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Ald. Will Burns Resigns, Leaves 4th Ward Seat Vacant, Will Go To Airbnb

By Sam Cholke | February 1, 2016 7:56am | Updated on February 1, 2016 8:17am
 Ald. Will Burns (4th) on Monday announced he would step down from his position as alderman.
Ald. Will Burns (4th) on Monday announced he would step down from his position as alderman.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

HYDE PARK — After five years serving in the City Council, Ald Will Burns (4th) is resigning to join Airbnb, the website that lets homeowners temporarily rent out their homes.

The 42-year-old alderman who replaced Toni Preckwinkle when she became Cook County Board president in 2011 is said to be stepping down this week, leaving Mayor Rahm Emanuel a vacant spot to fill.

On Monday, Airbnb confirmed Burns has been hired as a senior advisor and director of Midwest policy.

"We are thrilled to have Will Burns joining our growing team at Airbnb,” said Chris Lehane, global head of policy and public affairs. “Alderman Burns will be a difference maker for those everyday people who depend on home sharing to help make ends meet — and we are very fortunate to have him leading our efforts in the rapidly growing Midwest, as well as benefiting from his counsel as a senior member of our policy team."

On Monday morning, Mayor Emanuel said he's in the process of finding Burns' replacement.

"I want to congratulate Will Burns on this new chapter in his life, but we will certainly miss him as a City Council member,” Emanuel said in a statement. “He has spent the last five years advocating for better public schools, attracting new business and improving economy in the 4th Ward.”

Burns was not available for comment.

Once Burns steps down, Emanuel will have 60 days to appoint a replacement.

Emanuel said there will be an online application process and a commission of 4th Ward community members led by Michelle Harris, chairman of the Committee on Rules, Committees and Ethics, will review the applications.

He was re-elected alderman in February 2015.

From 2009 to 2011, Burns served as state representative for the 26th District.

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