At a Sterling City Council meeting the other day, members got into a discussion about economic development and property taxes.
"I would much rather see a retail development come to this community and lighten up my [property tax] load on my piece of property," Ward 3 Alderman Barry Cox said.
"My piece of property"? Not home?
Maybe I'm overanalyzing Cox's choice of wording. But not too long ago, a resident told the council that Cox no longer lived in Sterling. A big dumpster sits in the driveway; the house appears vacant.
Neighbors on East 20th Street, where Cox lived for more than two decades, say he has moved out of town. Meanwhile, folks on Hillcrest Drive, 5 miles outside of city limits, say Cox is their new neighbor.
When I interviewed Cox about this last month, he acknowledged buying the Hillcrest house in 2010, as reflected in county records. When I asked him where he hangs his hat these days, Cox said, "It's none of your damn business where I sleep."
He told me that he would resign close to the time that he puts a for-sale sign on his 20th Street property. He said he expects to finish the moving process in the next 60 days.
Cox also questioned why we were writing a story on his residency. It's not news, he said.
At another newspaper where I worked, a colleague checked an outside faucet at the home of a candidate for public office whose residency was in question. She wanted to see whether it was running. It was.
Another time, I knocked on the door of a village board member who claimed that he lived at that house inside village limits. When the door opened, a woman said she lived there and that the village official was her landlord.
In other words, he didn't hang his hat in the village. And all indications are that Cox no longer lives in the Ward 3 he still represents.
'Profound love of profession'
Any developments about digestive services around here interest me, especially since I underwent surgery to my intestines in July at CGH Medical Center.
On Oct. 6, Dr. Joseph Gaziano, a gastroenterologist at CGH, died after a battle with cancer. He was 60.
"A highly respected doctor among his health-care colleagues and patients, Dr. Gaziano advanced the practice of quality gastroenterology and hematology over the last 27 years in the Digestive Health Center and at the CGH Main Clinic," Paul Steinke, CGH president and CEO, said in a statement. "His leadership throughout the hospital and on our Board of Directors will always be remembered. … Dr. Gaziano exhibited a profound love of the profession and of his patients."
Gaziano is survived by his wife, Carolyn, and two sons, Joe and Jake.
David Giuliani writes for Sauk Valley Media. You can reach him at dgiuliani@saukvalley or 800-798-4085, ext. 525.