Saturday, April 21, 2007

Committee to Ponder McWilliams Memorial

A committee will be formed to gather and consider ideas on a fitting memorial for the late former Mayor Albert T. McWilliams, who served the city for eight years.

McWilliams died April 6 of renal cancer at age 53, leaving his wife, Darlene, and five children. He was credited with bringing a progressive approach to city government and supporting the initial election of most of the present council members. He sought but did not attain a third term.

Former public relations officer Dan Damon recently suggested naming the downtown Park-Madison building for McWilliams, a somewhat unlikely proposition because it was constructed under direction of the Union County Improvement Authority, whose executive director is Charlotte DeFilippo. She is also the Union County Democratic Committee chairman who dumped McWilliams just before the April 2005 filing date, leaving him to find his own resources for the June 2005 primary.

No City Council members will serve on the proposed ad hoc committee to come up with ideas for a memorial, but it will report back to the council. Members will be “people who had some sort of relationship with the former mayor and knew him well,” Councilman Cory Storch said.

McWilliams’ family will also be asked for their ideas on the best way to remember the mayor.

--Bernice Paglia


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