Colchester council appoints acting mayor

COLCHESTER, Ill. (NEWS3) — Colchester City Council held an emergency meeting Thursday night after the resignation of former Mayor Danny Bice.

The council voted three to two for First Ward Alderwoman Francie Welch to become the new acting mayor. 

Newly elected Third Ward Alderman Mike Eddy was first nominated to the position, but lost in a two to three vote.

The emergency meeting was called Thursday afternoon after Bice sent a resignation letter to the city council. 

“I am stepping down, at this time, because I feel some members of the council have personal agendas that are not in the best interest of the citizens of Colchester,” Bice said in a letter to the council. “I am not going to sit by and watch that happen.”

Officials had originally scheduled a special meeting to appoint a mayor-pro-tem after former Mayor-pro-tem and First Ward Alderman Kevin Bloomfield stepped down during a city council meeting Monday night. 

“At this point in my life, there are other paths I want to take,” Bice said in his letter. “In closing, I truly believe that the city council owes Sheriff Nick Petitgout an apology for the way that he has been treated.”

According to Colchester city attorney Mariah Wallace, Welch will still hold her aldermanic position and vote as an alderman while serving as acting mayor. Welch will not be able to break ties or veto any measures. 

“I will do my best to work for the community,” Welch said. 

Welch’s aldermanic term will be up in April 2021, which is the same time Bice’s term was set to end.

The council will still look to fill the aldermanic position of Bloomfield. Bloomfield also served as the police committee chairman. Wallace said it will be up to Welch to appoint a new alderman to the committee.

Welch is a lifelong resident of Colchester and was the former Colchester City Clerk for 28 years.

She was appointed as alderman by former Mayor Joe Wetzel in October 2008. 

Welch will be sworn in on October 28.