Joliet City Council Argues Over Alley Closure Issue

A dispute over an alley led to an argument during the Joliet City Council meeting on Monday night. The alley in question is between Ingalls Avenue and Hutchins Street in the Cunningham neighborhood. It was closed back in 2012 but was reopened by former interim City Manager Jim Hock. The neighborhood has been allowed to file a petition to have it reclosed but no action has yet been taken on that petition. Councilwoman Bettye Gavin said at the meeting on Monday that City Manager Jim Capparelli has yet to act on the item and called for the alley closure to be put on the agenda for the City Council to vote up or down on. Gavin also accused Mayor Bob O’Dekirk of calling her and yelling at her after confronting the City Manager. The Mayor then accused the Councilwoman of misrepresenting the conversation the two had and both then stated they had witnesses who could back up each individual’s account of the phone call.

The City Manager then spoke and stated that there were multiple issues with the process to reclose the alley with one issue being closure by ordinance. Capparelli said that the issue will be sent back to the legislative and land use committee with the belief that the committee needed to develop a more concrete policy for alley closures before moving forward.