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No challengers emerge for Rock Falls council races

December 28, 2018

ROCK FALLS – The terms of five of the city’s eight council members expire in the spring, but none of the races in the April 2 election will be contested.

The deadline for turning in paperwork to the city clerk’s office was Dec. 17. All of the council incumbents with expiring terms made their desire to run again official, but no challengers filed.

The council seats will be the city’s only elective offices on the April ballot. Rock Falls has eight council members, two from each of the city’s four wards. They serve staggered 4-year terms. The mayor, who takes on leadership of the council, also serves for 4 years.

Incumbents running again are: Daehle Reitzel, 1st Ward; Glen Kuhlemier, 2nd Ward; Rod Kleckler, 3rd Ward; and both 4th Ward representatives, Lee Folsom and Violet Sobottka.

Folsom and Sobottka are up at the same time because Sobottka, only the fourth woman to serve on the city’s council, was appointed to fill a vacancy in the ward and is finishing the 2 years left on that term.

Folsom, Reitzel and Kuhlemier also ran unopposed in their previous races.

It will be another 2 years before key administrative jobs at City Hall will be up for grabs.

“Mayor, treasurer and city clerk will be up in 2021, as well as the unexpired term for the vacant council seat in the 1st Ward,” City Clerk Eric Arduini said.

George Logan Jr. resigned from the council, citing personal reasons, after serving for more than 4 years. His resignation was effective Nov. 30.

Mayor Bill Wescott said he is still looking for someone to fill Logan’s seat. That person will have the luxury of a 2-year window before having to choose whether to make a run to keep the seat.

It is the mayor’s job to make the appointments for council vacancies, but the recommendation must be approved by the council.

Rock Falls, because it has a city administrator form of government, has a later filing period than many towns. In Sterling, the deadline for filing paperwork was Nov. 26, and in Dixon it was Nov. 28. Voters in Sterling and Dixon will have mayoral races on the ballot in April. Four council seats will be up in Sterling, and two in Dixon.

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