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Cook County Board pays tribute to outgoing Hansen

Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Special to suffredin.org
by Damian Joseph Medill News Service

Carl R. Hansen ended his 36-year career with the Cook County Board on Tuesday, enjoying a rousing send-off from his fellow commissioners.
Interim President Bobbie Steele presented a unanimous board resolution to honor and thank Hansen for his many years of service and “the profound contributions he has made to Cook County government.”
Some of the Chicagoan’s most notable accomplishments include legislation to provide emergency 911 services for the entire county, an ethics code for Cook County officials and resolutions to create new courthouses in the northwest and southwest districts.
After one of the two standing ovations Hansen would receive, each of the board’s 16 members took turns sharing personal anecdotes and praising his leadership,
Peter Silvestri, a Chicago Republican, called Hansen “the epitome of a statesman.”
And Tony Peraica, a Westchester Republican, said Hansen was “a mentor” and “a great model to emulate.”
Hansen jokingly called the resolution to honor him one “which I can’t vote no on,” before offering some parting words.
“This job is about the people. I was hired by the people,” he said. “I love my job.”
Of all his accomplishments, Hansen said he was most proud of leading the 2¨-year fight against landfills in the forest preserve district and suburbs, calling it “the one thing that may outlast any of us.”
Hansen joined the U.S. Army in 1944 and rose to first lieutenant under Gen. Dwight Eisenhower and returned in 1952 to earn his MBA from the University of Chicago.
His professional career included stints as the president of Chicago Associates, Inc., a market research firm; director of market research for both Kitchens of Sara Lee and Earle Lugdin and Co.; an executive member of the American Marketing Association; and service vice president for Market Research Corporation of America.
Hansen also spent much of his life committed to governing. He was a member of the board of directors for the National Association of Counties, a committee member for the Regional Transportation Authority and a member of the Illinois Governor’s Advisory Council.
An active community member, Hansen was involved with the Nature Conservancy, VFW, American Legion, Archeological Institute of America, Chicago Historical Society and Dania Society.
Larry Suffredin, an Evanston Democrat, called Hansen “the professor we all needed a good grade from.”
Hansen ended his tenure by offering his colleagues some advice for the future.
He called the Cook County Board “a very intense, small government” but said “partisan differences make for a better government — through observing, listening.”


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