Heights Hires Private Companies to Help Operate City Departments

The city council approved replacing a department head with a consulting firm and operating two other departments with the help of a private company.

The Chicago Heights Economic Development Department is operating under the consultation of the company JPH Inc. for the time being, after the city council voted 5-1 in favor the move at their Monday meeting.

The firm will fill the role of economic development director, once held by Joe Kudra, who took the city's early retirement incentive. Mayor David Gonzalez said the city has not determined whether the move toward contracting out the economic development department head's duties will be temporary or permanent.

"We haven't made the determination whether to bring it back in-house or to continue increasing the companies that can help us with economic development," Gonzalez said. "Right now, what we need is somebody just to cover the retirement of our economic development director."

The council also voted 5-1 in favor of hiring the accounting firm Lauterbach and Amen, who already handles the city's police and fire pension plans, to a new contract.

The firm would replace three retiring employees from the city's purchasing department by adding "the equivalent of two full-time employees" from the firm, according to Treasurer Jim Dee. The move involves a restructure of the treasurer's office and the purchasing department, Dee said.

Contracting the firm would cut costs on bond refinancing and budget preparation, which are normally handled by outside accounting firms, Dee said, adding that the change would not lose the city any money. 

Fourth Ward Ald. Joshua Deabel voted against against both moves, and Third Ward Ald. Wanda Rodgers was not in attendance.


jason amos February 08, 2013 at 04:54 PM
Thank you again for your concern,and your comments.
Mrs. GoodFella February 08, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Anytime Amos, anytime. :-)
jason amos February 08, 2013 at 05:08 PM
We shouldn't hide behind fake names,give us your real name so I can sit by you at the next meeting. Did you atleast write me in last election? God Bless you.
Mrs. GoodFella February 08, 2013 at 05:30 PM
For the upcoming Council Meeting, i will personally come and greet you myself if you decide to attend. I have seen you many times. So, attend a meeting and I will introduce myself and we can catch up on certain topics.
jason amos February 08, 2013 at 06:35 PM
Ill hold you to that. Have a great weekend


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