
“That would be keeping (Pallick’s) spirit and memory alive in the community,” Wosczynski said.