Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner Will Step Down Oct. 30 Due to Battle With Cancer
In a surprise announcement today (Thursday, Aug. 26, 2016), Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner said he will step down as mayor effective Oct. 30, 2016, due in large part to his longstanding battle with cancer.
“I do this with considerable reluctance, as I have dearly loved my job as mayor of this wonderful city that opened its arms to me and my wife some 43 years ago,” Weisner said.
Weisner said he based the decision “on my sense that I cannot continue much longer to serve our city at the same level I worked to maintain over the past 11-plus years.”
Weisner has been dealing with cancer most of his three terms as mayor.
“Despite regular chemotherapy, I have been able to fully function within our ‘strong mayor’ form of government, which unlike most cities, includes the day-to-day management of city operations, as well as the other duties most mayors perform,” he said. “I have recently begun to feel that I cannot continue to perform at the level I expect of myself and I do not wish to remain as mayor if I can’t.”
The next general municipal election for mayor of Aurora is scheduled to take place in April 2017. Per state law, the Aurora City Council will be responsible for selecting an acting mayor from among its members to fulfill the remainder of Weisner’s term.
The news release said the city’s legal counsel is reviewing the laws and procedures for selection of an acting mayor and will provide further direction to the City Council at the next regularly scheduled Committee of the Whole meeting, set for Sept. 6.
In the news release, Weisner credits “an exceptional city staff” and thanks “City Councils composed almost entirely of good and honest people who had the best interests of all of Aurora’s people at heart.” The release included a personal statement from Weisner that touches many bases.
“Let me say that I have led a fortunate life, to date,” he said. “I have had both the honor and the stimulating challenge of leading Illinois’s second largest city through the Great Recession. I am most thankful for both that honor and that challenge, for this has caused me to try to operate consistently at my very best. No doubt, I haven’t always succeeded, but as Theodore Roosevelt might say, I have been blessed to be ‘the man in the arena.’
“I do not know what the future brings . . . or how long my future will be. When you think about it, none of us really does. To the extent the Good Lord will abide me, I will continue to work toward what I believe in, though in a more measured way.
“Lastly, let me thank the good people of Aurora who have made me so proud of this city. It is you, who work so hard to raise a family, to provide, to abide by the law and your religious beliefs, to volunteer, to help your neighbor, and to tolerate the imperfections of government … it is you who make me feel that my life has been so worthwhile.
“Thank you, and God bless you for allowing me to be your mayor.”
SOURCE: city of Aurora news release