Longtime Rock Falls alderman resigns
ROCK FALLS – Longtime alderman Daehle Reitzel has resigned from the City Council, once again creating a vacancy in the 1st Ward.
Reitzel, 78, owner of Wheelock Furniture in the heart of the downtown, turned in his resignation to Mayor Bill Wescott on May 8. Reitzel plans to move outside of the ward.
The council didn’t vote to approve the resignation because the item accidentally was left off the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting. The council will make the change official at its June 4 meeting.
The mayor’s appointment of William Wangelin to the other 1st Ward seat was approved by the council on Jan. 15. Wangelin filled the vacancy created by the resignation of George Logan Jr., which was effective Nov. 22. The rest of that term expires in April 2021.
Rock Falls has eight council members, two from each of the city’s four wards. They serve staggered 4-year terms. In the April 2 election, five of the city’s eight council members, including Reitzel, ran unopposed to regain their seats. That will complicate matters a bit as the mayor looks for a replacement.
“Daehle just won an election, so now that person must fill 2 years of a 4-year term, and then they will have to run after the first 2 years,” Wescott said.
Reitzel has been on the council since May 2006. His business success with video stores, real estate and the furniture store motivated him to become active in city government.
“We figured we owed the city something for supporting us,” Reitzel said. “I worked hard during my years on the council, but I was glad to pay it back.”
Reitzel served at a time in which the city was cleaning up environmental issues on the riverfront and starting to enjoy the fruits of their labor – a new hotel and city park.
“Getting rid of the RB&W mess was the most memorable and satisfying thing I was involved in while on the council,” Reitzel said.
He plans to enjoy a break from public service, but he has not ruled out a return to the council, he said.
Reitzel also was chairman of a busy Public Works/Public Property Committee, so the mayor will have to fill that vacancy.