JOLIET – The newly elected and newly re-elected were sworn in Monday, and one outgoing councilwoman gave a farewell statement at the Joliet City Council meeting.
The meeting marked the arrival of Councilman Don “Duck” Dickinson, who won an at-large seat in the April 4 election.
It marked the return of Councilwoman Jan Quillman, who starts her fourth term, and Councilman Michael Turk, who was first elected in 1987 and is the senior council member.
Leaving her seat was Brooke Hernandez Brewer, who was appointed in October and was running in her first election.
“It’s good,” Dickinson said afterward when asked how it feels to be on the council. “I’m glad the campaign’s done, and it’s time to get to work. It’s something I’d looked forward to for a long time.”
He was sworn in by Will County Subcircuit Judge Daniel Kennedy, a friend and fellow Joliet West High School alum from the class of 1978.
Kennedy said he would not have imagined back then that he as a judge would be swearing in Dickinson as a councilman, but said they both kept a tab on politics in their Joliet West days.
“We were both interested in government,” Kennedy said. “We followed local elections and national elections.”
Quillman choked back tears as she was sworn in, something she said came unexpected and which she attributed to the loss of her father, Munson Hallums, since her last election.
“My dad was always my big supporter,” Quillman said afterward, adding that the Bible which she uses when being sworn into office belonged to Munson Hallums’ mother. “The Bible’s like 85 years old. It just opened the floodgates.”
Quillman in a brief statement to the audience had a message for the other candidates in the election. Fifteen candidates ran for the three at-large positions on the council.
“I want to say to those who ran, if this is your passion, don’t give up,” she said. “Keep on running. I did it four times, and I finally made it.”
Turk also recognized his father, Stanley, who at 91 and dealing with dementia, missed one of his swearing-in ceremonies for the first time.
When he went to visit his father after the election, Turk said, his dad pointed to the front page of The Herald-News with Turk’s picture on it.
“He said, ‘Did you see that?’” Turk said, noting his father was able to recognize that his son had been re-elected.
Turk also recognized former Councilman Joe Shetina, who was in the room and is the longest-serving councilman ever in Joliet.
“Joe served 36 consecutive years on the Joliet City Council. That’s amazing,” Turk said.
Brewer said she was “truly honored and blessed” to have served on the council.
“I made history,” said Brewer, who is Hispanic. “I was the first minority to serve as a councilperson at large.”
Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, who appointed Brewer, told her, “You came in under some very trying circumstances, and I think you acquitted yourself very well.”