Western Courier

Alderwoman Gilbert retires from City Council

Steven Barnum, Assistant News Editor

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Alderwoman Mellie Gilbert (left) and Mayor Mike Inman(right) celebrate a bittersweet last City Council meeting before Gilbert's retirement.

On Monday evening, Alderman Mellie Gilbert said her final goodbyes to the Macomb City Council.

When Lou Gilbert passed away in 2014, Mayor Mike Inman had just one name on his mind to fill the vacancy on the council: Lou’s wife, Mellie. Although initially surprised, she accepted the appointment to the third ward. Gilbert would then go on and win an election to retain her seat, defeating challenger Gregg Huston in the spring of 2015.

Inman took some time to thank Gilbert for her service to the city of Macomb.

“I can honestly say that in a time of concern, I don’t believe there’s any other Alderman that has been more of an advocate for their ward than you have,” Inman said.

The baton was passed to Annette Carper, a graduate of Macomb Senior High School and Western Illinois University. When Gilbert announced her intentions to retire from the council last month, Inman set out to appoint someone who planned to run for a seat in the next election. Thus, it’s safe to assume that Carper, who was officially sworn in Monday, will be on the ballot to keep her seat in the spring.

Gilbert took the podium to thank the public.

“I was really shocked when I was told to take my husband’s place. It was a pleasure and an honor to be able to fill that positon, and for the public to re-elect me as they did.” Gilbert said.

Public Works Director Scott Coker spoke to the council about the idea of applying for a grant in order to fund a project that would align Macomb with the Safe Routes to School Program. The program seeks to create easier and safer paths for children traveling to and from school. Started by the government in 2005, the program includes plans to add ramps near schools to better accommodate those who are handicapped and those who ride bicycles.

According to Coker, there are three different options to choose when building the ramps. Of the three, he explained that the first choice made the most sense due to the fact that it provides the most direct route for students, to which Alderman at Large Dennis Moon agreed. The deadline to apply for the grant is November 19, 2018.

Liquor licenses are awarded too easily says a Granite City, Ill. resident. She opposes the Class “R” license for a Mexican restaurant, El Jarochito, in downtown Macomb because she has experienced physical assault and believes that alcohol contributes to the problem. “When is this going to end,” the concerned individual asked, before pointing out that there are only two restaurants in town that do not serve alcohol.

City Attorney Kristen Petrie doesn’t believe that the restaurant, located at 120 South Lafayette Street, will have any trouble obtaining the liquor license they requested due to a lack of concerns raised by the public.

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Alderwoman Gilbert retires from City Council