Out with the old, in with the new

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter
Newly elected aldermen and city officers were sworn in at the May 4, 2009 Aledo City Council meeting. From left are William Stropes, treasurer; Terry Bewley, Ward 4 alderman; Michael Baugher, Ward 2 alderman; Barry Cooper, Ward 3 alderman; Dick Hunter, Ward 2 alderman and Tab Balmer, Jr., Ward 1 alderman.

The May 4, 2009 Aledo City Council meeting was more ceremonial than anything, as the old regime of a mayor, treasurer, city clerk and five aldermen left the table to be replaced by newly elected ones.

Mayor Lee Celske handed out plaques of appreciation to outgoing treasurer Drue Baugher, clerk Karen Swank, second ward aldermen Marc Dicklin (2008-2009) and Doyce Hiscocks (2005-2009), first ward alderman Chris Hagloch (2005-2009), third ward alderman alderman Mike Frye (2005-2009) and fourth ward alderman Dale Jones (2005-2009).

Celske told the council that his children asked him 'Was it worth it?'

"When you're an underpaid volunteer for the city ... I did the best I could," said Celske. He had some encouragement for the new mayor, "Jack, go knock them out."

The outgoing council approved the minutes of the previous meeting, with changes.

Alderman Randy Mattson, fourth ward, asked to insert that "A second was not asked for" after he made a motion to reconsider. The motion died for lack of a second, according to the minutes. The motion to reconsider was to reconsider a 5 (yes) - 2 (abstain) - 1 (recuse) vote approving a $200,000 Tax Increment Financing grant to GDC, LLC to purchase land at the corner of Rte. 17 and Hwy 94 at the entrance into Aledo.

Incoming mayor Jack Doherty was sworn in by outgoing clerk Karen Swank, then newly elected clerk Jarod Dale was sworn in. Dale then read the oath of office to all the incoming elected, including treasurer William Stropes, Tab Balmer, Jr. (Ward 1), Richard Hunter and Michael Baugher (Ward 2), Barry Cooper (Ward 3) and Terry Bewley (Ward 4).

Doherty gave a short speech listing his main duties and some of the changes he plans to bring in. One change is to beef up the number of committee members from four to six individuals on each committee. Doherty said, "You will see a different atmosphere in City Hall." He promised to have the city be more involved in Aledo Main Street and Aledo Area Chamber of Commerce and personally plans to visit all Aledo businesses, both downtown and on the east side.

He also wants to institute a Saturday morning chat, with City Hall being open for two hours every Saturday and citizens invited in to talk to an alderman. The alderman will rotate every nine weeks to be available to the public.

"After this gets started, if we find there is no need for this, we can discontinue it," said Mayor Doherty.

He also passed out his committee appointments which named Laurie Benson as his choice for the new city administrator.

Committees are listed below, with the first name listed as head of the committee:

Cemetery - Bewley, Baugher, Rillie, Maynard, Cooper, Balmer

Finance - Hunter, Cooper, Baugher, Mattson, Rillie, Bewley

Gas - Maynard, Hunter, Bewley, Balmer, Rillie, Baugher

Ordinance, Rillie, Mattson, Balmer, Bewley, Hunter, Cooper

Personnel - Matson, Hunter, Baugher, Maynard, Cooper, Doherty

Public Property, Baugher, Cooper, Rillie, Bewley, Maynard, Balmer

Sewer - Bewley, Hunter, Baugher, Mattson, Maynard, Cooper

Streets, sidewalk and sewer - Mattson, Cooper, Balmer, Maynard, Bewley, Hunter

Tax Increment Financing - Cooper, Hunter, Rillie, Bewley, Mattson, Doherty

Water - Balmer, Hunter, Baugher, Mattson, Rillie, Maynard

Cable TV - Rillie, Baugher, Balmer, Maynard, Mattson, Hunter

Outgoing City Clerk Karen Swank performs one of her last duties by swearing in Mayor Jack Doherty on Monday, May 4, 2009.