Three appointed to empty Council seats

Mayor Herb Roach welcomed newly appointed Ward 1 Alderman John Distler, Ward 5 Alderman Christopher Monroe, and Ward 4 Alderman John Drolet (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Martha Stoffel)

By Martha Stoffel

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon City Council welcomed three new alderman to the dais Monday night. 

After the November election, the council lost three of its aldermen to St. Clair County positions. Former Ward 1 alderman Richie Meile and Ward 4 alderman Matthew Smallheer now serve on the St. Clair County Board, and Ward 5 alderman Andrew Lopinot is now the St. Clair County Treasurer.

Mayor Herb Roach made appointments for their replacements at Monday night’s meeting. Ward 1 will now be served by John Distler, Ward 4 by John Drolet and Ward 5 by Christopher Monroe. All three were approved unanimously by council. The term for the appointments will last until the first council meeting in May when the newly-elected aldermen from the April 2 consolidated election will take office. 

Ward 1 and Ward 4 have contested races in the April election, and the mayor had stated publicly he would appoint someone to these short-term appointments who is not running in April. Christopher Monroe is the only candidate for the 2-year term position for Ward 5 which is actually the unexpired remainder of former alderwoman Courtney Marsh’s original term.

The newly-appointed alderman did not have many action items on their first council agenda because of the previous weeks containing holidays. A zoning ordinance amendment for the Insight Office Park development, formally known as 1570 North Green Mount Road Office Park was approved on second reading Monday night. The development is located just east of Harley Davidson and south of Denny’s and Sonic. The office park will included six buildings of approximately 54,000 square feet. 

Council also approved three requests for fundraising roadblocks at the intersection of State and Lincoln. Ward 3 alderman Matthew Gilreath made a motion for an amendment to a request from the O’Fallon Kiwanis Club because their request included times on a Friday from 4:00 – 6:00pm. Gilreath has spoken against Friday evening roadblocks at previous council meetings, citing traffic and safety concerns when folks are trying to get home from work and after-school activities. The amended motion was approved by council, so their roadblock will be Saturday, March 16 from 8:00am – noon at the intersections of State & Smiley, as well as State & Lincoln. 

The VFW Post 805’s request for a roadblock on Saturday, April 27 from 8:00am – 4:00pm at the intersection of State & Lincoln was approved 11-3, with Aldermen Jerry Albrecht, Ned Drolet and John Drolet voting no.

The O.U.S.A.R.T. submitted a request for Friday, November 29 and Saturday, November 30 from 8:00am – noon at the intersection of State & Lincoln. No amendments were made for this request, despite the Friday date. It was also approved 11-3 with the same aldermen voting no.