The Beardstown City Council has finally filled their Ward 4 vacancy. The council accepted the appointment of Keith Schramm to the vacant Ward 4 alderman seat at last night’s council meeting. Mayor Leslie Harris confirmed that the council approved the appointment last night in a brief phone conversation with WLDS News this morning.
The Ward 4 seat had remained vacant since March when long-time alderman Tom Penwarden announced his resignation.
Mayor Harris attempted to fill the vacancy with Kristen Arenz-Reich in council meetings in April in May. According to a May 12th article in the Jacksonville Journal Courier, Reich was selected by Harris to fill the vacancy on April 21st. Alderwoman Missy Meyer made the motion to accept the appointment at the meeting, but it failed to get a second and the motion died.
The council revisited Reich’s selection in May but was rejected by the council in a 5-2 vote. The primary concern was that Reich is married to City Cemetery Sexton Josh Reich and believed Kristen Reich’s appointment would be a conflict of interest. The council said that it would be better if Reich sought election to the position in the next election cycle.
Schramm will now fulfill the remainder of Penwarden’s term through May 2021.