Interested in becoming a Riverside Township trustee? If so, you have until Oct. 29 to apply to fill a vacancy on the township board created when Thomas Morrissey resigned his position as a trustee after being appointed as a Cook County Circuit Court judge.
Letters of interest and resumes from those interested in filling the vacancy are due no later than 3 p.m. on Oct. 29. They can be submitted in person at township office at the Riverside Town Hall between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.
Letters of interest and resumes can also be emailed to Supervisor@riversidetownship.org or sent by regular mail to Supervisor Vera A. Wilt, Riverside Township, 27 Riverside Road, Riverside, 60546.
Riverside Township Trustees are paid $6,282.48 annually for serving on the board.
Candidates for the position will be interviewed by the township board on Nov. 2. Wilt said the person selected will serve until the next township election in 2025. Riverside Township includes all but one precinct of the village of Riverside, the village of North Riverside east of 9th Avenue, the Hollywood section of Brookfield, unincorporated Riverside Lawn and small wedge of Lyons bounded by Ogden Avenue, Pershing Road and Harlem Avenue.
Township trustees formally accepted Morrissey’s letter of resignation at their Oct. 13 meeting. Wilt said two people have so far expressed interest in the position. Wilt and the three remaining township trustees, Liane Blauw, Mary Rob Clarke and Timothy Heilenbach, will choose Morrisey’s replacement.
Morrissey only served on the township board for a short time having been elected in April as part of the newly formed Riverside Township Unity Party. Township elections are nominally partisan elections and, traditionally, Republicans have been the only party to run candidates
Morrissey is a Democrat and Wilt, Blauw, Clarke and Heilenbach all had run under the Republican Party banner in 2017.
With the only Democratic trustee leaving the board, Riverside Township Democratic Committeeman and State Rep. Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside) might be expected to play a role in picking the person who replaces Morrissey.
Zalewski reportedly has been asking some local activists for suggestions as to who might make a good township trustee. However, in an email to the Landmark, Zalewski discounted any role he might play in the process of picking Morrissey’s replacement.
“In my capacity as Riverside Township committeeman, I support an open and transparent process where candidates can submit their credentials and the township board can make a selection after,” Zalewski wrote. “I am more focused on a good process here. I think anyone with an interest and substantive input should apply to be heard and interviewed.”
Wilt said that while being a Democrat will not be an absolute requirement, that’s the direction she and the trustees likely will go to preserve the bipartisan nature of the Riverside Township Unity Party slate.
“We certainly are going to strongly consider a Democrat, because that’s the whole point of a unity party,” Wilt said. “But I’m not going to say, ‘Oh, we’re going to exclude someone.’”