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.


Mrs. GoodFella February 05, 2013 at 03:34 PM
I suggest that you contact the IDES office so that you can be aware of the current unemployment rates. You complain here about unemployment, yet you are not aware yourself of what the rates are. I suggest you contact neighboring towns and get some facts about what services they offer to their residents and how much they pay for those services and you will see that We (Chicago Heights residents) have it very good here. I also suggest that you contact your alderperson and voice your opinions with him/her. They will be able to voice your opinions at meetings if you don't have the courage to attend them and voice them yourselves like a true concerned resident.
Karen Mattio February 05, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Way off topic Complaining No this has nothing to do with complaining I know the numbers I have spoke to elected officals reps aledermen senator ect.......Bottom line why hire out of the Heights when we have qualified people to do the job?You must be looking through rose colored glasses we have it good yep empty houses closed business an by the way self employed so let me tell u about NUMBERS an Profit donnot need this to be labled COMPLAINING we cannnot keep a business open in Heights who would want to open one here.I have spoke to many officals through the years.Courage again has nothing to do with with this TOPIC
Mr. V February 05, 2013 at 05:23 PM
The real question is what city employee, friend or family member has a stake in the company that was hired ?
jason amos February 05, 2013 at 05:30 PM
Mrs. GoodFella February 05, 2013 at 05:34 PM
Like i have said countless times, it is obvious this town is not making you happy. Follow the path to happiness in another town. Then you might be able to breathe better and live a more happy stress-free life. Simple as that. But if you are unwilling to uproot, then I suggest becoming more pro-active in the community and visiting the Mayor's Office to voice your concerns. I do recall, in your previous post, you asking a question "What is the unemployment rate?" or am I wrong. If you would have attended last night's meeting, you would have been informed of the opening of a new bar & grill, that has a great looking future, and the approval of a new store that promises to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in property taxes in the City of Chicago Heights. But you would not know that since you did not go.
Mrs. GoodFella February 05, 2013 at 05:36 PM
What's that Amos? making riddiculous comments? Your words cannot be trusted since you are publically known be to a liar. Am I right?
Tom February 05, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Not unwilling to uproot Mrs.G. but when you can't get 1/3 of what your house was worth 25 years ago it makes it hard to do anything but sit back and drink the kool-aid.
Tom February 05, 2013 at 06:08 PM
and just WHO ARE YOU ? Mrs. Goodfella, why should we even listen to you let alone believe anything you say.
Karen Mattio February 05, 2013 at 06:08 PM
Oh yes Move like the rest of them that will make it right The question didnot need to be answered as it plain an clear seems u know it all.Bar an Grill just great.Promises it never going to happen soon Medical Center will be Gone would u like a list of eye sores. Let me get this right your words Follow the path to happiness in another town. I would say u are far from concerned about the Heights with that advice
Tom February 05, 2013 at 06:09 PM
By the way, the word is not publically. Got spellcheck?
Mrs. GoodFella February 05, 2013 at 07:07 PM
Yes, the word is spelled correctly. Is that all you can come back with? Grammar & spelling? I do not see anyone correcting the run on sentences that Karen is posting or her lack of comas and periods. I noticed them in the begining yet I chose to not to use that as a way to prove a point that someone does not know their facts or whatever details they are talking about. Grow up and the time that you are spending here, complaining and nit-picking, you could have spent that voicing your ideas and opinions at City Hall or with public officials. If you or anyone else does not want to find the time to actually get off the computer and actually go out and make a difference, then they should not make idiotic comments. You are only making yourselves look bad. Also, yes if your happiness is not here and you are not willing to be pro-active, then go to where your happiness is, prehaps a new town? Voicing your concerns here will not change anything.
Tom February 05, 2013 at 07:19 PM
maybe I should give you a dictionary that is wriiten in something other than English, because if you use your head for someting other than a hatrack you might find out that the word is PUBLICLY.
Mrs. GoodFella February 05, 2013 at 07:25 PM
All I am saying is become involved in City events and Council meetings. Any bit of public/residential participation will show them (City Officials) that you're concerned and not willing to just leave the decision making up to a few. Write letters, come to meetings and stop by the Mayor's Office to talk to the Chief of Staff and the Mayor. Something is bound to change when they see the residents part-taking in the City that belongs to all of us. We all need to work together for the better of this City.
Gina February 05, 2013 at 07:53 PM
I work in HR in the private sector. Early retirement is a good product and usually comes with replacing the retiree at a lower salary or oursouring to save on benefits that include group medical insurance and pension cost. I am surprised the City is using it with their history of hiring relatives and over paying them. So its good to hear that they are finally doing what is best for the community and not thier political friends. Im in the west burbs now and it seems like the Heights style of government has arrived here. They have nothing left in the Heights to take , so they now will poach themselves here.
WA Mama February 05, 2013 at 08:42 PM
Chris, did Fourth Ward Ald. Joshua Deabel discuss why he voted "no" on both during the meeting?
Winston Wolf February 06, 2013 at 01:00 AM
The fact that Josh Deabel voted against this proposal is reason enough to support it. Professionalism and expertise are good things, and the Mayor is bringing both to city government.
Christopher Paicely (Editor) February 06, 2013 at 01:27 AM
He didn't talk too much about it during the meeting, but I spoke with him afterwards and he basically said doesn't like the idea of spending money on hiring consulting firms to run government offices.
jason amos February 06, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Chris , What about the new liquor license that was issued at this meeting to the Gas Station/Dunkin Donuts on 30, I thought the Mayor wasnt allowing any more? I guess this is what 5000 a month plus extras gets the City.Liquor stores,pawn shops,and dollar stores,thank the lord of JPH!
jason amos February 08, 2013 at 10:51 AM
Chris,any info on that license?
Christopher Paicely (Editor) February 08, 2013 at 11:12 AM
You're right about the liquor license going to the Mobil gas station on 14th Street, which is in the fourth ward. The owner requested it and Ald. Josh Deabel called him out for not being responsive enough when it came to littering on the property and "code issues." Deabel also said his constituents—the business owners and residents around the gas station—did not want the place to get a liquor license, so he voted no. The rest of the council (accept Ald. Wanda Rodgers, who was not present) voted in favor of giving the business the liquor license. Ald. Sonia Perez noted Deabel's concerns but said she knew the man's business was losing money and understood why he needed the liquor license to reach profitability.
jason amos February 08, 2013 at 12:26 PM
Thank you Chris.
Mrs. GoodFella February 08, 2013 at 02:56 PM
@Jason Amos, why don't you do your own research and stop relying on someone else to attend the council meetings? Have the balls to come into City Hall and FOIA the info or ask to speak to someone in the Mayor's Office. Oh wait, just remembered, you can't show your face because you have been publicly shamed.
jason amos February 08, 2013 at 03:35 PM
Thanks for your reply Mrs. G. God Bless you
Tom February 08, 2013 at 04:39 PM
Jason, I love your response to Mrs G. I almost forgot that she is the voice of reason and the conscience of da Heights. I wonder if she has been here long enought to know any name except Gonzalez and Winston Wolf. I agree with you, God Bless you Mrs G. and thank you for being so helpful in correcting all of our foibles and shortcomings.
Mrs. GoodFella February 08, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Thank you for your concern. As a matter of fact, I was born and raised in the Heights and lived here all of my life. Yes I do know much about the Heights and I am constantly involved in City Events and meetings. Something many know nothing of and rather make idiotic comments here. I have never run for office in Chicago Heights or much less run for office and having been caught forging offical documents like Amos. Amos why don't you share that story? Your creditbility is shot now because you are a liar! So may God bless YOU
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


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »