The official changing of the guard took place at O’Fallon City Hall Monday, as former alderman Herb Roach became the first new mayor in 20 years.
“I will do my very best to make you proud and continue to earn your support,” he told the large crowd.
He thanked those who helped his grassroots campaign, commenting on exchanges with residents, and noted he had received 400 emails, letters and messages since the election.
His son, Todd, told him about his 5-year-old granddaughter Stella’s recent nightly prayer: “God, thank you for letting my grandpa be mayor.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
Roach was sworn in, along with a familiar face as city clerk, four new aldermen and three incumbents.
Re-elected aldermen included Jerry Albrecht in Ward 1, Matthew Gilreath in Ward 3, Courtney Marsh in Ward 5 and Raymond Holden in Ward 6. New aldermen are Ross Rosenberg in Ward 1, Mark Morton in Ward 4, Andrew Lopinot in Ward 5 and Dan Witt in Ward 7. The council has 14 seats.
Outgoing City Clerk Phil Goodwin swore in Jerry Mouser as his replacement.
Goodwin, who was elected to four terms, thanked residents for their faith in him for 16 years.
“It has been my honor and privilege to serve you,” he said, receiving a standing ovation.
He acknowledged Deputy City Clerk Maryanne Fair for her hard work and dedication.
Goodwin said he had an opportunity to visit other cities while in office.
“They don’t beat O’Fallon. Our city is what it is because of you,” he told the crowd.
Mouser, who previously served as an alderman for 18 years, remarked he had “big shoes to fill.”
Roach also announced appointments and plans following through on his promise to be accessible to residents.
He established evening and Saturday hours to meet with residents at city hall — the second Wednesday of every month from 5 to 7 p.m., and the fourth Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to noon.
He said if people need more time or another date, to call and arrange a meeting. He said the first quarterly Town Hall meeting would be set in July, time and date to be announced.
New city attorney
The council approved Roach’s appointment of Todd Fleming as the city attorney, authorizing $25,100 as an annual retainer fee to provide general services. He will start June 1.
For services not listed in the contract, Fleming will be paid $150 an hour. This agreement is similar to former city attorney Dale Funk’s contract, who is retiring.
Roach thanked Funk.
“He served the city very well for 20 years. He has been a good city attorney,” he said.
Roach also noted Funk has agreed to follow through on outstanding legal issues and to help with the transition to a new city attorney.
“If needed, Dale will stay on longer,” he said.
Fleming will provide general municipal law services for the city, including attendance at council meetings, preparation of city ordinances, advice and legal opinions to the council and staff, and represent the city in appropriate legal proceedings.
Fleming has experience as legal counsel to townships, and to fire and park districts. He is a partner in Fleming & Fleming in O’Fallon.
Roach announced council committees. He said he asked aldermen to pick committees they would like to serve on, and then tried to accommodate at least one of their choices. The appointments are as follows:
Public Works: Richie Meile as chairman, David Cozad as vice-chair, Matthew Gilreath, Courtney Marsh, Andrew Lopinot and Robert Kueker.
Finance and Administration: Robert Kueker as chairman, Mark Morton as vice chair, Richie Meile, Matt Smallheer, Ned Drolet and Dan Witt.
Public Safety: Kevin Hagarty as chairman, Courtney Marsh as vice-chair, Matthew Gilreath, Ross Rosenberg and Andrew Lopinot.
Community Development: Matt Smallheer as chairman, Ned Drolet as vice-chair, David Cozad, Ray Holden, Jerry Albrecht and Courtney Marsh.
Parks and Environment: Ray Holden as chairman, Dan Witt as vice chair, Ross Rosenberg, Kevin Hagarty and Jerry Albrecht.
In other appointments, the council re-appointed Horace Humphries to the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, and Harriet Baker, Doug Distler and Dennis Grimmer to the Library Board.
Roach presented two proclamations, one declaring May 1 as McKendree Bearcat Day in honor of the Women’s Bowling Team winning the NCAA National Championship, and the other naming May as Building Safety Month.
The team and Coach Bryan O’Keefe were on hand for the presentation, but Coach Shannon O’Keefe was not.
Jeff Stehman, Building and Zoning Supervisor, accepted the certificate. “We have the finest building department of any city in Southern Illinois,” he said.