New councilman chosen in Wheaton

  • John Rutledge

    John Rutledge

Updated 3/22/2011 3:13 PM

A longtime real estate consultant and Wheaton resident is expected to be named to replace a Wheaton City Councilman who stepped down last month for personal reasons.

John Rutledge, 66, will be nominated at a special meeting Monday to replace Howard Levine, who resigned Feb. 22.


Mayor Mike Gresk said he was impressed by the field of 11 applicants who applied for the vacancy but Rutledge became the front-runner after several interviews.

"All the candidates were extremely well qualified," Gresk said. "They were encouraged to remain active in the community, encouraged to fill out city commissions. We also reminded them that these elections come every two years."

Three applicants were disqualified for residency issues and the remaining eight were pared down to the four finalists, who interviewed at Monday's meeting.

Rutledge will represent the South District, which covers the area south of Elm Street between Naperville and Warrenville roads and south of Farnham east of Naperville Road.

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He is president of Rutledge Company LLC, a home-based real estate consulting firm. Rutledge said he has kept up with several issues facing Wheaton, including downtown infrastructure, the Hubble Middle School debate and the referendum question on the Wheaton Grand Theater.

"I'm sure I will learn more from the staff and others than what I know today," he said. "But I'm probably as well informed as most in the general public and I come into this without an agenda."

Rutledge has lived in Wheaton for 39 years and he received a phone call notifying him of the opening last month. He said an early retirement years ago has given him time to dedicate to the city.

David Bianucci, Jim Kranjc and Steve Johnson also were finalists.

"They were all highly qualified, extremely talented individuals," Gresk said. "But Rutledge was the consensus candidate."