Tuesday, August 3, 2010


City Council May Look Much Different Next Year
Up To A Third Of Aldermen Talking About Leaving

The Chicago City Council could look very different next year, with nearly one third of the 50 aldermen saying they might call it quits.

Ald. Helen Shiller (46th), who has represented the Uptown neighborhood in the City Council since 1987, said this week that will not run for reelection in 2011. Shiller told CBS 2's Jim Williams that 80 percent of her time is spent running her office and taking care of the needs of her the ward, and she wants to focus instead on public policy.
But numerous other aldermen say they might step down.
• Ald. James Balcer (11th), who represents the Bridgeport area, has most recently said he hopes to run for reelection, but he has been thinking of retirement since a recent health scare, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The 11th Ward includes Mayor Richard M. Daley's native neighborhood, and some have suggested the mayor's nephew, Patrick Thompson, could take over, the Sun-Times reported.
• Ald. Ed Smith (28th), who represents several neighborhoods on the West Side, is also weighing calling it quits, the Sun-Times reported. Five years ago, Smith weighed the idea of running for Cook County Board president if then-President John H. Stroger Jr. didn't run for reelection, but Smith backed down when the late Stroger decided to run. Smith also ran unsuccessfully against incumbent Eugene Moore for Cook County Recorder of Deeds in 2008.
• Ald. Mary Ann Smith (48th), who represents the Edgewater neighborhood and parts of neighboring Uptown and Andersonville, told the Sun-Times that she is "really struggling with" whether to retire, given that she has some major projects still pending.
• Ald. Vi Daley (43rd) whose ward includes the Lincoln Park neighborhood, only told the Sun-Times she would "say something soon" about her future;
• Ald. Virginia Rugai (19th) of the Beverly neighborhood is reportedly considering not running for reelection.
• Ald. Patrick Levar (45th) of the Far Northwest Side is suffering from prostate cancer, and has said he plans to run, but has told colleagues he might not be able to handle a difficult campaign, the Sun-Times reported. Levar is chairman of the City Council Aviation Committee.
• Ald. Frank Olivo (13th) of the Southwest Side has said he wants to retire, but his ward committeeman, House Speaker Michael Madigan, doesn't want him to, the Sun-Times reported.
• Ald. Berny Stone (50th), who has the West Rogers Park neighborhood since 1973, tells the Sun-Times he hasn't made up his mind about running again, but will do so before Aug. 24. He was forced into a runoff against opponent Naisy Dolar in 2007. Some observers have speculated that his daughter and chief-of-staff, Ilana Stone Feketitsch, might run for his old seat.
Some other aldermen might leave the City Council for mayoral runs. Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) has said he would consider running, out of frustration with the waste and mismanagement of the Daley years. Aldermen Robert Fioretti (2nd) and Tom Allen (38th) have also talked about running.
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) has also said he might run if Mayor Richard M. Daley chooses to retire. Mayor Daley has not yet said whether he's running for reelection.
Also, if Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) wins the race for Cook County Board president in November, she will also leave the City Council. Preckwinkle defeated incumbent Todd Stroger in the Democratic primary, and now faces Republican Roger Keats.

Now's our chance. If we can't change mayors maybe we can get some new aldermen. We need pro-union, pro-police, pro-firefighter representatives. People are fed up with the machine so there should be some good options. Look for desirable candidates and vote.

1 comment:

  1. Vote Michael Carroll for 46th ward alderman.