Metro-East News

Belleville aldermen OK new member for City Council

Belleville names new alderman

Belleville, IL Mayor Mark Eckert appointed Andy Gaa as a new alderman for the southern Illinois city near St. Louis, MO, and the current City Council approved the appointment unanimously.
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Belleville, IL Mayor Mark Eckert appointed Andy Gaa as a new alderman for the southern Illinois city near St. Louis, MO, and the current City Council approved the appointment unanimously.

Andy Gaa says he has always wanted to be a Belleville alderman.

On Monday night, Gaa fulfilled that goal when aldermen voted unanimously to name him to represent Ward 6 on the City Council to replace Paul Seibert. Mayor Mark Eckert asked the council to approve Gaa’s appointment.

Seibert resigned on Feb. 27 to take his late wife Dixie Seibert’s position on the St. Clair County Board. Dixie Seibert died on Feb. 7.

Gaa, 38, is now the youngest member of the City Council as he takes over for Paul Seibert, who had been longest serving alderman on the council.

Gaa is eligible to finish Seibert’s term, which is scheduled to end in 2019. He said he wants to “get my feet wet” before he decides whether to run for election in 2019.

“I really love the city of Belleville,” Gaa told the council after he was sworn in by St. Clair County Judge Heinz Rudolf.

Gaa teaches German at Belleville East High School and also teaches one German class at Belleville West High School. He previously served on the Belleville Public Library board and currently serves as chairman of the Belleville Historic Preservation Commission. Gaa said he will step down from the Historic Preservation Commission now that he is on the City Council. Gaa also is president-elect of the Belleville Sister Cities organization.

“There’s a lot of exciting things going on in Belleville at this time, a lot of new developments and it’s a really exciting time to be part of City Council,” Gaa said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I like giving back to the city.”

Gaa lives in an 1885 home he rehabbed on Fulton Street. Gaa and his wife, Melissa, have two children, Mia, 11, and Karsten, 7.

Gaa, who said his father’s side of the family moved to Belleville in 1867 and his mother is from Belleville, said he gives his German class students walking tours of the German heritage in Belleville.

In other business

The City Council also took the following action Monday night:

▪  Appointed Ashley Pollock and Dennis Dvorachek to serve three-year terms on the city’s Human Relations Commission.

▪  Approved a special use permit for a liquor license for the 4204 Main Street Brewing Co.’ brewery under construction at 6435 W. Main St.

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