BY APRIL EVANS
The city council is now at full force with the appointment of a new alderman and a new city treasurer Monday to fill vacancies left by resignations.
Mayor Dennis Lucas appointed Gerald McPhillips as a Ward 1 alderman, which serves the southeast side of the city. McPhillips fills the seat of Cathy Jenkins, who resigned her position Monday after winning a District 4 seat on the Vermilion County Board in the November election.
Lucas also appointed Angela Schreiber as the new city treasurer Monday. She fills the vacancy left by the resignation of longtime treasurer, Sherry Serd.
McPhillips has lived in the city for six years where he is the pastor of Bethel Baptist Church. Before his tenure here, he was a youth minister in Taylorville.
Lucas said McPhillips’ name was brought to him as a potential candidate for the vacancy and that he also came in to pick up a petition for the upcoming election. McPhillips said that petition is already filled with signatures and he plans to run for the seat in the spring when it expires.
“I felt he was the type of person who would voice his opinion and conscience,” Lucas said, adding he thought the new aldermen would keep the community and his ward in mind when he votes.
McPhillips said he plans to spend his initial time on the council listening and learning. He said he was interested in the position because it is getting him involved in the community in ways other than being a pastor.
Schreiber said she wanted to be included on the council to get more involved in the community. She was at first interested in the city clerk vacancy, which was filled a few weeks ago, but she said her bookkeeping background was a better fit for treasurer.
She grew up and has lived in Georgetown on and off for 17 years, but just recently moved back. She now does bookkeeping for a small family business in town.
“She had a strong interest in it and had the knowledge we needed,” Lucas said. “I feel she’s going to do a good job.”
Three aldermen, Matthew Goodrum, Kay Sanders and Wilma Wilming, recused themselves from the appointments of both McPhillips and Schreiber. They said it was because they didn’t know the candidates before the vote took place.
In other business, aldermen approved to have Integrys Energy supply the city with electricity to power municipal buildings and streetlights. The three-year contract locks the city in at 4.5 cent per kilowatt hour, which will translate into $20,000 savings a year. The city pays around 7 cents per kWh through Ameren, who will continue to deliver the electricity, read meters and respond to emergencies.
Georgetown City Council members meet at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 at the city hall.