Aurora’s next mayor, no matter who he or she may be, will have some big shoes to fill. In the wake of Mayor Weisner’s surprise announcement that he will step down for health reasons in roughly two months’ time, I thought it would be appropriate to offer this brief reflection and these words of gratitude.
In my mind, there is little doubt that Tom Weisner will go down as one of Aurora’s most effective, impactful and greatest mayors that our City has ever seen. Whether it’s the:
Nobody can refute that Aurora is a dramatically improved, stronger and safer community than it was 11+ years ago when Mayor Weisner first took office.
But when Tom Weisner leaves the 3rd floor of City Hall, what I will miss most will be the man himself—the larger-than-life personality that has made working in the Mayor’s Office these past five years such a joy. I’ll miss Tom’s quick wit and dry, often self-deprecating, humor and I’ll miss the inspiring and moving stories about the Weisner’s Peace Corps days, the families that Tom & Marilyn help every day or about their experiences raising Thaddeus, their special needs son who passed away early in the Mayor’s first term.
I have been blessed to know and see Tom Weisner as not just the Mayor of Illinois’ second largest city, but as a voice and advocate for the most vulnerable in our society, as a mentor and as a caring son, husband, father, grandfather & foster parent. It’s difficult for me to believe that it’s only been five years that I’ve been in this office because so much has been accomplished and because Tom Weisner’s leadership, advice and mentorship have shaped me so significantly. My five years in the Mayor’s Office under Tom Weisner has, without question, been the most meaningful and fulfilling job I’ve ever had. Despite the tremendous progress of the past 11+ years, I believe Tom Weisner would be the first to say that there is much work yet to be done—and that Aurora’s best days are very much right in front of us. So it is with bittersweet gratitude and very mixed emotions that I say: Thank you, Tom Weisner, for your incredible service to our great City. The entirety of Aurora is wishing you well and praying for your health and your family.
To learn more about the future opportunities that I believe are possible thanks to Mayor Weisner’s leadership, visit the ISSUES page.