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Belleville Gets a New Mayor

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Alderman Mark Eckert was appointed by the Belleville, Ill. City Council Monday night to be the city's new mayor.

Eckert will become mayor next month when Mark Kern leaves the post to become St. Clair County Board Chair (Kern won the election for County Board Chair this month).

Eckert says his mayor's office will be very similar to Kern's, which he says will include always looking to expand Belleville's boundaries.

"I want to continue to do things - not just annex to be annexing, but when possible and when necessary make positive annexations so that we can continue a strong, steady growth," Eckert said Monday.

"Like any city of 190 years old you always have your peaks and valleys; your years where you seem like you're rising and times I'm sure when people think you're slipping. But right now I think we have 12 subdivisions either being built or plans are in the works to go up, so we have a pretty good construction boom."

Eckert's appointment will only last until next April's election, though he plans to run for the job at that time.

The City Council also appointed Johnny Anthony to their ranks Monday night to fill another vacancy. He becomes the first black alderman in Belleville's 190-year history.

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