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UPDATE: City Council Appoints Final Member

Daniel Kaufman will fill Mayor's recently vacated seat.

After sifting through 27 applicants with the , has chosen Daniel A. Kaufman to fill the seat she left vacant when she  April 5.

“I'm really looking forward to Daniel joining the team," Rotering told Patch on Thursday. “He brings his own unique set of perspectives and experiences to the conversation on the dais.”

Kaufman also expressed excitement when he spoke with Patch Thursday.

"I’m excited to work with the mayor, City Council and staff and community to help Highland Park be a wonderful, progressive community in which to live, work and do business," Kaufman said. "As a nearly lifelong resident of Highland Park, a progressive community, I want to help continue the tradition."

Kaufman was chair of the Highland Park Housing Commission between 2000 and 2003 and served on the commission for three years after that. He was also a Highland Park Human Relations commissioner between 1992 and 1999.

"I've known Dan for a number of years," said Thursday. "He has all of the necessary qualifications that I would like to see in a person on the council."

Affordable housing architect

Currently serving on the Board of Directors of Community Partners for Affordable Housing, Kaufman is considered "one of the principal architects of ," according to a press release issued by the city Thursday.

“It promotes diversity," Kaufman said about the city's affordable housing program. "It lets people live in Highland Park who may not be able to afford it. It lets people who work in Highland Park live here as well. I proud it is a successful model program.”

In 2005,  appointed Kaufman to sit on a blue ribbon panel for affordable housing for the state.

Class of 1979 well-represented

Kaufman joins Rotering and as another class of 1979  graduate, after which he went on to graduate Phi Beta Kappa from Amherst College in 1983 and receive his law degree from the University of Chicago in 1986.

He currently works as a partner with the Chicago law firm Michael Best & Friedlich, which specializes in employment and business litigation.

“He's run his law firm with hundreds of employees and a sizable business," Rotering said of Kaufman's experience. "He understands a lot of questions and issues needed to create policy for a large organization."

commended Rotering Thursday for the open process in which she made her appointment. Rotering invited the community to apply for the position, then interviewed applicants and discussed them with the rest of the council before deciding.

"That's a great first effort towards openness," Frank said.

Once the 27 applicants had been narrowed to a small number of candidates, the mayor made the final decision.

"Everyone pretty much unanimously agreed we would be happy with her selection of what was down to a really small group of candidates," Blumberg said.

"He’ll be an excellent addition to the Council," Kirsch said about Kaufman.

A 'Steady Eddy'

Blumberg called Kaufman a "Steady Eddy" and said he would bring "a level of maturity, insighfulness and thoughtfulness to the position."

"He's a really solid citizen," Blumberg said.

said that Kaufman has "all the things it takes" to be a part of the City Council, though he was disappointed the person chosen was neither a woman nor a resident of the west side of the city.

"I wanted a woman and I wanted a west sider," Mandel said, "and he is neither of those things."

Mandel added, however, that Kaufman was "in the top three" of his list, and said he was enthusiastic about his appointment, which happens at the City Council meeting on Monday, July 11.

"We'll find out what all of this city council is about … in about two to three months," Mandel said. "Until then it's hard to say anything."

Larry Silberman June 03, 2011 at 12:23 AM
Excellent appointment. Congratulations to Dan and to the Mayor and Council for your thoughtful management of the process as well as your profound wisdom in your decision.
Margie Rissman June 03, 2011 at 03:08 PM
Congratulations Dan! You are a great addition to the Council and I wish you my very best!

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