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Law firm, lobbiest hires on hold

May 10, 2018 GMT

KANKAKEE — The mayoral appointments of a new law firm and lobbyist to represent Kankakee were put on hold, pending a recommendation from the council’s Budget Committee.

After an approximate 90-minute executive session at Monday’s Kankakee City Council meeting, lawmakers in open session pushed discussion of the appointments to Monday’s Budget Committee.

The council is running all new expenses through the committee to determine what impact they would have on the city’s bottom line.

The city also will discuss a potential two-year, $6,000 commitment to join the bike-share program headed by the Kankakee County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The KCCVB, along with the municipal governments of Manteno, Bradley and Bourbonnais, as well as Riverside Medical Center, Presence St. Mary’s Hospital, Kankakee Community College and the Bourbonnais Township Park District, have already agreed to participate.

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These organizations are committing $18,000 for two years to sponsor one bike kiosk. Bradley is sponsoring two kiosks. The bike-share program will be operated by Zagster, a Cambridge, Mass.-based company, which will provide 50, five-speed bikes for rental.

The bike-share program is expected to be up and running by July 1.

“We will be excited to hear back from the city after their Budget Committee meeting. Zagster is moving full steam ahead,” said Staci Wilken, KCCVB’s executive director. “We are hopeful we can include Kankakee in the full roll-out of the program.”

The Kankakee Development Corporation today OK’d its $6,000 contribution. The Kankakee Public Library Board will vote on its $6,000 commitment on Tuesday. Library director Steve Bertrand anticipates a positive vote.

The Budget Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the first floor of the Donald E. Green Public Safety Center.

The city will soon be without its legal counsel as L. Patrick Power is set to retire June 1. The administration has brought forth the Evergreen Park law firm of Odelson & Sterk, Ltd.

The firm has counseled more than 50 governmental clients.

Regarding the lobbyist position, Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong has brought forth the Hinsdale firm, Vincent R. Williams and Associates.

The lobbyist is charged with the task of helping gain funding for major projects such as the proposed Riverwalk, reconstruction of Brookmont Boulevard viaduct and other costly projects.