News - Joliet and Will County

Shanahan, 7 others take out petitions for Joliet City Council

Marty Shanahan, who took out petitions for the April city council election in Joliet, looks over a budget report during a council meeting in December 2018 when he was serving as interim city manager.

The man the mayor wanted to be city manager is seeking a spot on the City Council in April.

Marty Shanahan, who was removed from the interim city manager post by a council majority that could be altered if he is elected, has taken out petitions for one of the three at-large Joliet City Council seats that will be on the ballot in the April 6 election.

Shanahan was removed from the post over the objections of Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and three council members who wanted to make him permanent city manager.

Shanahan had been city attorney since 2015 and served twice as interim city manager until May, when he was fired by then-interim City Manager Steve Jones, who himself left in August.

Shanahan and seven other potential candidates have taken out nominating petitions since they became available Tuesday.

Incumbent Council member Jan Quillman also has taken out petitions.

Incumbent Council member Michael Turk has not but said he intends to.

“I’m meeting with family and relatives and talking to different unions to make sure I have their support,” Turk said. “I think I am definitely running, but I want to make sure everything is in order.”

The third incumbent at-large council member, Don Dickinson, announced in late August that he will not seek reelection.

Others who have taken out petitions are: Glenda Wright-McCullum, a commissioner at the Housing Authority of Joliet; Isiah Williams Jr., who ran unsuccessfully in 2019 for the Joliet Junior College Board of Trustees; James Lanham; Cesar Guerrero; Hudson Hollister; and Brian Bettenhausen.

Who’s running won’t be known for sure until Dec. 16 to 21, when completed petitions can be filed for candidacy.

The three at-large positions are elected by the entire city unlike the five district council members, who are elected in certain districts.

Shanahan did not return calls for comment.

O’Dekirk said he complimented all candidates willing to run for election.

Asked if he would support Shanahan, O’Dekirk said, “I haven’t had a lot of conversations with Marty, but I consider Marty a friend. I think he did a great job as city manager, and he would do a great job as a councilman. I plan on supporting him.”

Shanahan was interim city manager at the time of the last city elections for district council members and mayor in April 2019.

O’Dekirk was reelected without opposition and announced after the election that he wanted Shanahan to become permanent city manager without seeking other candidates for the job.

A five-member majority wanted the city to advertise the job and later removed Shanahan from the interim city manager post before a candidate search began. Shanahan returned to his duties as city attorney until May.

The city has not yet hired a permanent city manager and brought back former City Manager Jim Hock to take the position on an interim basis. Council members have said they expect to have a permanent city manager in place by December.

Bob Okon

Bob Okon

Bob Okon covers local government for The Herald-News