Sun-Times Updated: January 17, 2013 11:59AM
Sandi Jackson assured her faithful supporters that she was still large and in charge as she signed off as the 7th Ward alderman Tuesday night.
It was almost symbolic that Jackson, who commuted from Washington, D.C., to represent the South Side ward, said goodbye by telephone.
Media were barred from the gathering, but the alderman’s remarks were recorded by someone in the room with a cellphone who turned it over to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Although Mayor Rahm Emanuel has promised that his first aldermanic appointment would be based on a transparent community process, Jackson all but declared her chief of staff, Keiana Barrett, as her successor.
“From an insider’s point of view, Mayor Rahm may say he wants to have interviews. The people he will interview will be the people I am suggesting,” Jackson told the gathering made up mostly of precinct workers. “They are interviewing people in the community, but they do that to calm people down. People want to have their input. But for the most part, they turn that matter over to the alderman.”
On Tuesday, Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed reported that Barrett was under consideration as Jackson’s replacement until it was discovered that she doesn’t live in the ward.
Jackson told supporters that Barrett would be appointed after the residency issue is resolved.
“We are going to be able to move forward according to state law,” Jackson said.
One mayoral source laughed when I shared Jackson’s comments about selecting her successor.
“As the mayor outlined yesterday, there will be a comprehensive process to identify a replacement to serve Chicago’s 7th Ward,” said Tarrah Cooper, the mayor’s press secretary, in an email.