One of the longest-serving alderman in Chicago called it quits on Wednesday.
Alderman Dick Mell (33rd) submitted his resignation to Mayor Rahm Emanuel the day before Independence day. Emanuel announced that he will accept it effective July 24, according to a news release.
Mell, 74, served as councilman to the Northwest Side of the city for nearly 40 years. Emanuel praised his service.
“Alderman Mell has served the City of Chicago and the 33rd Ward with distinction for nearly 40 years,” said Mayor Emanuel. “In a city known for its colorful characters, Alderman Mell is a larger than life Chicago character who, just like the Billy Goat and Second City, is a Chicago institution and, in his own way, he has defined what public service and class look like. Always at his desk – sometimes on it – Alderman Mell has served the residents of the 33rd Ward well for nearly four decades. As a Chicagoan, as a colleague, as mayor and as a friend, I will miss him. Alderman Mell may be succeeded in the City Council, but he is a one-of-a-kind who can never be replaced.”
State Rep. Deb. Mell (D-Chicago), Mell’s daughter, is on the list to fill his seat, but Emanuel said he's taking suggestions on who should replace the long-time legislator.
“I am looking for a candidate with a strong background, solid ties to the community, and a willingness to tackle the tough issues facing Chicagoans,” said Mayor Emanuel.
The Mayor's office release goes on to say: Beginning on Friday, July 5 at 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, any eligible resident of the 33rd Ward will be able to submit their credentials for consideration. The Mayor will appoint a community-based commission to review the applications and submit a list of finalists for him to choose from.
Emanuel plans to install a new alderman at the July 24th City Council meeting "so the residents of the 33rd Ward will not see a lapse in representation at City Council."
Mell is the father-in-law of jailed former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.