Mayor Rahm Emanuel explains why he wants public input as to who will replace former Alderman Sandi Jackson in Chicago's 7th Ward.
The person who replaces former 7th Ward Alderman Sandi Jackson may be chosen online.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel will accept online applications through a website to be launched Friday. Then a committee will conduct interviews and narrow down the applicants to three.
The mayor said he wants someone with a record of "community involvement" and hopes to pick Jackson's replacement by mid-February.
"I think in this case, the community should have involvement given that you don't really have an election," he said.
Jackson apparently sees the search process a little differently.
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell reported the former alderman told her staff in a sign-off phone call that her chief of staff, Keiana Barrett, would be chosen in her place. Jackson also said Emanuel would interview the people she suggests, according to Mitchell.
Emanuel said Jackson is welcome to nominate anyone she wishes.
"She can, obviously, submit names. We have something online. She has a computer with an Internet connection," he said.
Jackson announced her resignation in a letter to Emanuel last week. Her last day was Monday.
"I am unapologetically a wife and a mother and I cannot deny my commitment to those most important personal responsibilities," she wrote in the letter. "To that end, after much consideration and while dealing with very painful family health matters I have met with my family and determined that the constituents of the 7th Ward, as well as you Mr. Mayor, and my colleagues in the City Council deserve a partner who can commit all of their energies to the business of the people."
Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. went on medical leave last June and is being treated for bi-polar disorder amid a federal investigation. A special election will choose his replacement.
In a statement, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Jackson's "leadership has been greatly appreciated."
"As Sandi takes this time to focus on her family, we give her out deepest thanks and support for her service to our city and the residents of her ward," he said.