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Judge sides with city on mayor’s Housing Authority nominees

Updated: January 18, 2013 6:10AM

AURORA — A Kane County judge ruled in the city’s favor Thursday, settling an ongoing dispute about Aurora Housing Authority board appointments.

Kane County Judge Thomas Mueller ruled that the City of Aurora has the authority to replace Aurora Housing Authority board members Bill Burns and Al Schuler.

In October, Mueller granted an temporary restraining order that kept Mayor Tom Weisner’s AHA board appointees, Shauna Wiet and Scott Voris, from being seated to the board. Weisner named Wiet and Voris to replace Schuler and Burns.

The Aurora Housing Authority argued that under Illinois state law both members were entitled to longer terms than those originally approved by the Aurora City Council. Mueller agreed that as a home rule community, the city has the authority to impose its own term limits.

Wiet and Voris will again be presented to the Aurora City Council for appointment to the Aurora Housing Authority board at the City Council meeting Tuesday.

“I am grateful that Judge Mueller agreed that the actions of the Aurora Housing Authority have significant local impact and upheld the City’s right to determine appropriate term limits,” Weisner said. “I am hopeful that this will pave the way for a more collaborative relationship with the Housing Authority Board moving forward.”

Housing Authority Executive Director Keith Gregory said the ruling was fair.

“We’re disappointed with the judge’s ruling but don’t feel it’s unfair,” he said.

Gregory said that the board will discuss their next move at their board meeting at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the AHA’s Plum Street offices.

Aurora Assistant Chief of Staff Rick Guzman said the Housing Authority will have 30 days to appeal to judge’s decision.

If approved by the council, the two new board members’ terms will be effective immediately after Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, Guzman said.

Gregory said the Housing Authority board will welcome the new board members.

“If the city chooses to place them immediately, we’ll start to work with them immediately,” Gregory said.

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