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Huberman May Have to Charm City Council for Approval

By Hunter Clauss in News on Feb 9, 2009 6:40PM

2009_02_09_hub.jpg Mayor Daley’s pick to head Chicago Public Schools might have to be approved by the City Council. That’s according to a lawsuit filed by activist and 2007 Mayoral candidate William Dock Walls, who’s just the latest critic to sound off on the appointment of Ron Huberman as CPS CEO. The lawsuit argues that Huberman’s appointment has to comply the city municipal code, which states that the City Council must approve “all officers of the city” who are picked by the mayor. But the mayor receives the power to choose the CEO from state law, which doesn’t say anything about the city council. The lawsuit, however, argues that the state law doesn’t indicate that the city council can be left out of the decision-making process.

It’s an interesting argument and we’re curious to see what happens, but it’s doubtful that Walls will get what he really wants—the appointment of an experienced educator like Barbara Eason-Watkins. Eason-Watkins worked closely with former schools chief Arne Duncan and emerged as a likely successor when Duncan left for DC. There has been speculation that Eason-Watkins may join Duncan now that Huberman is at the helm, which worries some critics because Huberman has no experience in education. But when did that ever stop Huberman? When he was picked by the mayor to head the CTA, Huberman’s only transportation experience, aside from being a dreamboat, was driving a school bus for three years while in college. Perhaps that’s proof enough that boyish good looks can get you anywhere. Although, sorry ladies, it looks like Huberman is batting for the other team.

But the real problem with Walls’s plan is that Huberman would most likely be approved by the City Council if he has to. Plenty of aldermen have worked with Huberman in the past when he was Daley’s chief-of-staff and president of the CTA. Plus, Daley has enough allies on the council to make to make it happen. But hey, at least the school buses might run on time.

Photo taken from CTA Tattler.