Some aldermen said they were initially hesitant about Mayor Gary Golinski’s candidate recommendation to fill the vacancy left after the resignation of Ward 1 Alderman George Gilson Jr.
But after talking to longtime Yorkville Park Board president Ken Koch, they changed their minds.
Aldermen approved his appointment and Koch was sworn into office at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
The mayor is responsible for appointing the new alderman with the advice and consent of the rest of the City Council. Golinski said he received a handful of applications for the seat.
“I really thought Ken was a good fit for the City Council,” he said.
Ward 2 Alderman Larry Kot agreed.
“I think he’s an excellent choice,” he said.
Koch began his tenure on the Park Board in 2001, and became president three years ago. He said he was
“I felt that I have been blessed with my Park Board years and truly enjoy public service,” Koch said. “I learned a lot and met a lot of quality people in the process. With my current experience with staff and City Council, I felt the timing was appropriate at this time.”
Initially some aldermen were concern that because of Koch's tenure with the Park Board he may not be able to remain objective.
“But Ken assured me he’s not going to be strictly parks and rec — he’s going to evaluate everything and give everybody a fair chance,” Ward 4 Alderman Rose Spears said.
Ward 1 Alderman Carlo Colosimo said he received many emails from constituents regarding the situation.
"I want to thank Ken for taking the time to meet with me," he said. "Initially I had some reservations — not as far as Ken personally. Everyone know's Ken to be great guy, honest and straightforward. Overall I think he has the city's best interests at heart. I hope he's true to his word to everything discussed at our meeting. In April it's up to voters to decide whether he stays or is replaced."