It appears Geneva's First Ward will have a new alderman next spring as Sam Hill, who has held the post for 12 years, said Monday night he will not seek another term in the April 9 election.
"Thirty years is enough," said Hill, who also served on the city's Plan Commission for 10 years and the Geneva Park District Board for eight years.
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Hill, who turns 78 in November, elaborated on his public service Tuesday, noting he was part of the park board when leadership acquired Peck Farm on the city's west side and developed areas around it.
As a council member since 2001, Hill said he sought to work with the city staff to ensure taxpayer dollars were being spent wisely and effectively and noted he pushed for a cleanup of the city's West Side Cemetery last spring.
Hill also said he'd thought about this decision for the past month and intends to complete his 4-year term before taking some long road trips with his wife.
"We enjoy Geneva, and we'll probably stay here. But when you get into your late 70s, you have to think about your future," he said. "We've never had the time to travel long distances by car."
Hill said feels that others interested in the seat can do a good job representing the ward and the city, and stressed that any successor needed to be part of a team and work with the other First Ward Alderman, Chuck Brown.
"You can have differences of opinion, but after the votes are taken, you're part of the same team and have to act like that," Hill said.
Although nominating petitions are not due until mid-December, Zac Ploppert, a 22-year-old recent Northern Illinois University graduate, declared his candidacy in June.
Ploppert said he has tremendous respect for Hill and his contributions to the city. Ploppert said he wasn't necessarily surprised by Hill bowing out and said if elected, he would work more to trim the budget, support local businesses and inject new views into city government.
"It's time that we have a fresh perspective on things," he said. "We need somebody new. We need somebody that's ready to step forward and lead."
City leaders are mulling a change in the law that would allow people who have a city liquor license to hold an alderman seat.
Michael Olesen, the owner of Stockholm's Brewpub in downtown Geneva who unsuccessfully ran for the First Ward seat in spring 2009, said he intends to run if the law is changed.
"I am a lifelong Geneva resident. I've been very active in the community in multiple aspects and I believe I could do a good job," said Olesen, 49.
• Daily Herald staff writer Susan Sarkauskas contributed to this report.