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Hosey: Anything is possible until it all falls apart

Just about anything seems possible when the spring rolls around.

The weather warms up and the leaves and flowers sprout, and baseball is finally back after a long winter.

Opening day itself is a whole well of new hope. The sky’s the limit with a full season ahead, even if it’s only for the moment and before everything starts to go wrong.

Look at the Mets, for example. They went out and got Max Scherzer to team with Jacob deGrom at the top of the rotation, only for deGrom to go down with an injury before the season started and Scherzer unavailable for the opener, also due to injury.

But setbacks like that shouldn’t stop you from hoping, from maybe heading over to Hollywood Casino and putting $20 on the Mets to win it all at 15-1, because it’s a brand new season and anything can happen, until it all falls apart.

It’s almost like that time Mayor Bob O’Dekirk got one of his top donors appointed to the city council, giving him the majority he needed to move one of his political cronies, Jim Capparelli, into the position of city manager despite Capparelli’s complete and utter lack of experience working in municipal government.

Yes, it certainly looked like O’Dekirk made some smooth moves and had the pieces in place for a successful bid to get whatever he wanted. But then Capparelli started doing things that maybe a city manager with some experience in city managing would have thought better of. Things like firing the police chief a mere nine months after promoting her.

Then, to make matters worse, Capparelli found out that firing the police chief wasn’t something he was even allowed to do in the first place, and he was forced to rescind her termination so she could return to her former rank of lieutenant.

City Manager Jim Capparelli listens to council discussion on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at Joliet City Hall in Joliet, Ill. The Joliet City Council discussed an amendment to allow for liquor consumption and video gambling at gas stations.

The whole police chief situation left Capparelli looking pretty bad and it might have helped if he had a public relations person around to put a more positive spin on things. And he might have had a PR guy too, if only the city council had let him.

Capparelli tried to hire a PR person more than a year ago and went as far as posting the job without troubling the city council by asking or telling them about it. And how did the council repay Capparelli for his consideration? They voted him down.

Capparelli made a few more attempts at creating a PR position but failed to convince the council to go along with him. So he did what anyone who didn’t know any better because he’s unqualified for his job would do and signed a contract with a public relations firm, agreeing to pay $12,000 a month for its services.

The thing is, the council found out and now they want Capparelli to kill the deal. But if Capparelli goes ahead and does that, he’s still on the hook for another three months at $12,000 per, which far exceeds what he’s allowed to spend without the council’s permission and poses somewhat of a problem.

But it’s not as if you can blame Capparelli, the mayor’s handpicked city manager, for any of this. The poor guy probably just didn’t know any better.

• Joe Hosey is the editor of The Herald-News. You can reach him at 815-280-4094, at jhosey@shawmedia.com or on Twitter @JoeHosey.

Joseph Hosey

Joseph Hosey

Joe Hosey became editor of The Herald-News in 2018. As a reporter, he covered the disappearance of Stacy Peterson and criminal investigation of her husband, former Bolingbrook police Sgt. Drew Peterson. He was the 2015 Illinois Journalist of the Year and 2014 National Press Club John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award winner.