Western Courier

Vigezzi appointed to Second Ward

Mike Frederiksen
Dovile Svirupskaite (left) speaks to the Council on the Mayor’s Roundtable of Students.

Nicholas Ebelhack

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At Monday’s City Council meeting, it was announced that John Vigezzi was appointed by a unanimous vote to the position of Second Ward Alderman after former Alderman Steve Wailand vacated the seat in August.

Vigezzi, who said he has lived in Macomb for the last 11 years and has lived in the Second Ward for four, has had a number of roles within the community over the last decade. In addition to his other commitments, he sits on the Performing Arts Society Board at Western Illinois University.

“I have been involved in boy scouts and girl scouts and baseball and things like that, but never in City Government, so I’m very excited to do this,” Vigezzi said. “Currently I am the distribution and logistics manager for Farm King, and before that I was the general manager for the Macomb Travel Center.”

Vigezzi has been eyeing a seat on the council for a long time. He said that he had an earlier opportunity to run but decided against it.

“I had an opportunity when I lived in the first ward, and a very good friend of mine, Ryan Hanson, decided to run,” Vigezzi said. He and I had been very good friends for a long time, we discussed and I didn’t want to run against him, so he decided to go ahead and run and I backed him.”

Now that Vigezzi has his seat, he is excited to begin interacting with the community, and he said that he would be going door to door within the second ward to introduce himself to community members.

Western also lies within the second ward’s domain, and contains a large share of Macomb’s student population. Vigezzi said that he will be committed to interacting with students and staying involved with the community.

“I want to talk to the students and find out what they are looking for,” Vigezzi said. “Being a voice for the students, some people tell me there is an age gap, but there really isn’t an age gap. If you have a voice and you can talk to the students and listen to their concerns than you are a voice for the city and you can be very accessible to find out what issues they have.

Being part of the city and living here is an important part to my family and me. I truly believe that if you live in the city, to truly be part of the city you have to be involved with everything, whether it be city government, boy scouts, baseball, all those different activities.”

Preceding the announcement, President of the Student Government Association Dovile Svirupskaite presented to the council, in regards to the Mayor’s Roundtable, a group of students dedicated to working with the city government. She said that this idea has been in the works for a while.

“I kind of thought of this idea because the president of the University has a similar thing where he picks out 10 to 12 students and talks about student issues,” Svirupskaite said. “I thought that this would be a good way for students to interact with the community and local government.”

According to Mayor Mike Inman, having this group of students will help better educate the student population about the city and its codes, and will serve as a forum for student interests.

“I think that anytime any of our constituents have questions, whether it’s a question on procedure or policy that the city operates under, we need to be clear and have that conversation as quickly as the misconception or the misunderstanding occurs so that we can set the record straight,” Inman said.

He also emphasized that because not all students come from a small town, it was important for a diverse group of students to be selected so that people from suburban and urban areas could see how Macomb operates.

“I think in this case having students that come from a variety of backgrounds, cultural background specifically, such as an urban background versus a rural setting, that they can better understand how things work in Macomb,” Inman said.

The council also voted and unanimously decided to appoint Deputy Fire Chief J.R. Hyde to the position of Interim Fire Chief. A moment of silence was also held in memoriam of recently deceased Fire Chief Andy Taylor.

Multiple aldermen, in their aldermanic reports, echoed sentiments towards Taylor’s family, agreeing that the members of the council would miss him.

The next City Council meeting will be on Oct. 17, during which Vigezzi will be officially sworn into office for the rest of the term.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Vigezzi appointed to Second Ward