Political newcomer takes his seat as Bloomington alderman
BLOOMINGTON (Heart of Illinois ABC) - The Bloomington City Council is backing Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe’s pick to fill a council vacancy even though an alderman complained the selection is part of the mayor’s plan to move the council to the right.
Monday night, the council voted 6-2 to approve Grant Walch to replace Jamie Mathy as Ward 1 alderman. Mathy resigned in March because of a business conflict.
Walch was Mwilambwe’s choice among seven applicants. The mayor described Walch as “forthright” and “thoughtful.”
However, Ward 8 Councilman Jeff Crabill said he does not believe Walch is the right candidate to replace “middle-of-the-road” council member Mathy.
“I believe this is a selection made to intentionally move the council in a more conservative direction,” said Crabill.
‘Of course, that is the mayor’s prerogative. I just disagree, so I’ll be voting no.”
Julie Emig, from Ward 4, also voted against the appointment.
“I contend that other candidates were more aligned with former Alderman Mathy,” said Emig.
In his application, Walch said he’s served as a YMCA director in Ohio and was active in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. He says he’s worked in information technology and has more than 25 years experience in System Administration.
Walch will serve the remaining three years of Mathy’s term.
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