Last week’s resignation by First Ward Alderman Mark Vandersnick provides the opportunity to end the longtime male domination of the eight-person Rock Falls City Council.
This is not to say that the aldermen who serve the city’s four wards haven’t done a good job.
The city is known for having balanced budgets and for operating efficiently.
The council has taken on big jobs – successful construction of a new sewer treatment plant and current redevelopment of the downtown riverfront, for example – for the betterment of the community.
That is to the credit of Mayor Bill Wescott and Aldermen Daehle Reitzel, Glen Kuhlemier, Brian Snow, Jim Schuneman, Dave Hand, John Watts, Lee Folsom and the aforementioned Vandersnick.
Yet, in the name of balanced representation, we believe Mayor Wescott and the council should encourage women from the First Ward to apply for the vacancy.
We’re not looking for a token appointment. The best applicant should be selected, male or female.
But surely within the boundaries of the First Ward, which covers roughly the northwestern part of the city, qualified female candidates exist. (Visit the city’s website, rockfalls61071.com, to view a ward map of the exact boundaries.)
Gender diversity brings more points of view to the table when important decisions must be made. If the result is that Rock Falls becomes more responsive to residents’ needs, everyone should be able to support such a development, which we view as long overdue.
Wescott may be contacted at 815-380-5333 by anyone who is interested in the vacant seat.
The mayor has 60 days from Vandersnick’s resignation to appoint a replacement. The seat will be up for election in April 2015 for the remaining 2 years of Vandersnick’s unexpired term.
Rock Falls has had plenty of aldermen over the years.
Alderwomen have been few and far between.
Let the search begin.