The city council's eight-hour budget meeting last week seemed like exactly the right time to start asking alders if they're running for re-election next spring.
"Yes," said Ald. Jed Sanborn, "though I change my mind five times a day."
Ald. Brenda Konkel also said yes, "but I should have my head examined." Konkel was peeved because several alders, led by Mark Clear, had blocked her attempt to ask city staff why their budgets for supplies had increased dramatically for 2009. (Human Resources, for example, got $63,232 for next year, even though it only spent $45,332 on supplies in 2007.)
"I have issues that are important to me, regardless of how I get treated by my colleagues," said Konkel.
Ald. Julia Kerr is running, too. "I have a lot of work to do," she said, declining to elaborate. She said she'd promised certain people she wouldn't divulge her plans for her south-side district.
One mystery is whether Ald. Mike Verveer will run for re-election. Verveer is still mulling his decision, but his fans are speaking up. The executive council of Capitol Neighborhoods Inc. recently sent Verveer a letter, asking him to stay.
Ledell Zellers, the group's past president and executive council member, sings Verveer's praises.
"We have a high regard for his ability to represent his district," she says. "We hope he will run again, but we support him in whatever he decides is best."
Some people think Zellers will run if Verveer does not. "I'm really hoping Mike will continue being our representative," she says. "He's good at getting things done."