Metro-East News

New alderwoman appointed to fill Fairview Heights vacancy

City Council members were introduced to a new alderwoman during their meeting Tuesday night.

Patricia Peck has been selected to serve Fairview Heights Ward 4, succeeding Carol Warner, who has recently retired. Peck is a financial administrator who works at Memorial Hospital in Belleville and has lived in Fairview Heights for the past 30 years. Peck had served on the city’s planning commission and for 16 years was a member of the Pontiac William Holliday District 105 School Board.

Peck said she was asked by others to consider filling the seat. After giving it some thought, she said she decided to accept the offer.

“I thought long an hard about it because I know the commitment that it takes,” Peck said. “I’ve been in public service before and I know how much it takes away from your personal time. I’ve had several years out of the public realm and I’m ready to jump back into it and put my skills and experience back to work.”

Mayor Mark Kupsky said Peck was selected out of more than 20 people who had been asked or had inquired about the City Council seat. He said Peck was selected for her past experience as well as her level of interest and commitment.

“Having served on some previous boards and committees, she understands the work it takes to serve the public,” Kupsky said. “Her role on the school board, she dealt with a lot of things from negotiations to financial matters and personnel matters. So I think that serves very well and is very important for an alderman to know. She served on our planing commission for some time and really proved during that time that she did her homework and studied the facts. We had a number of very qualified candidates, so it wasn’t an easy decision.”

Peck will begin her new role on the City Council next month. Her term will expire April 30, 2017.

In other city business, Council members also approved an ordinance Tuesday night that will waive permit requirements for backyard or any other recreational fires. City Land Use & Development Director Tim Tolliver said the ordinance clarifies the city’s open-burning policy but does not change the existing policy and times for burning yard waste in the city.

“In the past, we’ve issued permits for recreational fires. We’re not doing that anymore,” Tolliver said. “We’re also clarifying what are legitimate recreational fires and campfires in the backyard. It is a very minor change. We’re clarifying what is allowed under this ordinance. To have a legitimate camp fire outside or a fire in a pit would not require a permit anymore.”