Park Ridge officials honor, mourn Ald. Daniel Knight

By Igor Studenkov | For the Bugle

It was a somber evening on Feb. 6 at the Park Ridge City Council as aldermen and Acting Mayor Marty Maloney talked about what Fifth Ward Ald. Daniel Knight meant to them.

Knight passed away from cancer on Dec. 20. As the officials who spoke reflected, this was the third time in the past three years that they lost a colleague. Mayor David Schmidt passed away on March 2015, and Third Ward Al. Robert Wilkening passed away in August of the same year.

At the start of the Feb. 6 City Council meeting, the aldermen and the mayor went up to the podium. Before Maloney read the resolution recognizing Knight for his service, the officials offered their own comments.

Second Ward Ald. Nicholas Milissis recalled how he and Knight grilled hot dogs and hamburgers for the 2016 Grilling for the Arts fundraiser. As the two aldermen finished up, Knight looked out onto the crowd and reflected.

“[Knight said] ‘I love this town. This is the stuff I love about Park Ridge–the small town feel’,” Millissis recalled. “Dan loved this town, and the city loved him back.”

First Ward Ald. John Moran bemoaned the losses the city suffered over the past three years,

“You shouldn’t have five people up here,” he said. “This is a sad event, and it’s been a sad couple of years.”

Moran said that he appreciated Knight’s knowledge and advice.

“He was a real inspiration, and I’ll never forget him,” he said.

Fourth Ward Ald. Roger Shubert reflected on Knight’s public service, adding that he will miss his colleague’s input at the council meetings, and miss him personally.

Sixth Ward Ald. Marc Mazzuca said that, even after Knight was diagnosed with cancer, he kept working as much as he could.

“Dan never stopped putting his energy and his heart into service,” he said. “I’m honored to have known him. I’ll miss him dearly. Rest in peace, my friend.”

Third Ward Ald. Richard Van Roeyen was attending the meeting remotely, so he couldn’t join his colleagues in front of the podium, and he didn’t make any comments.

Maloney was the last to speak, saying that Knight’s dedication to fiscal discipline and knowledge of finances helped the city recover after the Uptown Tax Increment Financing district left the city in debt.

“The city wouldn’t be in the position it is in today if it wasn’t for Daniel Knight,” he said.

Maloney then read out the resolution, which gave a rundown of Knight’s career and the impact on the city.

“Dan will be remembered for his straight-forwardness, financial expertise, and his caring demeanor and dedicated service to the residents of the Fifth Ward and to the City of Park Ridge,” the resolution said. “The city has lost a wonderful man who leaves behind a legacy, which will long endure the passage of time and will remain as a comforting memory to all he served and befriended”

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