Five people have notified Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl of their interest in the Ninth Ward aldermanic seat soon to be vacated by Coleen Burrus. Ms. Burrus is leaving her position at Northwestern University for Princeton University.
At a Ninth Ward meeting on April 1, Ninth Ward residents Dan Coyne Shawn Jones, Mary (Muffy) McAuley and Brian Miller each said they are interested in being appointed alderman. The fifth candidate, Schona Buranda, did not publicly indicate her interest at the meeting but is now listed as a candidate.
Mr. Coyne is a commissioner of the Ridgeville Park District. Mr. Jones is a lawyer and an independent contractor reporting for the Evanston RoundTable. Ms. McAuley and her husband, John Leineweber, own and operate Renew Management and Renaissance Realty, companies that have adaptively restored several former warehouses for residential and commercial use. Mr. Miller is a lawyer and chief of staff for Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin. Ms. Burunda is a human resources professional.
Evanston’s City Code covering aldermanic vacancies complies with the Illinois Compiled Statutes, under which the Mayor must make the appointment within 60 days after the vacancy occurs (65 ILCS 5/31.1-10-50). The statute further provides that the vacancy shall be filled by appointment if the vacancy is in an elective office with a four-year term, such as an aldermanic seat, and the unexpired term less than 28 months.
Ald. Burrus’ resignation is effective April 17, and the next aldermanic election will be in the spring of 2017.
Mayor Tisdahl has not yet said when she will announce the appointment. She and Sustainability Manager Catherine Hurley will travel to Seoul, Korea, to hear the results of the World Wildlife Fund campaign in which Evanston is a top contender. All or most of the expenses will be reimbursed by WWF.
Until Mayor Tisdahl announces her decision, Mr. Jones will not write stories for the RoundTable. In the event that he is selected as alderman, he will stop reporting for the RoundTable altogether.
Mayor Tisdahl told the RoundTable, “I would like to decide in April because that’s when Colleen leaves. I do not want people to be without an alderman for too long. My plan is to listen to everyone, residents, Council members and applicants. Then I will do the best I can.”
Mayor Tisdahl has scheduled a forum for the five candidates at 7 p.m. on April 23 at the Levy Center, 300 Dodge Ave.