Willie Hines Is Leaving the Common Council Tomorrow

Jan. 31, 2014
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Well, this came as a surprise. To me, at least. 

One of the most powerful men in city government is leaving his position tomorrow. And he already has a job lined up.

Yup. Common Council President Willie Hines is stepping down from his seat effective tomorrow. He’s taking a job with the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee. He starts next week.

Here’s the official press release. (Wonder what the real story is… I’ll try to find out.)

UPDATE: Word is that Hines wanted to move up or move out and didn't want to have a drawn-out departure. So, he's filling a fairly long-vacant post at the Housing Authority.


President Hines to Vacate Common Council Seat


Common Council President Willie L. Hines, Jr., who has served as Milwaukee’s 15th District Alderman since 1996 and Council president since 2004, announced today that he is resigning his seat on the Council effective tomorrow, February 1, 2014. Alderman Hines will take a position at the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, and will begin his work there next week.


Alderman Hines currently serves as chair of the Housing Authority board, and will vacate his position on the board as well. At its February 11 regular meeting, the Common Council will vote to elect a new president (a special election will also eventually be held to fill the vacant Council seat). 


“It has been an honor and privilege to serve the residents of the 15th District and all of the City of Milwaukee for the last 18 years,” Alderman Hines said. “We have so much to be proud of and thankful for. After ten years in the President’s chair, the time has come for a new challenge, and to let the next Council member continue the work for the district.”


This past fall, Hines oversaw the passage of his 10th budget as Common Council President. The budget passed unanimously, and was signed into law by Mayor Tom Barrett with no vetoes.


“We have built a strong working relationship between the members of the Council, and with the Mayor,” Alderman Hines said. “It was a proud moment to see the Council come together, despite strongly divergent views, and pass a thoughtful budget unanimously, which then won the full support of the Mayor.”


Hines grew up in the neighborhood he represents on the Council, and as a boy frequented the Boys Club and the YMCA, and lived for a time in public housing. He has dedicated much of his time in office to improving public safety and developing stronger urban neighborhoods.


“I feel good about what we’ve been able to do to improve our neighborhoods and our city,” he said. “I worked to strengthen Lindsay Heights, Sherman Park, Walnut Way and other neighborhoods throughout the district where we’ve seen tremendous, sustained success. I’m proud of our work to forge partnerships between schools, the YMCA, the Boys & Girls Club and many other partners, which has led to better facilities for our children and more opportunities for our citizens.”


Prior to creative partnerships like MetPlex, clubs and schools were built under two separate roofs,” Alderman Hines said, referring to the innovative mixed-use facility just east of N. 35th St. and W. North Ave. that houses a school during the day and after-school and community programs in the evening and on weekends. “The schools sat empty in the evenings and the clubs sat unoccupied during the day. By bringing the city, MPS, Boys & Girls Clubs, the Potawatomi and others together, we’ve found innovative solutions that strengthen neighborhoods.”


Hines sponsored legislation to secure $20 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to establish the City of Milwaukee’s Me2 Energy Efficiency Program, reducing energy expenditures for residents and businesses while creating jobs to implement energy- efficiency projects. 


“In my view, the new, green urban economy – with its hallmark emphasis on sustainability and urban architecture – is here to stay,” he said. 


“I see Milwaukee getting stronger,” he said. “The Potawatomi are expanding their footprint and building a great new hotel. Manpower brought their headquarters downtown, Time Warner Cable stayed, and Northwestern Mutual is not only staying, they are building a new, world-class facility. The Harley-Davidson Museum, Discovery World, the Art Museum & the Public Museum, our breweries, our lakefront, our neighborhoods and all our great people – we are attracting more residents and getting recognized all over the world.”


“It’s time for me to take on a new challenge, but I’m staying right here in Milwaukee and my goal will be to continue to work to strengthen neighborhoods,” he said.




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