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Ditka to Host McMichael Fundraiser

The $100-per-person event will be held in Chicago March 5 and will include several of the Romeoville mayoral candidate's former Chicago Bears teammates.

Editor's note: The event was postponed due to inclement weather. Read: Severe Weather Prompts Cancellation of 'Mongo' McMichael Fundraiser

"Da Coach" will stump for a Romeoville mayoral candidate next month.

According to a campaign release from Steve "Mongo" McMichael, the candidate's former coach Mike Ditka will endorse him at a March 5 fundraiser in Chicago.

McMichael is running against incumbent John Noak in the April 9 election.

The $100-per person benefit will also feature appearances by some of McMichael's teammates from the Chicago Bears 1985 Super Bowl championship team, including Dan Hampton, Gary Fencik and Matt Suhey.

"Several well-known Chicagoans, political figures and surprise guests will be in attendance," McMichael's press release said, calling the benefit a "star-studded event."

The benefit will start with a private VIP reception from 5 to 6 p.m. for $150 per person at the Old Town Pour House, 1419 N. Wells St., Chicago, followed by the $100-per-person general admission event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

McMichael said the March 5 benefit was organized by friends after Ditka was unable to make it to a fundraiser held in January at his restaurant, Mongo McMichael's, in Romeoville. 

"He couldn't be there and he wanted to be," McMichael said. 

Noak, who is seeking reelection, questioned the timing of the press release from the McMichael campaign.

"The timing is interesting because they sent out the release the day before my event," Noak said, referring to a Feb. 28 campaign fundraiser slated to take place at Stone City Saloon in Romeoville.

Noak also accused his opponent of using his celebrity to further his campaign instead of tackling the issues.

"Obviously, this is another attempt from Mr. McMichael to take away from my event and avoid talking to me about the issues in a substantial way," Noak said, adding he would be more than happy to take on McMichael in a debate.

"There's no surprise here," Noak added, referring to Ditka's endorsement. "There's nothing shocking that he would be endorsed by the individual that coached him and his teammates ... Those individuals don't represent this area and they don't live here."

Noak, meanwhile, touted his own endorsements by local organizations and elected officials.

In a press release issued last week, Noak cited endorsements by local mayors including Brian Reaves of Lemont, Mike Collins of Plainfield, Rick Chapman of Shorewood and George Pradel of Naperville, along with Congressman Dan Lipinksi (D-3) and Will County Board members Don Moran, Liz Collins, Lee Ann Goodson, Suzanne Hart and Chuck Maher.

Noak has also been endorsed by the Romeoville and Bolingbrook firefighters' unions, Will-Grundy Trades and Labor Council, Will & Grundy Counties Building Trades Council and Operating Engineers Local 150.

"I'm very proud to have that broad base of support," Noak said.

McMichael took exception to Noak's comments about his endorsement by Ditka and other Chicago celebrities.

"I could care less what John Noak thinks," McMichael said. "Most of [Noak's supporters] don't live in Romeoville either ... The gall of Mayor Noak to make that comment about an icon of Chicago and Illinois and his country, I can't believe it."

McMichael said he believes the Chicago event could lead businesses to discover Romeoville.

"Being mayor of your town to me isn't just about your landlocked borders," he said.

"The business fairy doesn't show up at your town borders. You have to go out and solicit," McMichael said, adding he believes the buzz surrounding the benefit could draw attention from businesses throughout the state, leading to more tax revenues for the village. "They know there's a place called Romeoville," he said.

McMichael said his campaign is considering the possibility of a debate with Noak.

"I don't know," he said. "Am I privy to all the information he is being mayor of the town? If not, how can I show up and have an informed opinion on some of the things he's done?"

Even so, he said, "The campaign will be discussing a fact-based debate. We're going to talk about it."

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Concerned February 28, 2013 at 03:47 AM
McMichael is smoke, and anyone who votes for him is not only wasting their vote, they are potentially harming the Village. Mayor Noak has brought hundreds of new businesses and thousands of new jobs to the Village, and has pushed to bring the Village forward with revitalization and redevelopment. He has kept a balanced budget and invested the Village's money wisely. He even implemented a property tax REFUND for residents. What has this clown McMichael ever done? He has no experience which would qualify him to successfully run this Village, and I am personally insulted that he would think he can just breeze into my town with zero qualifications, zero experience, and zero skills and take control. He has not agreed to a debate, he has not spoken publicly about what his position or platform is, and he has not provided any indication of why/how he would do a better job than Mayor Noak. We might be a small town, McMichael, but we are not small-minded. We need a real leader with a proven record of town management, not some hot air balloon who likes the sound of his own voice. Get out of Romeoville "Mongo". Go back to running your strip club. You are not wanted in this town.
Concerned February 28, 2013 at 03:49 AM
Sorry, that first sentence should say McMichael is a JOKE, not smoke.
Sharon Capell February 28, 2013 at 03:00 PM
I totally agree with the above comment!!! We do not need mongo around!
I'M JUST SAYING February 28, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Only Time will tell and the Votes .
Rich B February 28, 2013 at 03:49 PM
What is his platform? Mayor Noak has succeeded in drawing business to the area without the "star appeal" (if you can call it that) that McMichael claims to have. I don't think electing a football player 30 years after his success on an essentially nonexistent political platform speaks well to Romeoville's image. If McMichael has ideas and solutions for Romeoville -- Let's see a plan. This occasional sound bite talk of "improving schools" (not the Mayor's responsibility) and "lowering taxes" (also not the Mayor's responsibility) plays well to those who don't understand the role, but looks awfully sketchy to everyone else.
Jeffrey February 28, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Hopefully, people put on their thinking caps and stick with John. Noak has done so much for the village over the years that one cannot say anything but good about it. Noak has proven time after time, he knows what he's doing and surrounding villages know this - hence the endorsements. There is a stigma about Romeoville that is often the butt of jokes with locals and it is fading away. Bringing in the businesses, redoing the downtown area and the ongoing community events has been a great uplift to the town. In the next few years when much of the redeveloping is underway/completed, hopefully people will think of Romeoville not because of some celebrity or "Chicago icon" but because it is the place to live/work like other Chicago suburbs.
NotKeepingUpWithTheJones' February 28, 2013 at 04:24 PM
Noak should stop spending all the money on the one business he frequents and maybe other local business owners who happen to have star power won't challenge his spot as mayor.
Concerned February 28, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Steve McMichael's response when asked if he will agree to a debate with Mayor Noak simply infuriates me: "Am I privy to all the information he is being mayor of the town? If not, how can I show up and have an informed opinion on some of the things he's done?" Is he SERIOUS?? John Noak's actions and accomplishments as Mayor are public record. Read a newspaper, do some research, go the Village of Romeoville's website and read through the archive of the notes from the Village Board Meetings, utilize the Freedom of Information act to obtain information. Hell, do a simple Google search! The fact that he doesn't think he is "privy" to this information, and apparently has no clue on how to obtain information about the Mayor's record, proves what an inefficient and unqualified person he is. The fact that he thinks he would have the power to do something about the foreclosures and property tax rates in Romeoville proves he does not have even the most BASIC grasp of how government works, or what the duties/responsibilities of the Mayor are. It will be a shame and a travesty if the people of this town are impressed by a schmuck who was on a winning football team nearly 30 YEARS AGO, and think that's enough to qualify him to run our Village. We've seen positive change come to Romeoville in the last few years. Let's not reverse that progress by electing this bumbling idiot who doesn't have a clue about what he's talking about.
My 2 cents February 28, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Well I believe that McMichaels would be a good mayor of this town because he wants to look out for the education of our children who will eventually be voting citizens. All Noak does is not look out for our children's future he canceled safety town this Halloween which so many children look forward to just to have his own mascarade ball. What does that do to help our children? There are no activities that kids can do around this town to keep them out of trouble because everything there is to co costs money and not all of the parents in this community can afford to fork out all this money! Do something for the kids in our town!
Concerned February 28, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Sorry, but the Safety Town event was cancelled due to the construction going on in that area. It's not very safe to have children walking about a construction site. That construction was taking place as part of the plan to build a new park for the children, yet another way Mayor Noak is revitalizing and redeveloping this town. They hosted the masquerade ball as an alternative to the Safety Town event, while the park is undergoing redevelopment. So, I'm pretty sure that DOES help our children. So, tell me...what exactly is Steve McMichael's "plan" to look out for the education of our children? What does he plan to do differently than Mayor Noak? What does he plan to do period? I wouldn't know, because he hasn't provided a single sentence detailing his plans for this town, other than to talk about those thing which he would have no control over as Mayor. He's great at making grandiose statements, but when you analyze those statements for even a minute, you will find that it's nothing but hot air and has no basis in fact.
I'M JUST SAYING February 28, 2013 at 05:23 PM
All of the plans of the Downtown area came about when Fred Dewald was Mayor He then went sore which Made John Noak Mayor.Ok about Jobs HUMMM Where u have to go to alot of temp services now just to get in the door of some of these Warehouses and also have a Back Round Check before you are Hired unless you Know someone..We been waiting for this area to grow again ever since they moved everything to the other side of the town....
Coleen F February 28, 2013 at 06:23 PM
Dear "My 2 cents"...while I understand your disappointed about the Safety Town Halloween event being cancelled, I am sure you appreciate our village's decision to keep our children SAFE and away from the construction in that area. Regarding the Mayor's Costume Ball-this is an annual fundraising event that Mayor Noak hosts. All proceeds are donated to the Youth Outreach Commission, which supports the children in our village. Also, my child attends RHS and I have seen Mayor Noak at many events at the high school supporting the students. So, I am unsure what you mean by "All Noak does is not look out for our children's future..." What exactly is McMichaels going to do to look out for the education of our children? Teach them how to be a professional wrestler???
Jeffrey February 28, 2013 at 06:46 PM
The comments about this article really show the true picture of residents' understanding of the town. There are those who keep up on current events and then those who just have no idea and buy into what is being dished out. Mongo, has not brought anything to the table other than generating publicity about running for mayor. If that's who you want to vote for by all means. If you look at the parks, the recreation center and the programs available, the costs are quite low compared to other surrounding communities. There are also numerous community events. Yes there are some costs, but most are kept quite small (free) compared to other events in the Chicagoland area (yes, some cost $5-$20). Most of the youth athletic programs are between $40-$90 (some of the martial arts classes do go over $100 but it's MA). If you think that is pricey, look around.
Concerned February 28, 2013 at 07:49 PM
To "I'm Just Saying" - the fact is that the "plans" that were made when Fred Dewald was mayor were just that. Plans. No action was taken to turn those plans into reality until John Noak became Mayor. He has been pushing for redevelopment of this side of town since he became Mayor - getting a train station, adding fresh landscaping, redoing the streets, curbs, and entrances to the businesses on Normantown, Dalhart, etc. As for the hiring practices of the private businesses that have come to town, do you REALLY think that the Mayor has any control over that? If you can't pass a background check, that's on you - not the mayor. The fact is, hiring through temp agencies and requiring a background check is a fairly common procedure at most companies. That is not unique to the companies in Romeoville, and that has nothing to do with the Mayor. These companies bring jobs and tax revenue to Romeoville. And John Noak has brought these companies to Romeoville without Mike Ditka or any other "celebrity" figure.
Corey noble February 28, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Mayor noak does not care about the citizens of Romeoville! He doesn't address any of the issues such as police misuse of authority....harassment....lower class family support ....we need change!!!! Noak can't even return a phone call....look around we have bars n gas stations but tons of empty abandoned foreclosed homes.....it's very sad the state of Romeoville....
carol February 28, 2013 at 08:11 PM
To Corey. .. he does care! Adults need jobs close to home do we can participate in community youth events. Have you not noticed the huge companies moving here? Change takes time and mayor noak is moving at lightening speed. He's done so much more than dewald did in half the time. And fyi, you can find him almost ALL romeoville high school home games!
jono100 February 28, 2013 at 08:33 PM
Mr noak you have political endorsement from mayors who are crooks and other politicians who are also crooks...at least mogo had his friends endorsement.
Concerned February 28, 2013 at 09:09 PM
The mayor has absolutely no control over the foreclosures in Romeoville. That's an issue the entire country is facing, in case you haven't noticed. Besides bars and gas stations, 90 new businesses have opened in Village. He's implementing new community outreach programs to help assist families in need. My husband called and left him a voicemail before, and got a return call within a day. What other town/city would that happen in?
Concerned February 28, 2013 at 09:19 PM
Also, the mayor recently voted in FAVOR of the Will County Home Buying Program, which will use funds from a grant from National Foreclosure Settlement Awards Housing Counseling and Community Revitalization Program to buy foreclosed properties which will be rehabbed and resold at cost. So, despite not being able to prevent the foreclosures, he's working with the county to do what it can to make these vacant homes available to new home buyers.
Annie H. March 01, 2013 at 12:00 AM
I think a debate would be a good idea and I hope that both candidates will do it. As for all those who keep putting McMichael down because he's just a football player or whatever, everyone has to start somewhere in their new career or life plan. Maybe, for you, you aren't comfortable with him doing that here in Romeoville. I get that. But, Mayor Noak didn't have mayoral experience when he started either. Yes, he had political experience as a Board member and working with Judy Biggert but, not as mayor. I just wish people could stop being so negative all the way around and start having more of an open mind, in general. Also, having been in this town a long time, it's frustrating to see all Mayor Noak's, and the Village''s "actions" on the downtown area happening in the election year, when some of us have been waiting for 10 years. And, pardon my cynicism, but let's see how fast the rest of that area and the plans move once the election is over. As far as I've heard, still no commitment for a grocery store, the ONE thing the majority of residents, who were surveyed over the years about the downtown wanted. I've heard all the discussions so please, don't try to tell me, "they won't come until there is something to draw people there." There are people on the east side of town to support a grocery store, whether or not we get an athletic center or not.
Sharon Capell March 01, 2013 at 12:34 AM
Open your eyes people!! Noak has always been and continues to be concerned about the residents and children!! Do ud all a favor and stay home on election day!
Lynne March 01, 2013 at 03:42 AM
I want to say it makes me so very sad that people do not take the time to get the facts, all you have to do is take a little time and look into an issue. I do not live in this town but I work here and I seem to know more then many of you uninformed residents, I have had no problem getting a return call from the Mayor, he has always ben open to dealing with issues in the neighbornoods, any thing concerning children has been at the top of his list. I work with children and families, there is nothing that we have to "Give" John, he helps us with our efforts because he cares for the residents of this community as a whole. Take the time to talk with him, and check out what he is really doing. To say he doesn't care about the children is very uninformed. Please just take the time to educate yourself. I do not personally know McMichael, but I have been around for 26 years working in the community and I cannot not name one meeting, event or committee I have seen him at. I would like to see him volunteer and be a part of the community before he runs it. You can tell a lot about a persons leadership when you serve with them in the community, working for those who can give you nothing in return.
stephanie March 01, 2013 at 06:29 PM
Yes, Noak's campaign is touting a list of his accomplishments to sway voters to re-elect him. That's pretty much typical agenda for a campaign. Most mayors wouldn't have such a long list or so many local endorsements. I can understand not jumping on board with every achievement and questioning the job growth. It's good to question. I'd encourage you to "get the facts" and compare your canidates. But, what's alarming to me is there are NO facts about McMichael. He isn't in the community, he admits he's too uninformed to debate, he has no issues, no plans. I truthfully don't think he should be allowed to run as he hasn't resided here. Voters need to be smart enough to not vote in someone who is jumping through a loophole. His quotes here seem crass and I don't want him representing Romeoville. I can't even take this man seriously until he addresses an issue including his plans. Someone else involved in the community should have run or McMichael should've taken the time to join some organization. A vote for Noak doesn't mean you have to believe he walks on water. Everyone has pros and cons. I personally believe Noaks pros outweigh his cons. But, I have seen no proof of McMichael having any pros. If you think Noak has too much power, than don't vote for the United trustees. I was impressed that Noak and members of the United party took the time to walk through our neighborhood. But, I truly worry what having an uninformed, newcomer as Mayor will do to Romeoville.
SylvanGoddess March 03, 2013 at 11:23 PM
McMichael only cares about Romeoville as he sees us as a push-over for him to come in and be the celebrity. Everything he does is self-serving, he only moved into town to establish residence so he could run for office. I am willing to bet that if he lost the election he would vacate his residence and move back to wherever he came from. How many people from Romeoville do you think can afford to go to a $100/head fundraiser in Chicago? Why IS it in Chicago and not in Romeoville? Maybe while he is mayor he can petition to have a tiny little tip of Cook County extended down out of Lemont and into Romeoville so he will feel like he is closer to his home, the city.
Tommy Reynolds March 07, 2013 at 06:15 PM
Romeoville Residents work in Chicago that is why your town is on the Map ! Govenor Quinn ,Mayor Emanuel and Mike Madigan can help your town ! Mayor Mc Micheal does not have to steal ! He will bring up property values and attract businesses to your town, get help from people who care ! The Coach will open a Restraunt there ! Steve is your Robin Hood , If you want things done,vote for Steve ! He put Romeoville on the Map ! He is a Winner !
SylvanGoddess March 07, 2013 at 06:27 PM
That is funny "Steve is your Robin Hood". Robin Hood stole from other people to give away things to the people of his choosing. Gosh, that sounds an awful lot like how Chicago and Springfield works. Who is Mc.Michael going to steal from? The Valley View School district? The library district? The townships? The county? Or the people of Romeoville. To think that Emanuel gives a rats-butt about the people of Romeoville is a sad, sick joke. What is to keep "da coach" from opening a restaurant in Romeoville as it is? Will Mc.Micheal give some sort of cushy deal to his buddies to relocate to Romeoville to open used car lots, strip clubs and bars? To say that Mc. Micheal "cares" is ridiculous. He is only concerned about the profit and loss statement for his restaurant and figures that anything he can do to smooth the way to serve his own interests is just cash in his pocket. As far as "education" is concerned, he only wants his waitresses to be pretty enough to attract drunken slobs and to not stiff him on his cut of their tips.
rayvela March 21, 2013 at 02:28 AM
REBUTAL: so i have read all the comments on here and come to this conclusion everybody is very concered who wins the Mayoral Race for Romeoville and rightly so what everybody falls to see is iit is a win win race for mayor, if Noak wins he's a great choice and will keep doing the great job he has done for yrs and if McMichael wins he will keep things rolling that the united party put into place plus build on that as well, so the choice is clear 2 great family men with different ways and views but same goals to make Romeoville a great place to live and be proud to say thats where i am from and it is great to be in a democratic nation where you can have the freedom to run for mayor with no Dictatorship. so on April 9th vote for the person you like and April 10 you will keep on course with Noak or set a new course and adventure with Steve Mongo McMichael.

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