Alderman Dick Mell denies report of retirement

January 4, 2013 9:16:37 AM PST
Alderman Dick Mell is denying a published report that he is planning to retire.

In an exclusive television interview, the Chicago alderman told ABC7's Jessica D'Onofrio he has no plans to retire.

Mell is the second longest serving alderman in Chicago's City Council.

Mell told ABC7 Friday morning that he is not ready to step down, contrary to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Mell said he admits he has mentioned retirement in the past, but he is just not ready to go yet.

"The next couple of months, no. Sometime, maybe, but not in the next couple of months," Mell said.

After 38 years as alderman of the 33rd Ward on the Northwest Side, Mell dispelled rumors that he will be stepping down in the next few months.

"I've talked about this for the last five years," said Mell. "When winter comes, I think about being down in Florida for a couple of months."

Mell said that he has no plans to go anywhere, despite the article saying he told his associates it's time to say good-bye.

The powerful and influential Alderman, who was elected back in 1975, wants his constituents to me he is staying put.

"I'll be here, shoveling snow, if that's the likelihood during the winter," said Mell. "I like this job. I try to do the best I can. It's a great city. There's a lot of things I'd like to accomplish."

Mell is the second longest-serving member of the Chicago City Council. He is the father-in-law of convicted former Illinois Governor rod Blagojevich. His daughter Deb Mell is a state representative.

There were reports Deb Mell would become 33rd Ward alderman if her father decided to leave office.

"I would love to see that happen, but that's not necessarily a possibility," said Dick Mell. "If i stay the whole term, if she decides to run, other people will obviously run against her, and if I step out and she's appointed, which I'm not sure that she's going to be, I'm not sure she wants to be, there would be a special election."

Mell said, when he does decide to leave in the future, it would be very hard for him to say good-bye to a job he has known for so long. But he does say, eventually, he wants to spend more time with his grandchildren.

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