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33rd Ward Ald. Mell retires, daughter to replace him

33rd Ward Ald. Dick Mell  is retiring after 38 years in office. His last day on the job is July 24.

Mell is also 33rd Ward Democratic Committeemen, a job he plans to keep.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel named Mell’s daughter, State Rep. Deborah Mell, as his replacement.

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Wednesday’s Chicago City Council meeting was the last for retiring Alderman Richard Mell and the first for his daughter, Deb Mell.

She succeeds her father as the new alderman of Chicago’s 33rd ward.

Reflecting on his retirement Mell said, “What I liked about this job was the one-on-one contact with my constituency that sometimes you lose today with all the emails.”

Mell spent almost four decades in public service.

He now plans to work on his business ventures and possibly help out with future political campaigns.

Mell has been replaced by his daughter, Deb, who jokingly referred to her father during her first speech as 33rd Ward Alderman, “I think my father probaby speaks a little longer than I do, so I suspect our city council meetings are going to be a little shorter.”

Her comments were greeted by laughter and applause from fellow aldermen.

Mayor Emanuel named State Rep. Deb Mell to replace her father on the Chicago City Council.

Long-time Alderman Dick Mell officially retires today as 33rd Ward alderman.

Deb Mell is expected to be sworn in this morning during the City Council hearing.

Mell announced his retirement earlier this month, but he will continue as 33rd Ward democratic committeeman.

The Chicago Mayor’s Office has released the names of the people being considered to replace Ald. Richard Mell in the 33rd Ward.

Mell retires on July 24.

Fourteen people applied, and following a vetting process, 12 people were deemed eligible for the position: Robert F. Elrick, Elizabeth Lynn Gomez, Gretchen Carol Helmreich, Jonathan Andrew Markel, Maellen Elizabeth Pittman-Fernandez, Grace Troccolo Rink, Edmund Joseph Sieracki, Matthew Boyd Terry, Andrew Amador Tinajero, Annisa Michele Wanat, Sergiusz Piotr Zgrzebski and Illinois State Rep. Deb Mell.

Illinois State Rep. Deb Mell wants to take her father’s place as Chicago’s 33rd Ward Alderman. She says she’s qualified because her district includes some of the ward.

A search committee will remove unqualified applicants before selecting a group of finalists.

The mayor will then pick the new alderman from that group.

The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.

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Illinois State Rep. Deb Mell wants to take her father’s place as Chicago’s 33rd Ward Alderman.

Ald. Richard Mell retires on July 24. Deb Mell is one of 14 people to apply for the seat. The mayor’s office declined to release the other names of those who applied.

She says she’s qualified because her district includes some of the ward.

A search committee will remove unqualified applicants before selecting a group of finalists.

The mayor will then pick the new alderman from that group.

The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.

One of Chicago’s longest-serving alderman talked Friday about why he’s hanging it up.

33rd Ward Ald. Dick Mell  is retiring after 38 years in office.

Mell is also 33rd Ward Democratic Committeemen,  a job he plans to keep.

Alderman Richard MellMell told reporters at City Hall he’s been lucky in his career.  But his biggest disappointments were the loss of his wife, Marge, in 2006 to Progressive supranuclear palsy, and the conviction of his son-in-law, former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Mell’s last day on the job is July 24.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel will name a replacement, but it’s widely expected that the job will go to Mell’s daughter,  State Rep. Deborah Mell.

Ald. Richard Mell, 33rd Ward, announced his retirement earlier this week.

At a news conference Friday, he stated he is “probably one of the luckiest individuals,” except for two incidents. Those incidents, he said, are his wife’s illness and death and the situation with his son-in-law, disgraced and imprisoned former Governor Rod Blagojevich.

After nearly four decades in office, Ald. Richard Mell submitted his resignation letter effective July 24, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office confirms.

“Alderman Mell has served the City of Chicago and the 33rd Ward with distinction for nearly 40 years,” Emanuel said in a statement. “In a city known for its colorful characters, Alderman Mell is a larger than life Chicago character who, just like the Billy Goat and Second City, is a Chicago institution and, in his own way, he has defined what public service and class look like.”

“Always at his desk – sometimes on it – Alderman Mell has served the residents of the 33rd Ward well for nearly four decades. As a Chicagoan, as a colleague, as mayor and as a friend, I will miss him. Alderman Mell may be succeeded in the City Council, but he is a one-of-a-kind who can never be replaced,” he said.

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Ald. Dick Mell to retire. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Tribune

Mell, 74, has been toying with the idea of stepping down for several years and speculation has focused on his daughter, state Rep. Deborah Mell, being appointed to replace him in the long Chicago tradition of political nepotism.

Emanuel ultimately gets to choose who will replace Mell, and in a statement, he described the process by which he’ll do so.

Starting at 9 a.m. Friday, any eligible resident of the 33rd Ward will be able to apply for the alderman position. The application deadline is 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 11. Then, the mayor will appoint a community-based commission to review the applicaitons and submit a list of finalists for him to choose from.

This process is identical to the one used to find a 2nd Ward Alderman replacement after Sandi Jackson resigned.

The mayor expects to have the new alderman sworn in at the City Council meeting on July 24.

A spokesman at Mell’s office told WGN that the alderman will be holding a news conference on Friday at noon to “answer everyone’s questions at the same time.”

The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.

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