southtownstar
FLIGHTY 
Weather Updates

Palmer appointed to Quinn task force

Nick Palmer is chief staff for Will County Executive Larry Walsh as seen Monday Nov. 26 2012 302 N. Chicago

Nick Palmer is chief of staff for Will County Executive Larry Walsh as seen Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, at 302 N. Chicago St. in Joliet. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media

storyidforme: 53602235
tmspicid: 15063106
fileheaderid: 6844523

Updated: September 17, 2013 8:19AM



JOLIET — Will County official Nick Palmer has been appointed by Gov. Pat Quinn to a blue ribbon task force that is looking into ways to improve the region’s troubled mass transit system.

“The governor’s move comes in the wake of recurring scandals at Metra and ongoing accountability problems over the last decade,” according to a press release Quinn’s office issued Thursday.

Palmer, 39, who grew up in Joliet and now lives in Bolingbrook, is chief of staff for Will County Executive Larry Walsh.

It makes sense that Will County has a representative on the 15-member panel, said Palmer, who also serves as chairman of the county’s Integrated Criminal Justice Ad Hoc Committee.

“In recent years, Will County has been one of the fastest growing counties in the state and nation,” he said. “We are projected to have 1.3 million people by 2030.”

That would almost double the county’s population.

“Densely populated areas require mass transit as an alternative to getting in your car and getting on a highway,” said Palmer, who has worked on paratransit issues in eastern Will County, and also has pushed for the expansion of mass transit in underserved areas of the county.

“So the point is, Metra is going to be very important to Will County in the future,” he said. “Having a system that functions in a transparent way where people have confidence in the governance and operations is important.”

Palmer said it is “unfortunate” that Metra has had the controversy that has plagued it recently and he’s looking forward to digging into the agency’s issues.

“I’m coming in with an open mind to the process,” he said.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.