Wheaton now must fill Evelyn Sanguinetti's spot on city council
The Wheaton City Council will soon pick a resident to fill a seat vacated this week by Evelyn Pacino Sanguinetti, who next month will be sworn in as the state's lieutenant governor.
Sanguinetti's resignation was effective Monday at the close of a city council meeting. She made it a point during the meeting to thank residents and city staff and council members.
"I met many of you as I was going to door to door and I came to you with all my vulnerabilities, all my brokenness, and just wanted to serve all of you with a servant's heart," she said.
Even though she'll be taking over a greater responsibility in Springfield alongside Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, Sanguinetti said she will "still be here."
"I'll still be living in Wheaton," she said. "I'm not uprooting my family, so you still have me, except that my service will be statewide."
City Clerk Sharon Barrett-Hagen said the city has 60 days from the date of Sanguinetti's resignation to appoint someone to fill her seat on a temporary basis.
The city has not started accepting applications yet, but Barrett-Hagen said she anticipates residents will be able to formally express their interest "in the near future."
"We will put out an official press release for people interested," she said. "There's nothing that governs us with how soon we have to seek the applications."
Four people have filed to run for the two open seats on the city council. They are incumbent John Prendiville and three newcomers: Tony Lyons, Ronald Almiron and Suzanne Fitch.
Barrett-Hagen said any of the people who already have filed to be on the ballot can apply for the temporary position.
Once applications are in, there will be closed-session interviews of the candidates. The mayor will then make a recommendation and appoint the person, with approval from the city council.
The appointed person will only serve until the winners of the two at-large seats are sworn in, which Barrett-Hagen anticipates will occur at the first city council meeting in May.
Prendiville said he hopes Sanguinetti can "do as well for the state" as she did for the city. "It's been a pleasure serving with you and I hope you bring your enthusiasm and your eagerness to Springfield and get some things done down there for the betterment of the state," he said.
Councilman Phil Suess wished Sanguinetti "continued success" and said he hopes she doesn't forget about Wheaton.
"I think it's a real benefit for the state of Illinois to have someone who's familiar with municipal government assuming a statewide role," he said. "I think that brings a perspective that might be helpful to the broader issues at the state."