ALBANY PARK — When Mayor Emanuel announced the five members of the 33rd Ward candidate screening committee, which will evaluate applicants to fill the seat of retiring Ald. Dick Mell, the news was as notable for who didn't make the list as who did.
"We at Albany Park Neighbors are disappointed that the advisory board appears to include just one 33rd Ward voter — and no Albany Park representation, one of the ward's most populous neighborhoods," wrote Shylo Bisnett, the group's founder, in an email to DNAinfo.com Chicago.
As with the search earlier this year to replace Ald. Sandi Jackson in the 7th Ward, the screening committee includes Ald. Michelle Harris (8th), City Council President Pro Tempore, and Felicia Davis, executive director of the Mayor's Office of Public Engagement.
New additions are John Friedmann, 33rd Ward resident, long-time member of the Horner Park West Neighborhood Association and vice president of environment for the North River Commission; Iliamar Isaac, community activist; and Ricardo Trujillo, principal of Roosevelt High School.
"We are hopeful that Mr. Trujillo will be able to advocate for the needs of his students, most of whom hail from Albany Park," said Bisnett.
If the experience of the 7th Ward committee is any indication, the 33rd Ward panel can expect to analyze dozens of applicants, including Mell's chosen successor, his daughter, State Rep. Deb Mell.
The committee is expected to winnow the number of candidates down to three finalists. The eventual choice rests with Emanuel, who has stated he intends to make his decision by July 24.
"I'll have the standard, as I did with the 7th Ward, which is, 'Will the person bring a level of reform and commitment to public service and representing the entire ward?'" Emanuel has said.