Schmidt steps down

11/18/2009 10:00 PM

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Kenneth Schmidt stepped as president of the Illinois Medical District Tuesday, saying that after nearly 20 years heading the organization, “fresh leadership was a good idea.”

Commissioners approved the move in a unanimous vote, making lawyer John Partelow the new president.

Schmidt said his biggest accomplish as president was developing the Chicago Technology Park and creating the commercial corridor on Ashland, south of Roosevelt. “The idea [was] that we developed these things, particularly south of Roosevelt Road, and became totally independent of state funding,” Schmidt said. “We haven’t been on general revenue funding for years. We became self-supporting through the actions we took in the south district.”

Partelow is known to challenge projects he feels do not fall within the district’s statutory requirements. In February, he was the lone vote against expansion of Children of Peace School, 1900 W. Taylor.

“I’m not going to have any change in my approach just because I moved chairs … I’ll be as outspoken as I’ve been,” he said.

Schmidt was also a member of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, a position he stepped down from this fall, after questions about admissions at the school’s flagship campus in Urbana-Champaign. He said the two moves were unrelated.

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