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It is with mixed emotion that I have accepted Alderman Lionel Jean-Baptiste’s resignation as Alderman from Evanston’s Second Ward.  Alderman Jean-Baptiste has served the City of Evanston with distinction; serving as a tireless advocate not only for his residents, but for the larger Evanston community in many important areas.  His appointment to the Cook County Circuit Court will allow all county residents to benefit from his good judgment and understanding of issues faced by all members of our community.

Jean-Baptiste’s resignation now requires me to appoint a replacement to serve as the Second Ward Alderman for the remainder of his term through April, 2013.  The appointment of Aldermen when vacancies are created is one of the most important responsibilities of the Mayor of Evanston.  I take this responsibility seriously and want to make sure that the next Second Ward Alderman is someone qualified to serve the unique needs of this area.  The ward is very diverse in terms of age, ethnicity and race.  People of different interests and cultural backgrounds make up this ward.  The alderman has to be a good listener, a good mediator and have a thick skin.  Being a good problem-solver is key to being a good alderman.

I am reaching out to residents of the Second Ward at a community meeting on Tuesday February 22, 7 PM at the Evanston Township High School to get feedback on the qualities needed in the next Second Ward alderman.  I want to hear directly from residents their thoughts on the new Alderman.  All residents of the Ward are invited to attend the meeting or to contact me directly at the Civic Center with their comments.  After consulting with residents and receiving counsel from Alderman Jean-Baptiste, I plan to appoint the next Second Ward alderman at the February 28, 2011 City Council meeting.

The meeting will be held at ETHS, 1600 Dodge, 2nd floor, Room A241.  Entrance and parking in the back of the school off of Lake at exit 31.