Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Rahm Talks Jobs, Family

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mayor-elect sits down with NBC Chicago's Mary Ann Ahern to discuss his Chicago2011.org website, his plans for public schools and the police force, and whether President Obama will attend the mayoral inauguration. (Published Thursday, Mar 10, 2011)

    Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel anticipates big staffing changes at City Hall once he takes office.

    Sure he'll be looking for a new police superintendent and a new school's chief, but that's just the tip of the ice-berg, Emanuel said in an exclusive interview with WARD ROOM after a speaking event at Kennedy King College in Chicago..

    "We're going to turn the page literally," he said.  "It's not who you know, but do you have the capacity to do the job. ... we're going to turn the page"

    In order to attract the best and brightest to his government, Emanuel has opened up the application process to anyone interested. He launched a transition team web site, Tuesday, that allows interested parties to upload their resume directly to his office.

    "I want people from academia, with private sector experience, who always thought about serving their community, to know this is the opportunity," Emanuel said.

    The open application process levels the playing field by relying less on clout, he said, and more on ideas and experience.

    Emanuel Accepts His Victory

    [CHI] Emanuel Accepts His Victory
    "Thank You, Chicago" Emanuel yells after learning of his commanding win. (Published Thursday, Feb 24, 2011)

    Not every job will be filled through the new application process. Two important ones are going to have a bit more stringent selection process.

    When it comes to his schools chief, Emanuel wants his own leader.

    That means current interim CPS boss Terry Mazany, who took over for Ron Huberman after Huberman left his post to seek employment in the private sector before the election, likely won't remain in his position too long.  

    "He'll be there -- ah -- until, I  want a replacement," Emanuel said.

    One position that's sure to be a top priority for Emanuel is that of police superintendent, a post currently filled by another interim individual, Terry Hillard.

    Emanuel said he won't necessarily require the next top-cop be from Chicago, he said. The most important quality is not proximity, but knowledge of police work. 

    "We're going to have someone --- very importantly -- who knows the beat officer is the backbone of the police department," the mayor-elect said.

    Both CPS Chief and Police Superintendent are positions that will receive heightened scrutiny under Emanuel. Education and Crime were the two major tenets of his campaign.

    He said he intends to keep the scrutiny where it belongs, however, on the public servants and not on his family.

    "My children will have the privacy they need to grow up, to do their academics.  Their last name is what their last name is," Emanuel said. "This job is important, but my children are more important."  

    Emanuel just returned from a visit with his family, who still live in Washington DC.  He's making it clear his wife and children will be off limits to the media.  

    Many are wondering if the new First Lady will have a public role.  

    Emanuel calls his wife Amy "my anchor" and "when the kids are centered, when a routine is created, she will decide what's next when she's comfortable."

    The mayor-elect will take his spot on the fifth floor of city hall on May 16, 2011.