at 5 p.m. marked the application deadline for people hoping to fill
Ald. Dick Mell's (33rd) soon to be vacant seat. Mell announced last
week that he is retiring. His daughter, State Rep. Deb Mell (D-Chicago), said on Thursday that she submitted her application to the mayor's office for the position on Wednesday.
According to the mayor's office, a total of 14
people applied for the position, although their specific names were not
released. A spokesman for the mayor told the Chicago Tribune that Emanuel's office is making sure the applicants live in the ward and
qualify for the position before releasing their names.
Mell said she may have an edge over other applicants, adding that she is familiar with the people and issues in the area. The district she serves as state rep. includes a large swath of the 33rd Ward on the North West side.
new 33rd Ward council member is expected to be in place before the next city
council meeting, July 24, and would serve the rest of the term, which ends in 2015.
On Thursday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel named five
people to a screening committee that will review the applications and
interview the candidates, if necessary, according to a release from the
mayor's office. The committee members will narrow down the pool of
eligible candidates before Emanuel interviews them himself and chooses
who will take the seat.
The members of the committee include: Felicia Davis, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement; John Friedmann, 33rd Ward resident and vice president of the North River Commission; Michelle Harris, city council president pro tempore; community activist Iliamar Isaac; and Roosevelt High School Principal Ricardo Trujillo.
Dick Mell, the 75 year-old councilmember of 38 years, said he plans to stay on as the ward's Democratic committeeman.