Longtime Alderman O'Connor named Aurora's acting mayor

Robert J. O'Connor, who ran for the Aurora mayor's job almost 40 years ago, will be the city's acting mayor.

City council members Tuesday night approved the appointment; O'Connor will replace three-term Mayor Tom Weisner, when he steps down Nov. 1 to continue his battle with cancer.

O'Connor is no stranger to city government. He lost by 32 votes to Jack Hill in the mayoral race of 1977. An alderman-at-large, O'Connor has been a city council member for more than 31 years. He said he has served as mayor pro-tem dozens of times.

"I want to express my appreciation to my fellow council members for their confidence in nominating me," O'Connor said after the confirmation vote. "I heard the expression a couple weeks ago that if you want to make God laugh, tell him that you have plans, because that will change. I look forward to November 1st when we can consider this further."

Aurora residents will elect a new mayor in April. Two council members, Alderman-at-Large Richard Irvin and Sixth Ward Alderman Michael Saville, have announced their candidacies for mayor.

O'Connor's aldermanic position also is up then. He has not announced whether he'll seek another term. He does not have to resign his post as alderman-at-large when he becomes acting mayor.

O'Connor, an Aurora attorney who practices law in the area of estate planning, wills and trusts and real estate, said he will begin working with Weisner very soon to discuss the city's upcoming budget process.

O'Connor, chairman of the council's finance committee, is a graduate of East Aurora High School, the University of Illinois and the University of Notre Dame Law School.

He is on the Illinois Council on Aging and is a board member of the Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging, The Aurora Police Foundation, and the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley. He is also a member of the Aurora Exchange Club and the Kane County Bar Association.

He and his wife Mary have two sons.

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