Burke appointed to city council


ROCHELLE — Don Burke is back on the Rochelle City Council after council members approved his appointment in a 4-1 vote on Monday night.

Burke will fill the unexpired term that was vacated when John Bearrows was elected mayor. Burke will serve approximately 22 months in this position before it is up for election again in the spring of 2021.

This past April, Burke just completed a four-year term on the council, but failed to win re-election and placed fifth out of seven candidates on the ballot. He and outgoing mayor Chet Olson were both honored for their past service during an open house in late April.

Eight citizens applied for the appointment, but Bearrows stated after the meeting that due to Burke’s past experience on the council he was the best choice at this time.

“We have several issues and projects coming up that Don was previously involved with and his knowledge and insight are going to be very important,” Bearrows said. “There were several very good candidates, but the council collectively thought he would be hit the ground running.”

Councilman Bil Hayes voted against the appointment, saying that he was in favor of “more diversity” on the council.

Burke, who was not present at Monday night’s meeting, is expected to be sworn in at the July 8 council meeting.

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