“Mr. Russell has impressed City Hall observers for not being afraid to question things at City Hall.

He was the first councilor to challenge the method used in setting new assessed valuations for commercial and industrial properties, contending it may be a big reason assessments for those properties have skyrocketed.

He also succeeded in changing the city’s sign ordinance so residents can now put up twice as many political signs on their property than was previously allowed. Working with the mayor, he has also been successful in cutting some of the red tape that small businesses have to deal with at City Hall when it comes to parking lots for their businesses.

He has also been highly critical of the city administration for taking so long to resolve the issue of foul balls hitting nearby neighbors’ homes at the new Vernon Hill Park baseball diamond, and he is pushing the city to cut its ties with Bank of America because he does not feel it has treated those people whose homes it foreclosed on in a respectful way.

“George had big shoes to fill when he came on the council succeeding Paul Clancy, but he has very much been on top of things,” Mr. Petty said.”

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