Three people have applied for the position of Rolling Meadows alderman for Ward 3, Mayor Tom Rooney said Tuesday, and he has been told to expect two more applications.
The city needs a replacement for the late Larry Buske, who died Dec. 16. The new alderman will serve until the spring election in 2015, said Rooney, but if the vacancy had occurred before Nov. 29, the position would have been on the April ballot this year.
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Rooney will accept applications through Jan. 15. The number of applicants will be higher than the number of candidates in the upcoming municipal election. Three seats are on the April 9 ballot, and only one person has filed for each.
"People don't want to have to run against somebody," said the mayor. "They're saying they're better than somebody else in public. And they're worried things could get negative. Something like this is much more like applying for a job. It's very public losing an election, and there's a tally of how much they lost by."
However, after Jan. 15 Rooney will reveal the names of all the applicants because "it's a public position."
He wants to get a new alderman seated because now on nights when one additional alderman is absent some types of questions can fail even with the support of a majority. For example, on Tuesday night three aldermen voted to purchase a new staff car and two voted against it, but the issue failed because rules require four positive votes. The full council has seven aldermen.
Rooney kept Buske's chair draped in black and placed flowers in front of it Tuesday night. Rooney said he witnessed these gestures in the legislature when a sitting member died.
"I was moved by it when I was working there as a teen in the summer," he said. "I thought it wasn't flashy and was classy enough way to show the respect we all have for Larry."
Buske's nameplate is missing because Rooney presented it to Buske's wife, Brenda, during the funeral service.
All applicants must be residents of Ward 3. They should send a letter and a resume either to Mayor Tom Rooney, City Hall, 3600 Kirchoff Road, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone with questions can call Rooney at (847) 394-8500, ext. 1050.