I couldn’t help but note the irony when Board President Scott Lennon announced at today’s inauguration that the new chair of the Land Use Committee is Marc Laredo. He replaces Ted Hess-Mahan, who you might recall, ran for mayor while simultaneously running for reelection to his alderman at-large seat. Part of Hess-Mahan’s reasoning behind hanging onto his alderman seat while campaigning for a better gig was that without him — or someone who knows as much as he does — chairing Land Use or working in the administration, the proposed redevelopment of three city properties could “go to hell in a handbag.”
I can only speculate as to why this replacement took place. Lennon doesn’t make big moves easily and there has to be something behind this. I doubt it’s because Hess-Mahan proved himself unworthy in the job.
I’ve always thought Hess-Mahan did a good job as Land Use chair. Ted certainly agrees with me. Perhaps that was the problem? It’s never a good strategy to tell your colleagues — or your leadership — that you are indispensable. If I thought an employee had created a situation where he or she was the only person who could do the job, the first thing I’d do is train somebody else. Laredo has been on the committee for two years and he’s a capable guy. Maybe Lennon took the job away from Hess-Mahan because of his ego?
But that doesn’t sound like reason enough.* Is Ted somehow being punished for running for mayor? Did he anger his colleagues? Is there something else going on behind the scenes?
*I will ask Scott, but I’m certain I won’t get an on-the record answer. I looked for both Scott and Ted after the inauguration ceremony but they both left quickly.
Hess-Mahan was appointed vice-chairman of Real Property Reuse, an ad hoc committee. In other leadership change news: Deb Crossley has replaced Anthony Salvucci as chair of Public Facilities. Congratulations to Marc and Deb.