By Eric A Thomas
A lifelong Jacksonville resident with years of business management experience has joined the Jacksonville City Council. Jacksonville’s Ward 3 is well represented with Joe Lockman.
Elected in May 2023, Lockman represents precincts 4, 5 and 6, which run through the heart of the city. This area is well known to Lockman, who has lived there for 37 years.
“One of Mayor [Andy] Ezard’s priorities is addressing infrastructure issues within the city,” said Lockman. “With many of the homes in my ward being some of the oldest in town, there will be street, plumbing, sidewalk and building infrastructure issues that will come up. It will be important to me to address those things as they surface and to help assign priority to them.”
The former grounds of Jacksonville Developmental Center are within Lockman’s ward. Because it is state-owned property, the city council is faced with some sensitive decision-making and frequent communication with the state representatives that cover this area. “Mayor Ezard has taken the lion’s share of these conversations and has the contacts and knowledge of the grounds and [their] issues,” Lockman said. Considering the obstacles so far, Lockman feels Ezard has done a good job walking this tightrope with the state and is looking forward to assisting him and the Planning and Public Works Committee in any way that he can.
Lockman is appreciative of the work his predecessor, Mike Bartlett, did while serving on the council for many years, making significant contributions to those in Ward 3. “I do not have any experience with city government, but I am eager to learn from my fellow aldermen, city attorney and Mayor Ezard,” Lockman said.
The new alderman has been appointed to serve on the planning and public works, public protection, finance/IT/personnel and the utility committees. “I believe my involvement with these committees will help some of the things that affect my ward and the city,” he said.
Lockman is semi-retired as branch manager for Express Employment Professionals, an international professional staffing company that places positions in accounting, human resources, clerical, skilled trades and general labor.
He is a 1978 graduate of Routt Catholic High School and 1982 graduate of Illinois State University in Normal, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in organizational management. Returning to Jacksonville, he spent 19 years as store manager for Jack’s Discount and 18 years as district manager for ShopKo Stores-Midwest USA. He has two children, one son-in-law and one grandson.