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Burns eschews appointment, angles for votes

Burns asked Preckwinkle not to recommend him after he learned from constituents that they often view appointments as an unfair advantage.

Photo: Chris Salata/The Chicago Maroon
Will Burns asked to be unappointed so he could run in the primary rather than be appointed by the mayor.

Will Burns (A.B. ’95, A.M. ’98), state representative for the 26th Ward, will run in the open primary for Fourth Ward Alderman on November 2 rather than put his name forward for an appointment.

Current Fourth Ward Alderman and candidate for President of the Cook County Board Toni Preckwinkle had announced in April that she recommended Burns to Mayor Richard M. Daley as a replacement.

However, Burns asked her not to recommend him after he learned from constituents that they often view appointments as an unfair advantage that give politicians planning to run in the next election a leg up.

“I don’t want anyone in the ward to feel they didn’t have a say in my selection for City Council,” Burns told the Hyde Park Herald in the Wednesday article “Burns unappointed.” Said Burns: “The ward has a number of constituents who believe in fair play. Appointments are viewed as unfair, and I agree with them.”

Preckwinkle declined to comment to the Herald on whom she would recommend as “caretaker,” telling them she would consider it after the November 2 election.

In addition to Burns, George Rumsey, president of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, Norman Bolden, owner of the banquet facility Room 43, and financial consultant Brian Scott are also running for Fourth Ward Alderman.

  • Orion

    Burns is not doing this for some goo-goo good open government reason.

    He is covering his bases so that he will not have to give up his job as a state rep.

    If appointed, he would have to resign from being state rep. Then he would have to run and if he loses, he would be out of a job altogether.

    Furthermore, with the new rules surrounding the government pension plan, he wants to keep the meter running on his state pension and then transfer it over to the city should he be elected.