Janiec will run for mayor of Hammond again
By christin nance lazerus firstname.lastname@example.org February 17, 2011 10:58AM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
HAMMOND — Hammond school board member and community activist George Janiec is making a second run for Hammond mayor.
Janiec, who lost the 2007 election by less than 500 votes, will run in Republican primary in May. If he wins, he will likely face Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. in the general election.
Janiec spoke before about crowd of about 60 friends and supporters at the Hammond’s House of Pizza on Thursday night.
“The time has come to explain the reason why I’m wearing a suit and tie tonight,” Janiec said. “Over the course of the past eight years, we have all watched our city continue to decline. Home foreclosures are at record highs and home ownership is at a record low. The people of Hammond demand and deserve better than what they’ve received.”
Janiec said that the current administration continues to invest in non-productive development programs that have failed to produce real economic growth, such as the Lost Marsh Golf Course and million-dollar Little League fields.
“We can no longer afford to tolerate having an administration that puts the needs of a few over the needs of the many,” Janiec said. “The current administration appears dedicated to fighting against state government and state elected officials at a time when we need a statesman to build and not destroy such vital relationships for our city.”
Janiec noted his work with state officials as part of Team Hammond, a taxpayer advocacy group, which helped advocate for state property-tax caps.
“The motto for this city seems to be ‘we have cash for flash’,” Janiec said. “The strength of any thriving city is prospering and growing neighborhoods, good local schools, having the ability and peace of mind to do business in your own community.
He criticized McDermott for closing the city health department, cutting bus service and fighting against homeowner property tax relief. Janiec said that he’s committed to making city government more transparent, by televising meetings, posting budgets and minutes on the city website, and responding to public documents in a timely manner.
Supporter Leon Gamino, who is a member of Team Hammond, said that Janiec has shown true leadership on property tax issues.
“What makes me believe he’s the man for the job is I know he’s not self serving,” Gamino said. “We want to give the kids coming up the opportunities we had so they can keep this community viable for the next century.”
Janiec’s high school English teacher Dolores McCampbell said that he would do a good job as mayor.
“I support him because he’s a former student, and I know that he’s a very reliable and trustworthy young man,” she said.