Thursday, August 22, 2013

Unions leaders salute Cicero and Town President Larry Dominick for requiring union labor on construction of new Walmart Superstore

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              Ray Hanania
Thursday August 22, 2013                                                  708-656-3600 ext 855

Unions leaders salute Cicero and Town President Larry Dominick for requiring union labor on construction of new Walmart Superstore

Cicero, Il – Representatives of the state’s unions held a press conference at Cicero Town Hall Thursday to salute President Larry Dominick and the Town Board for requiring that Walmart use union labor to build their new Supercenter.

Dominick and Walmart broke ground on the construction of a 190,000 square foot Supercenter on the eastern half of the former Sportsman’s Park at 33rd and Cicero Avenue. The new Walmart will create 400 new jobs.

Union leaders said they expect more than 200 union workers will be employed at the Cicero Walmart construction site, which is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2014.

“I want to thank all of the unions for supporting me. I support them. I support in all of the projects we have in the Town of Cicero, we try to get union help. The unions are important because they support thepeople and help create jobs and we appreciate them very much,” Dominick said.

Dominick noted that the Walmart company recently celebrated the achievement of its sister company Sam’s Club in Cicero, which this past year was recognized as the number 1 Sam’s Club in the entire company in terms of service and revenue generation.

Union officials attending the press conference were: Ed Maher, representing James Sweeney of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150; Tom Villanova, president of the Chicago and Cook County Buildings Trades Council; Jim Allen of the Bricklayers District Council; Rocco Terranova of the Sheet Metal Workers Local 73; Joseph Pijanowski of the Machinists Local 126; and ,Tom Ryan of the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters. They were joined by 25 other union officials and members to salute Dominick and the Town of Cicero.

“I have the privilege and honor of representing 100,000 union men and women who work in the construction industry in Cook County. It was a pleasure to work with all of the elected officials who are here. President Dominick supported us and as was noted, this project will put ourmembers back to work. We have been through a phase of unemployment where people were losing their homes, their benefits, and by that their families too. These are projects that people can come back to work and live the American dream,” Villanova said. “The Unions are thankful to President Dominick for his support.”

Terranova added, “We are here in support of President Dominick and the Town of Cicero for his commitment to putting our members back to work. Putting our members back to work helps the economy. They spend money when they earn money and we look forward to working with President Dominick, the Town of Cicero and for being friends of labor.”

Ryan added, “We welcome the effort for all the building tradesmen to build a Walmart in the Town of Cicero. Not only will they build the Walmart, they will shop there, build there homes here and put the moneyback into the Town of Cicero.”

Pijanowski said, “President Dominick recognizes the importance of sustaining the middle class. It is important these working families have economic sustainability and thanks to their hard work this is one step in that direction.”

Joining President Dominick were Clerk Maria Punzo Arias, Assessor Emilio Cundari, Trustees Dennis Raleigh and Larry Banks, State Sen. Martin Sandoval and State Rep. Lisa Hernandez.

“Unions have to be a part of the development of local communities like here in Cicero and I thank President Dominick for his leadership in insuring that the unions are included in the advancement of the Town of Cicero and the region,” Hernandez said.

Sandoval added, “The town of Cicero has been putting people back to work and you can see it in the agreement they made to build Walmart. Larry Dominick in his vision of making a new Cicero has achieved a renaissance not seen in any other suburban community, Businesses are being opened. Businesses are coming back. Businesses are expanding in the Town of Cicero and that is thanks to the vision of Larry Dominick.”


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cicero financials hold strong in difficult economy -- Standards & Poors reaffirms Cicero’s strong financial rating

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Cicero financials hold strong in difficult economy
-- Standards & Poors reaffirms Cicero’s strong financial rating

Cicero, Illinois – Town President Larry Dominick said he is proud that the Town of Cicero has again received a strong endorsement from the major financial rating companies with Standard & Poors announcing that Cicero’s Bond Rating will remain at a solid “A+/Stable Rating.”

The rating comes as municipalities in the Chicagoland region continue to face downgrades as a result of the difficult economy and challenges facing budgeting and spending.

Dominick said that Cicero has managed to increase services while holding the line on property taxes and fees, facing only a major hurdle from the City of Chicago’s annual water rate increases, some of which the Town of Cicero has absorbed to lessen the burden on taxpayers.

"At the last board meeting, we completed our fourth refinancing of long-term debt borrowed by prior administrations before I assumed ofice in 2005 and in so doing have saved our taxpayers over $5 million in interest costs by reducing the interest rates charged on those borrowings," Dominick announced, noting that Cicero has not borrowed any money with long-term bonds since he became President in 2005.

“It’s solid financial management decisions like that which have underscored Cicero’s strong financial standing. I appreciate the hard work of our Financial Team led by Don Schultz, and also by every employee in the Town who takes their job seriously, who do their jobs and who puts the best interests of the needs of the public first and foremost.”

Schultz noted that Cicero’s rating contrasts with the trends facing other communities, and released this list of ratings:

Chicago Area            New Rating         Previous Rating     Downgrade Date

Cook County                          A1              Aa3                      8/16/13
Village of Oak lawn                A1              Aa3                      8/07/13
Chicago Public Schools          A3              A2                       7/24/13
Chicago Park District             A1              Aa2                      7/24/13
City of Chicago                       A3              Aa3                      7/17/13
Elk Grove Village                    AA1                                       7/16/13
City of Waukegan                   A2              A1                       6/28/13
City of Evanston                    Aa1             Aaa                      6/27/13
State of Illinois                      A3              A2                       6/06/13
Village of North Riverside       A2              A1                       2/19/13
Village of Hazel Crest             A1              Aa3                      1/29/13
Village of Riverdale                B2              B1                       10/04/12
City of Burbank                      AA3            AA2                     3/08/12
City of Park Ridge                  AA2            AA1                     1/11/12
Village of Canton                   A2              A1                       11/22/11
City of Springfield                  Aa3             Aa2                      3/08/11     
Village of Forest Park              A1              Aa3                      12/30/10

The Great recession, as we know it, did not in itself derail credit quality in the public finance market to the extent so many had predicted.  Instead, what matters is the credit characteristics of each individual issuer.  While many state and local governments, such as the Town of Cicero, implemented difficult corrective measures necessary to balance budgets and maintain a stable financial picture and strong credit rating, others failed or were unable to do so,” Schuktz explained.

In providing an A+/Stable rating on the Town’s long-term debt, Standard & Poors noted, “As a home rule community, Cicero currently maintains very strong reserves … despite ongoing pressures such as rising health care and pension costs.”

S & P’s announcement of a stable outlook for the Town of Cicero reflects the rating agency’s “expectation that Cicero will maintain at least strong general fund reserves while also meeting annual health care and pension costs.”

"Since the Dominick Administration assumed office, it has been the Town's policy of creating a conservative and sustainable long-term financial plan, which includes reducing the debt load created prior to 2005 and streamlining expenditures on a "pay as you go" basis," Schultz explained

“Since the start of the Dominick administration, the Town has not issued any long-term general obligation debt, and has instead concentrated on reducing the debt burden on current residents and future generations of citizens of Cicero.”


Dominick urges legislators to support Immigration Reform

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Dominick urges legislators to support Immigration Reform

Cicero, Illinois -- Cicero Town President Larry Dominick urged members of the Illinois Congressional delegation to adopt immigration reform to bolster the economy and to offer a more responsive policy to deal with the needs of local communities.

Dominick noted that Illinois is facing “tough economic” times with an unemployment rate that is nearly 2 percent higher than the national average.

“We must do everything possible to get our economy moving again. As mayors we lead more than 2/3 of Illinois’ population, and we are on the front lines of this struggle every day. We often have had to make tough choices because of a loss of tax revenue that still hasn’t recovered to pre-recession levels,” Dominick wrote in the letter.

Dominick said that comprehensive immigration reform will also help bring 11 million Americans who now live in the shadows and “fully integrating them into our economy.”

“We also cannot stand by while our high-skill and low-skill visa programs operate so ineffectively, giving our businesses little assistance in finding the workers they need to grow,” Dominick said.

“Growth will be accelerated by this action. The prospects for growth are strongly supported by studies on the issue. A study by the Center for American Progress and the Immigration Policy Center showed the creation of a commonsense immigration process would lead to $1.5 trillion in increased GDP over 10 years, contribute to the creation of as many as 900,000 jobs, and increase revenues as much as $5.4 billion. The CBO said that our deficit could be cut by over $20 billion a year. Many of our cities and towns in Illinois would no doubt also see increases in their revenue and ease the burden of providing crucial services to our constituents.”

Dominick urged the Illinois Delegation to develop policies “that are more responsive to the role immigrants already play in our economy” regardless of how they came here.

“No immigration proposal can be truly comprehensive without having a realistic and fair plan for how to deal with the 11 million people who are already in our country and who lack any legal status. By the same token, a secure border – an important goal that any bill must address – will ensure that we don’t find ourselves trying to tackle this problem again in 10 or 20 years,” Dominick said.

“Illinois has historically sent leaders to Washington to get the toughest problems solved. From modern-day champions such as Dennis Hastert, Henry Hyde, Harold Washington, and Sid Yates, to the great names that fill our history books like Abraham Lincoln, Adlai Stevenson, Paul Douglas, Chuck Percy, Everett Dirksen, and Paul Simon, I know that you have it in you to fashion the legislation that will move our country forward.”


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Who will be the next "Señorita Cicero 2013?"

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Who will be the next "Señorita Cicero 2013?"

The Cicero Mexican American Cultural Committee (CMACC) is asking the public to help select this year’s “Señorita Cicero 2013.”

The CMACC includes Edith Cruz as president, and board members Geraldo Solis, Maria Garcia, Josefina Polasios, former State Rep. Frank Aguilar who also serves as board chairman.

Aguilar said the CMACC is planning a wide range of events to celebrate this year’s Mexican Independence Day and Fiestas Patrias, both celebrated in September.

“This is the seventh year for the Cultural Committee’s sponsorship of the events and they are very popular,” Aguilar said.

“The festival activities include El Grito, a parade, the pageant, a play on the history of Mexican Independence at Morton High school, and so much more. The public is invited to join in the celebration.”

Mexican Independence Day is Sept. 13  15th, with El Grito and the Parade on Cermak Road beginning at Austin Blvd., being held on the 15th. Events are held at Community Park at 34th and Laramie in the Town of Cicero.

The CMACC web site is

Aguilar said the public can pick their favorite candidate for this year’s pageant representative, "Señorita Cicero 2013," and get more information on events by visiting the Cultural Committee’s website.