Aurora aldermen slated for new City Council committees
By Stephanie Lulay firstname.lastname@example.org May 17, 2013 6:48PM
Bob O'Conner shakes hands after filing for Aurora Alderman-At-Large at the Aurora Election Commission on Monday, November 19, 2012. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 21, 2013 6:19AM
AURORA — A week after four new aldermen were sworn in to Council seats, Mayor Tom Weisner announced the new make up of City Council’s committees.
When the mayor’s out of town, Alderman Bob O’Connor, at-large, will continue to serve as mayor pro tem. O’Connor begins his eighth term as alderman this week.
Joining Finance Chairman O’Connor and Alderman Abby Schuler, 1st Ward, will be Alderman Rick Mervine, 8th Ward. Mervine takes the place of former Alderman Lynda Elmore, 10th Ward, who did not run to be re-elected to her ward spot. Alderman John “Whitey” Peters, 5th Ward, will continue to serve as an alternate member of the Finance Committee. O’Connor has served as Finance chairman since 1989.
O’Connor said he thought Mervine, who runs a marketing and management consulting firm, may have wanted to continue to serve on the Planning and Development Committee, but he’s pleased to welcome a “very competent and intelligent” alderman on board.
“But among all of the aldermen, I’d certainly have no problem with any of (them) serving on the committee,” O’Connor said Friday.
Mervine has served on City Council since May 2008.
New Alderman Bill Donnell, 4th Ward, joins Council’s Planning and Development Committee. Longtime Alderman Mike Saville, 6th Ward, continues to chair the committee and Alderman Richard Irvin, at-large, keeps his spot on the committee, too.
Two new aldermen, Alderman Ted Mesiacos, 3rd Ward, and Lynne Johnson, 10th Ward, join Chairman Scheketa Hart-Burns, 7th Ward, on Council’s Government Operations Committee.
Alderman Juany Garza, 2nd Ward, moves from G.O. Committee to the Buildings, Grounds and Infrastructure Committee, and is joined by new Alderman Edward Bugg, 9th Ward. Peters continues to chair that committee. Garza has served on Council’s BGI Committee once before, Peters said.
Aldermen can be appointed to certain committees a few different ways, O’Connor said Friday.
“Each of the chairs of the committees generally has a discussion with the mayor — what he thinks, what I think — and then new aldermen can indicate if asked by the mayor what they would generally like to do,” O’Connor said.
O’Connor said City Council hasn’t welcomed this many new aldermen — four this election — since 2003.
“You have to then figure out a balance (on the committees), where you want to put new aldermen,” he said.
After a new aldermanic term begins, Weisner nominates aldermen to serve on certain committees, and aldermen approved the Council appointments.
New proposals are first introduced to Council’s four committees before they are introduced to the full City Council.