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Thursday, April 6, 2006 05:37 pm

The Hype

MIA on the censure resolution, homelessness as a city issue in 07, Redpaths new title

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AN ISSUE IN 2007? Now that spring has arrived, Capt. Deon Oliver, head of the Salvation Army in Springfield, says that, unfortunately, folks have moved on and forgotten about homelessness in the city. However, Oliver hopes that they’ll remember this time next year, when Mayor Tim Davlin¬†goes up for reelection and five city wards each choose a new alderman. Oliver gives the mayor credit for stepping up his game in terms of helping the organization find new digs this winter, adding that although Davlin “could and should have done more,” he holds all city leaders equally responsible. The Salvation Army, whose attempt to relocate across the street from Oak Ridge Cemetery was thwarted by the City Council earlier this year, wants to find a new location before summer, but there are no possibilities on the horizon, Oliver says. So far, he says, the Army has scheduled about five meetings per week to discuss or visit various potential locales, working with Springfield planning and economic-development director Mike Farmer. Also helping the process along, Oliver says, is Ward 10 Ald. Bruce Strom, who has been mentioned as a mayoral candidate.

NOT GOOD FOR THE GANDER Last Friday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee convened to bat around a resolution, sponsored by Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold, calling on Congress to censure President George W. Bush over his controversial domestic-surveillance program. Just three of the committee’s eight Democratic members even bothered to show up to the meeting. One of the no-shows: U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois. Durbin, who is also the party whip, appeared on the TV program Fox News Sunday on March 19 and stated that he didn’t consider censure talk “a valuable discussion at this point.” Although Durbin — like most of his Senate colleagues, including the state’s junior senator, Barack Obama — appears uninterested in scolding Bush for his wiretapping program, he was one of 21 Democrats to co-sponsor a bill to censure then-President Bill Clinton for tapping something else. Nevertheless, when asked repeatedly by host Chris Wallace whether impeachment was a possibility, Durbin said that he wouldn’t rule anything out.

REDPATH TAKES OVER COMMITTEE On Monday, Ward 6 Ald. Mark Mahoney stepped down as chairman of the Springfield City Council’s public-affairs committee. Mahoney nominated fellow Democrat and Ward 4 Ald. Chuck Redpath as his successor and Redpath tapped Ward 1 Ald. Frank Edwards as his co-chairman. Redpath recently quit his state job to run for the Legislature, but lost his primary bid to Sangamon County Board member Sam Cahnman. Next week, the council’s finance, utilities, and public-works committees will also elect new chairmen.
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