Park Ridge mayor chooses candidate to fill vacant City Council seat
Updated: July 15, 2012 2:31PM
Park Ridge Mayor David Schmidt plans to recommend the appointment of longtime Park Ridge resident Marc Mazzuca to the vacant 6th Ward aldermanic seat next week.
Mazzuca was one of four applicants interviewed June 7 by a four-member committee formed by Schmidt. The mayor expects the City Council will approve Mazzuca’s appointment during a June 18 meeting.
“He was the consensus choice of the committee and he’s got an excellent financial background. It’s something we need right now,” Schmidt said. “I think the 6th Ward will be well-represented and I know his attendance will be better than what the 6th Ward has received over the past few years.”
Schmidt had reached out to Mazzuca, asking him to consider applying for the aldermanic vacancy following the resignation of Tom Bernick in May. If approved by the City Council, Mazzuca will serve as alderman until May 2013.
He is taking a wait-and-see approach on whether he will run for a full, four-year term next year.
“There’s a lot of time between now and the time I’ll have to decide,” Mazzuca said. “If I think I can make a difference, I’ll consider it.”
Mazzuca, a Maine South High School graduate and a resident of the city for more than 30 years, is manager of corporate risk management for a suburban financial-services firm. He has a background in finance, including a master’s degree in business administration.
Mazzuca ran for alderman of the 6th Ward in 2005, but was defeated by five votes.
“I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to serving on the council and helping in any way I can,” Mazzuca said.
The other candidates interested in the vacant 6th Ward seat were former 7th Ward alderman Jeff Cox, now a resident of the 6th Ward; former Maine Township trustee Peter Ryan; and Rick Pucci, owner of a financial planning business in Park Ridge.
Before interviewing, each candidate was asked to answer a questionnaire prepared by committee members Robert Trizna, Rick Biagi and Gail Haller. The questionnaires included 19 questions ranging from the most important issues facing the city to whether the city should provide funding to private organizations and businesses and if the candidate made a contribution to Schmidt’s mayoral campaign.
According to Mazzuca’s completed questionnaire the five most significant problems facing the city are addressing budget issues, “holding city staff accountable for the quality of service they provide,” infrastructure planning, managing economic development, and limiting negative impacts on the city caused by O’Hare International Airport expansion and Rivers Casino in Des Plaines.
Mazzuca does not believe the city should contribute tax dollars to private organizations or businesses if the money is not spent “for wholly public purposes.” He did not make a financial contribution to Schmidt’s 2007 mayoral campaign.