The City Council’s Rules Committee Wednesday night discussed the process for selecting a successor to Ald. Cicely Fleming (9th).
Mayor Daniel Biss said Fleming, who in December announced she was planning to step down, has now filed paperwork giving Feb. 15 as her resignation date.
Biss said he wants to move pretty quickly to name a successor after Fleming is off the council, “so 9th Ward residents don’t go without a representative very long.”
Because Fleming is resigning relatively early in her term, Biss and Corporation Counsel Nicholas Cummings said that under state law the person the mayor names to fill the vacancy will only have the job until the municipal election in April 2023, and would have to run in that election to retain the seat for the remainder of Fleming’s term.
Normally only school board candidates would be on the Evanston ballot for the 2023 election, and depending on how many candidates run for the 9th Ward aldermanic seat that year, there could also be a February primary.
Biss said he plans to have an online form for would-be new council members to use to apply for the position and would have one-on-one conversations with each of the applicants.
He said he wants to have “a public component to the process” and depending on the size of the applicant pool would have either all candidates or finalists he selects participate in a public forum.
State law says the City Council gets to vote on accepting the mayor’s choice to fill the aldermanic slot, but if the mayor and council reach an impasse, the mayor would end up with the final say.