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City Council Meeting - 08/21/09

In preparation for a long and difficult budget season, most of the Council's noteworthy activity has taken place in executive sessions* before and after regularly scheduled council meetings.  Regarding Mayoral appointments to City Commissions....the Mayor makes the appointment and the City Council is asked to advise and consent.  Since taking office, I have constantly asked for notification on commission openings so you third ward residents can have a shot at an appointment.  (HERE is my latest posting on commission openings)  That said, I don't believe I should have to make a special request in order to get information out to my constituents.  The City should work to publicize openings, promote different opportunities, and encourage new blood to enter our City's government.

At both September meetings I pulled  appointments from the consent agenda.  In other words, I asked that we discuss the appointments of two individuals to the Des Plaines Public Library Board: an ex-wife of our mayor, and a daughter of an Alderman.  I did this after receiving a large number of phone calls from residents who expressed their disappointment (and some even anger) upon hearing the names being appointed to the Library Board.  I told the individuals on the phone and the folks at Council that I would not object to the Mayor's appointments.  He was elected by the voters just like I was, and the code gives him the power to appoint.  Both appointments were given to women who are leaders in public office and business, and capable residents.  Was I disappointed that new faces, names, and backgrounds individuals were not brought into our organization?...yes.  Do I think this sort of activity sends the wrong message to voters like you?....probably.   Will I work to make you aware of appointments as they come available?....absolutely!  The Mayor graciously agreed to provide the Aldermen with frequent lists of vacancies and the letters of those who seek appointments.  I appreciate that and look forward to approving new blood for City Commissions.

*These closed-door meetings are held when topics not suitable for open conversation are before the Council: litigation, personnel, etc. Minutes and tapes of these meetings are kept and released at a later date.  You'll hear Alderman Robinson, as chair of the Legal and Liscensing Committee, report out on the results from executive sessions during the general council meeting.

Sorry for the delay. It's been a busy couple of weeks!

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