Sneed exclusive: Mell prepared to go gracefully

SHARE Sneed exclusive: Mell prepared to go gracefully

Former 33rd Ward Ald. Richard Mell. | For the Sun-Times

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He’s the Mell man!

The colorful career of former Ald. Dick Mell, a legend in the annals of the Chicago City Council, will probably end with an exclamation mark!

“I’m a dinosaur, I know it,” said Mell — once the City’s Council’s most vocal alderman who is now remaining mum since perching on the edge of his political career.

“I may be 64 votes behind right now, but the election is not over until the fat lady sings,” said Mell, who hopes to hold on to his 33rd ward Dem committeeman hat.

“But it would also not bother me to lose,” he said. “I don’t feel sad!”

“It has been a wonderful journey. I am thrilled with the 40 years of being in one of the greatest political atmospheres of our country — Chicago.

“I know I’m a dinosaur. I don’t tweet, or do Facebook, or do Instagram. My grandchildren are more tech savvy than I am.

“I don’t read blogs by individuals who sit and don’t go out in the world doing anything positive.

“But the ward has changed. Yuppies. Hipsters. I had no intention of running last time except I wanted to make sure Jaime Andrade Jr. become our state representative.

“Committeemen are no longer powerful like they once were. It’s all an endless bureaucracy now.

“But all the absentee votes aren’t tallied yet,” said Mell, who equated this election with “the narrow victory of my daughter, Debbie,” 33rd ward Ald. Deborah Mell.

“Debbie was losing, but finally won by 18 votes when all the absentee votes were counted,” he said.


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“Win or lose, it doesn’t really matter. I’ve had a great life. I’ve met popes and presidents and the little guy on the street — wonderful, wonderful people who I have been able to help along the way.

Trump ’em . . . 


The big, really big question: Why did Donald Trump stage his rally, which turned violent, at the UIC Pavilion in the heart of an ethnic melting pot begging for protesters?

Well, Sneed is still checking on that one.

• However!!! Sneed is told by a top GOP source who asked to be anonymous that the Donald’s Trumpsters had also inquired about hiring the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, the heart of Republicanville and Mayor Brad Stephens!

• To wit: Word is the Trumpsters balked at a $50,000 deposit fee claiming: “Hey, we sold over $40,000 in concessions during our Springfield rally earlier this year!”

Over and out.

Being Desiree . . . d?

Sneed hears Christie Hicks, former senior veep of Starwood Hotels, is on the list of those to be interviewed to replace outgoing Don Welsh as CEO of Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism engine rumored earlier this year to be coveted by former White House social secretary Desiree Rogers. 

• Translation: Word Mayor Rahm Emanuel was just teeing up to hand the job to Rogers, who is also the unsalaried head of the Choose Chicago board, may no longer be true. A source close to Rogers says she really isn’t interested in the job . . . now.

• Buckshot: Welsh, a superstar tourism pitchman, pulled the plug for a prestigious but lower-paying job in Washington, D.C. — following 18 frustrating months awaiting word that never came from Emanuel and Rogers on whether his contract was going to be renewed before it was due to expire in June.

Top tip . . . 

Pssst! Sneed hears City Treasurer Kurt Summers was a big behind-the-scenes grass roots/donor force helping to elect Dem primary winner Kim Foxx for Cook County state’s attorney.

What do Kurt, who is being eyed for a future mayoral race, and Kim have in common?

• Answer: Both were chiefs of staff to powerhouse Dem femme Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Top tip II . . . 

Fan alert! A pilot for Fox titled “The Exorcist,” which just announced it will be starring actress Geena Davis, began shooting in Chicago this month.

Sneedlings . . . 

Today’s birthdays: Rob Lowe,52; Mia Hamm, 44, and Patrick Duffy, 67.

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