The Hot Seat

State and local leaders are making decisions every day about the COVID-19 pandemic that are met with both praise and criticism. WNIJ reporters are talking with area leaders who have been in the hot seat for the past several months to learn more about the process behind these big decisions.

city of Aurora Facebook

We conclude our “Hot Seat” series with the mayor of an Illinois city among the hardest hit economically by the pandemic.

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin learned the hard way about the threat of COVID-19.

“As a person who contracted it early on in March, and went through terrible symptoms, and the uncertainty of not knowing what would happen, and hearing the news, and seeing that people were dying from this and being hospitalized for weeks on end -- I just want to let people know that this is real,” Irvin said.

Brooke Road United Methodist Facebook page

State and local leaders are making decisions every day about the COVID-19 pandemic that are met with praise and criticism.  In this segment of "The Hot Seat," we hear from a pair of faith leaders about the decisions ahead.

IDPH: Places of Worship Guidance

Two Political Parties -- One Goal

May 28, 2020
WNIJ

State and local leaders are making decisions every day about the COVID-19 pandemic that are met with both praise and criticism.  This is WNIJ's fourth part of our series "The Hot Seat" talking to leaders about the process behind these big decisions. 

 

 

Democratic state representative Barbara Hernandez of Illinois’ 83rd district started the year off full speed ahead.

“I was campaigning nonstop knocking on doors for eight hours, even weekends,” she said.

Connie Kuntz

Before becoming Rockford's mayor in 2017, Tom McNamara thought his biggest mayoral challenges would be crime and budget. Those remain at the top of his to-do list, but now alongside them is COVID-19. Every day, he makes decisions about the triple threat to Rockford's safety and economy.

"Decisions that get to me, all of them are unpopular," he said. "I mean the easy decisions are usually handled by staffs -- not just at the City, but staffs across the community -- so when decisions come to my desk, they are usually...certainly never easy; pre-COVID or during COVID."

Northern Illinois University

State and local leaders are making decisions every day about the COVID-19 pandemic that are met with both praise and criticism. WNIJ's Chase Cavanaugh has the second part of our series "The Hot Seat" talking to leaders about the process behind these big decisions. 

Normally, mid-March is when Dr. Lisa Freeman is engaging donors and alumni. But the situation changed quickly while she was on a cross-country flight to a Washington D.C. alumni reception. Then, the governor declared a state of emergency. 

State and local leaders are making decisions every day about the COVID-19 pandemic that are met with both praise and criticism. WNIJ’s Peter Medlin has the first part of our series “The Hot Seat” talking to leaders, like the Winnebago County Sheriff, about the process behind those big decisions.

Recently, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker unveiled an executive order to keep businesses from opening before Illinois reached the next phase of reopening. Business owners could be charged with a misdemeanor for violating the stay-at-home order.