Charles "Chuck" Panici
(December 26, 1930 - ) is the former mayor
of Chicago Heights, Illinois
. He served from 1975 to 1991. He was also head of the Bloom Township Republican Party
from 1978 to 1992. He was born in 1930 in the “Hungry Hill” section of Chicago Heights, a south suburb, which was the home to mainly Italian immigrant
in a heavily Italian town. His parents operated "Three Star Restaurant", a popular hangout for many neighborhood residents.
Panici began his political career in the early 1970s as President of the Chicago Heights Park District. In 1975, he put together a coalition ticket and easily defeated the incumbent mayor. His Concerned Citizens ticket won three of the four seats on the city council
. In 1979, Panici won again, with his entire city council slate of John Gliottoni
, Louise Marshall and Eugene Sadus winning re-election. They were joined by Nicholas C. "Nick" LoBue, and all five won easy victories in 1983 and 1987. His administration was responsible for bringing Lake Michigan water to Chicago Heights after residents had complained for years about poor water quality. Several municipal buildings were also built during his tenure, including a new City Hall, police station and library.
Beginning in 1978, Panici was the Bloom Township Republican Committeeman. With a patronage army that spanned all levels of city and township government, Panici built the party into the most powerful Republican... Read More