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Ald. Berny Stone’s list of best and worst

Ald. Berny Stone

Ald. Berny Stone

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Updated: July 15, 2011 12:18AM

A Stone’s throw . . .

Veteran Ald. Berny Stone, 83, who lost a dramatic runoff battle in the 50th Ward, claims he’s exiting the City Council with his memory intact.

“I’ve spent 59 years in politics and nearly 38 years in elective office and it’s been quite a run,” said Stone — who spells his name “Berny” because he likes “the flourish of the ‘Y.’ ”

“If you really know me, you know how to spell my name correctly.”

A few “Berny” observations:

1.) The city’s best mayor: Mayor Richard J. Daley: “Our number one mayor all the way around.”

2.) The city’s most “disloyal” mayor: Mayor Richard M. Daley (Mayor Daley did not support his bid for re-election).

3.) The city’s most eloquent mayor: Mayor Harold Washington.

4.) The city’s most unpredictable mayor: Mayor Jane Byrne: “You never knew what to expect.”

5.) A highly qualified mayor: Mayor Michael Bilandic: “But he had no personality/presence.”

6.) The city’s weakest mayor: Mayor Eugene Sawyer. “But he was a really nice guy and I’m going miss working with his son (runoff winner Roderick Sawyer).

7.) The most talented female aldermen during his 37-year City Council career: Alds. Ginger Rugai and Marilou Hedlund.

8.) The toughest aldermen: A toss-up before Ald. Anna Langford and Ald. Tom Keane, “who was a great teacher but his icy stare could drill a hole through you.”

9.) The alderman decked out in the best sports clothes — and who never wore a tie: Ald. Cliff Kelley, who now hosts a popular WVON radio show.

10.) His best buddy: Ald. Fred Roti.

11.) Berny’s worst attribute: “My temper.”

12.) The most exciting times: “Council Wars.”

13.) The best dressed, best looking and savviest aldermen: “The Two Eddies: Burke and Vrdolyak.”

14.) Berny’s future: “I’d like to be a talk-show host; a political analyst. I like being in the media.”

15.) Berny’s most treasured memory: “Meeting former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, who was battling breast cancer. She had just resigned from office and had just stepped down from the podium after addressing the Chicago City Council — when she tapped the sergeant at arms on the shoulder and asked him if he had a. . . cigarette!!!!”

16.) An unusual remembrance: Ald. Dorothy “The Hat” Tillman. “It’s not the hat I’ll remember, but half the time I couldn’t understand a word she was saying.”

Bye bye, Berny!

The budget battle . . .

This was just tossed over Sneed’s transom in light of our nation’s budget battle: An alleged quote from the great Roman thinker Cicero in 55 B.C.

“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”

Book beat ’em up? . . .

Tit for tat? Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, whose romantic MIA interlude with his Argentinian mistress netted him headlines and cost him his marriage, is reportedly writing his memoirs. The big question: Will it be a tit for tat tome in line with the book written by ex-wife/Winnetka native Jenny Sanford, whose book on their marital “experience” was nothing short of scorched earth.

Sheen machine . . .

There was no bottled water served at Charlie Sheen’s bipolar fest in Cleveland — so they couldn’t be tossed on stage — but drinks in paper cups were served inside the 3,200-seat State Theatre called “Tiger’s Blood,” which was vodka, Sprite and pomegranate juice. Stain, but no pain. There ya go.

The numbers game . . .

The biggest aldermanic runoff loser: Sharon Denise Dixon — who even lost her own 24th Ward precinct to runoff winner Michael Chandler.

Pix place . . .

Who says the economy is soft! An anonymous bidder paid $51,240 for a rare signed photograph of the notorious outlaw Jesse James on Tuesday at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. Put ’em up!

Sneedlings . . .

Today’s birthdays: Russell Crowe, 47; James Garner, 83; Wayne Rogers, 78; Francis Ford Coppola, 72; David Frost, 72 and Jayne Thompson, 65.

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