BATAVIA – First Ward Alderman Scott Salvati is resigning from the Batavia City Council because he is moving to Elburn.
Salvati announced his decision at the council’s Monday meeting, with the resignation becoming effective on Dec. 16.
“This was not an easy decision to make,” Salvati said. “It has been a privilege and an honor to serve.”
Salvati said he and his wife have sold their Batavia home and purchased a house in Elburn.
“I cherish the 19 years we have been here,” Salvati said.
On the council, Salvati earned a reputation as an articulate spokesman for his ideas while respecting fellow aldermen with opposing views.
“Scott has always been a very thoughtful participant in council discussions,” Fifth Ward Alderman Mark Uher said.
“He’s always been a fun guy to sit next to,” Second Ward Alderman Alan Wolff said of Salvati. “He was never shy about telling his perspective.”
Salvati’s First Ward colleague, Alderman Michael O’Brien, said Salvati attended closely to the concerns of residents.
“I think Scott represented the First Ward well,” O’Brien said. “He has been very responsive to residents. He was always right on it. I will miss him dearly.”
Salvati was appointed to the council in October of 2016 to fill a vacancy. A few months later, he won a contested race to complete the remainder of the unexpired term. In March of this year, he was elected to a full four-year term without opposition.
Salvati said he is proud of how the Batavia City Council conducts itself.
“I’m proud of the way we move forward as a team and that we respect each other and listen to each other,” Salvati said. “It’s something the people at the state and national levels have lost.”
As for his accomplishments, Salvati said he is pleased with the on-going progress to complete flood-control engineering projects in the First Ward.
Salvati said that during his tenure on the council, easily the most controversial issue was the proposal for an affordable housing project at the historic Campana Building. Salvati helped defeat the project with his vote against approval.
Mayor Jeff Schielke is eager to fill the council vacancy created by Salvati’s departure as quickly as possible.
Schielke said the Illinois Municipal League and other state and regional organizations publish lists of city officials at the start of each year and that he wants Batavia’s list to be complete.
Technically, the mayor could simply appoint a replacement, needing only a confirmation vote from the council.
However, Schielke has long used a system which he describes as more democratic, in which eligible residents apply for appointment, are interviewed in an open meeting and then a winner is selected on a secret ballot by the aldermen.
Schielke is asking interested First Ward residents to submit a letter or resume to his office at Batavia City Hall, 100 N. Island Ave., no later than Dec. 9. The interviews are to be held at a council committee-of-the-whole meeting on Dec. 10, with the appointee likely to be announced then.
Salvati is to step down at the Dec. 16 council meeting, with the new alderman then expected to take the oath of office.
A qualified applicant must be at least 18 years of age, have resided in the ward for at least one year and be a registered voter.
The person appointed to replace Salvati is to serve until the spring of 2021, when the two years remaining on the unexpired council term will be up for election.
The First Ward covers the far southeast side of the city, extending south of East Wilson Street and east of South Raddant Road, including the Woodland Hills, 14th Colony, Breton Manor and Cherry Park subdivisions.
Batavia has seven wards, each represented by two aldermen.