BATAVIA – The April election saw Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke winning his 10th term, making him one of the longest-serving mayors in the country.
Schielke said the $777 he spent on 200 signs was just about his only campaign expense. Apparently, it was money well-spent, as the mayor earned another four-year term, defeating challenger Jason Stoops.
Schielke has been Batavia’s mayor for 36 years and is well-known for his fascination with the community’s history. With Batavia’s population now at well over 26,000, the city has doubled in size since he first was elected mayor.
Believe it or not, Schielke is not the longest-serving active mayor in Illinois. That honor goes to Bob Butler of downstate Marion, who has been mayor of that community since 1963. However, he announced in December that he will retire at the end of January because of hearing difficulty.
Schielke currently is tied for second, along with southwest suburban Palos Hills Mayor Jerry Bennett. Both men were first elected on the same day in 1981.