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Colleen Murphy Elected President Of Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association

By Alex Nitkin | September 28, 2017 5:49am
 Murphy was voted president in an uncontested election Wednesday.
Murphy was voted president in an uncontested election Wednesday.
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DNAinfo/Alex Nitkin

JEFFERSON PARK — Members of the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association elected Colleen Murphy their new leader in an uncontested vote Wednesday, ending Bob Bank's two-year term as president.

Murphy, who will temporarily maintain her current role as chairwoman of the association's tax increment financing and zoning committee, vowed to guide the organization in the same direction as it was under Bank.

"We're just going to keep doing whatever we can to improve the neighborhood, and to represent what the majority of the neighborhood wants," Murphy said Wednesday.

Founded in 2001, the association has staked itself in vigorous opposition to a handful of large-scale apartment complexes proposed for downtown Jefferson Park in recent years, opting to try and preserve the neighborhood's small-town feel.

Bank was asked to run for president in 2015 against Ryan Richter, thwarting what Bank on Wednesday called an "attempted hostile takeover" of the association. After Richter lost the fiercely contested election, he founded Jefferson Park Forward, which now boasts more than 150 members.

Ron Ernst, a member and former leader of the association, filed a lawsuit this week on his own behalf to hobble construction of the 16-story Jefferson Place tower at the corner of Lipps Avenue and Ainslie Street, Bank said.

Ernst could not be reached for comment Wednesday to specify the details of the lawsuit.