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Local Editorials

One city’s loss, another’s gain?

It’s not often that a Stering City Council member resigns and moves to Rock Falls. Here’s hoping former Alderwoman Linda Marley Pennell can, at some point, resume her public service career.

Sterling’s loss could very well be Rock Falls’ gain.

We speak of last week’s resignation of Sterling Alderwoman-at-large Linda Marley, who recently married a Rock Falls man and announced that she would move to Rock Falls.

Sporting a new surname, Linda Marley Pennell said she wants to become involved in other interests and may someday seek elective office again.

Pennell served 4 years on the Sterling City Council and said she learned a lot from the experience.

Mayor Skip Lee praised her willingness to listen, her interest in her constituents, and her efforts to make the city a better place.

Oh, and she was always asking questions, Lee said.

Good for her, we say.

Asking questions is how you learn things. Questions are a good tool to use to supervise the taxpayers’ dollars. Ask enough of them, and maybe you’ll stop foolish expenditures, on the one hand, or outright fraud, on the other.

Pennell used to live in Rock Falls, so she’s familiar with the community. In addition, she is the secretary for Golden Meals in Rock Falls.

In the event that a city council opening comes up in her new ward, she certainly would be worthy of consideration, not only for her experience but for her gender.

As we have pointed out previously, the Rock Falls City Council has no women. Eight men represent the four wards.

The gender imbalance is not likely to change soon. Current council members Mark Vandersnick, Brian Snow, Jim Schuneman and John Watts, representing Wards 1-4 respectively, are each unopposed for re-election on April 9.

Gender diversity brings more points of view to the table when important decisions must be made. Those decisions, we believe, are more likely to reflect the wants and needs of the community at large.

If called once more to public service, Pennell could bring an interesting perspective to the table.

Along with her service on the Sterling council, Pennell’s life experiences include a successful battle against systemic lupus. The disease has been in remission for nearly 30 years.

We salute Pennell’s dedicated service to the citizens of Sterling.

If Rock Falls residents find a way to put Pennell’s experience to work for them, Sterling’s loss could be their gain.

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