Collinsville's newest councilwoman hopes to learn more about how the city works and be involved in council actions, even though her time in that position will be short.
Joyce Biegert, 68, was appointed to the seat and sworn in as a City Council member at the Dec. 10 council meeting. She was selected by Mayor John Miller to fill the seat left empty when former Councilwoman Liz Dalton was elected to the Madison County Board in November.
The board voted unanimously to appoint Biegert. She said she does not plan to run for the seat in the April municipal election.
How did she find herself taking on a public office position?
"I answered the phone and it was the mayor and he asked if I would be interested in being on the City Council," Biegert said. "So, I thought about it, and I thought, 'I might enjoy doing this,' so I said 'yes.' I don't know what to expect yet, so, we'll see what happens. I'm just going to jump in."
Biegert, however, missed the deadline to submit a petition for the April election and won't be running to keep the seat.
Biegert has never served in an elected position. She retired last December after serving as a vice president of The Bank of Edwardsville. She had been with the bank for 35 years.
Biegert said she has been active in the community. She is a member of Collinsville's Uptown Development Commission and formerly served as chairwoman. Biegert's husband, Terry Biegert, owns T.L. Biegert Jewelry and Art Gallery in Collinsville, and Joyce said she helps out in the store from time to time. She also works part-time at Herr Funeral Home and is on the advisory board for the Collinsville Area Ministerial Association, where she helps in the food pantry. She also is a member of the Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary and was formerly president of Collinsville's Chamber of Commerce.
"So, I think I have a good point of view of the city from the other side of the coin," she said.
Although she won't have a very long tenure as a councilwoman, Biegert doesn't plan to just keep the seat warm.
"A lot could happen in that time span, or nothing could happen, you just don't know what lies ahead," she said. "It's up to me to jump in. I just don't want to go in there and sit for four months, I want to be involved, I want to get some things done. I'd like to educate myself and this is a good opportunity."
What does she hope to accomplish?
More than anything, Collinsville needs jobs, Biegert said. "How do you go about doing that? I don't know, but I'm going to learn."