Wayne Horne

Recent Stories

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Wayne's Words: Vets remember Tet and One last thing

This week Wayne talks about the Tet Offensive and parking in downtown Joliet.

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Wayne's Words: Making sense of 2017

Wayne makes sense of 2017 or as much as it can make sense before the calendar clicks over to 2018.

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Wayne's Words: Joliet City Budget time

It has been several years since the Joliet City Council has received much hue and cry relating to the Joliet City Budget and this year doesn’t seem any different.

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Wayne's Words: Happy Thanksgiving!

The start of every holiday season should begin by being thankful for what we have, but, more importantly, for what we have been able to share with others. The Thanksgiving Day holiday is the most American of our holidays.

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Wayne's Words: Salute to All Veterans

Veterans Day honors past and present veterans who served honorably during war or peacetime in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard and includes Reserve and National Guard veterans.

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Wayne's Words: Healthcare and new name for ballpark

This week Wayne discusses the current debate regarding the Affordable Care Act which has been going on since its inception.

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Wayne's Words: Welcome to the new City Manager

The City Council has hired a new Joliet City Manager. The buzzword in local government today is TRANSPARENCY. Its talked about a lot and always promised by our elected officials. It helps prevent surprises when the process is open.

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Wayne's Words: How about a new direction?

Two years ago, then newly elected Mayor Bob O’Dekirk issued a report titled the 2015 Mayoral Transition Report.

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Wayne's Words: The City of Champions

The subject of sports, particularly youth sports, is deeply imbedded in the City of Joliet and its environs. The slogan “City of Champions” is part of the city’s moniker. Joliet has developed many successful athletes throughout its history. High school sports are highly regarded and area schools provide excitement with the many rivalries that have evolved over the years. A couple of weeks ago, Time Magazine ran a story about the exploding youth sports industry that has grown into a $15 billion business. They weren’t talking about high school sports either. The star athlete of the article was a 10-year-old kid who plays baseball for nationally ranked teams, with jewelry and clothing companies asking him to endorse their products. He’s not the normal example of a child athlete according to the piece, but he is the paragon of what the Time magazine story called a new reality for America’s aspiring young athletes and their families. Really, a 10-year-old boy! Kids’ sports have gone big-time. Around the country local sports leagues are no longer attracting large numbers of kids in the community. Little League participation is down 20 percent from its peak less than 20 years ago. However, youth sports are being played hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles, away in tournaments that cost parents of the participants thousands of dollars per year. The young stars receive private lessons, attend sports academies and actually play for different clubs depending on their skill level.

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Wayne's Words: City Budget

One of the easiest complaints to make about government is that it spends too much money. “My taxes are too high” is the refrain heard from almost everyone. Belt tightening at all levels is what’s needed according to most people. One step towards “belt tightening” has been taken by the City of Joliet. When the State of Illinois finally passed its budget, effective retroactive to July 1, one of the provisions reduced the amount of tax revenue that comes to municipalities. The impact on Joliet’s revenue will be approximately $2.6 million less per year than was anticipated in the city’s coffers. The city’s immediate response has been to eliminate all “non-emergency overtime.” The current city budget shows almost $6 million is allocated to overtime for all city employees. The most current status report for overtime shows city employees have used almost half of the budgeted overtime. The report reflects just under six months of the current budget year. All city departments, except two, have used less than 40 percent of the OT budget. The Finance Department is over budget, but it accounts for only $7,300 out of the total six million dollars.

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