LaDue takes spot as longest-serving elected official

Michael LaDue, Champaign City Council member, is now the longest-serving elected official in the history of the city of Champaign.

Since first being elected at the age of 29 in 1985, he has represented District 2, which is made up mostly of the University area. He has served as the city’s deputy since 2005.

LaDue has been re-elected to his seat six times, most recently in 2009 with 70 percent of votes cast. He works at Jon’s Pipe Shop on Green Street and often can be found carrying a pipe. But you won’t see LaDue driving around town, as he does not own a car; he rides a bike or walks to work and council meetings. LaDue was recognized for his 26-year tenure as a council member during the April 19 “council meeting”: when Mayor Jerry Schweighart presented LaDue with a key to the city.

LaDue listed some of the moments he has been most proud of during his tenure on the council.

*Why he ran*

“I ran because I can actually have an influence on the community. Otherwise it’s just all barbershop chit-chat, and that’s where it stops unless you’re directly involved.”

*Budget management*

“We have continued to maintain a “balanced budget”: even in this time of economic downturn. It has forced some hard decisions, but we have managed to maintain the city’s credit rating that has allowed for us to do things that bear fruit… If we were run like the state of Illinois, with a financial deficit, we would not (have been) able to.”

*Boneyard Creek and “drainage”: programs*

“It has been a pleasure to preside over during these award-winning projects. For 90 years, the Boneyard area and Green Street were neglected, and we have addressed the flooding, and at the same time, the result has been a flowering of investment. We did these projects (Boneyard Creek and the John Street Watershed) all while in a time of economic downturn.”


“We have expanded our recycling efforts in the city from only single-family homes and since become one of the pioneering programs in the state.”

*Party patrol*

“Our contracting budget has forced us to make cuts, but it is always something I’ve supported. It’s the first line of intervention for parties, freeing up sworn-in officers for more important things. The University may take up the funding for it, which I am grateful because they have their own budget issues.”