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MARION'S NEW MAYOR New: First task? City budget.

Byline: JOHN HOMAN Managing Editor

MARION - History was made Thursday morning when Anthony L. Rinella was sworn into office as mayor, becoming the city's first new mayor in 55 years. He replaces the now-retired Robert L. Butler.

Rinella had been serving as finance commissioner on the city council. By Illinois law, the finance commissioner becomes the mayor if the incumbent resigns, retires or is unable to fulfill his duties. Rinella will serve the city in his new position at least until the April 2019 election. Two other men - commissioner Angelo Hightower and political newcomer Dennis Ball - have gone on record saying they will challenge Rinella for mayor next year.

On Thursday, however, it was all about Rinella.

"I stand here with a lot of humility," he said after the swearing-in ceremony. "It's exciting to be in this position. I will be a 24/7 mayor because I believe that's what the people of Marion deserve."

Rinella, who served the city as a firefighter for 32 years and was the fire chief for more than six years, has been on the city council for the past nine years.

"I'm not one to sit still," he said. "I want to hit the ground running. I want to help bring more sustainable jobs to Marion. We (as a community) have to be aggressive if we want business to locate here. We will continue to work with the chamber of commerce and (real estate) developers to see what we can do to entice businesses to come to Marion. And why would you not want to come here? We

have Interstate 57, Illinois 13 and 37, access to an airport, rail service. People know we are business friendly."

Rinella said he, nor anyone else, can fill Butler's shoes as mayor.

"I am going to be Anthony Rinella," he said. "The mayor said to be yourself and let my heart guide me, and that's exactly what I plan to do. I am going to try to prove to the people of this community that I am the right guy for the job."

The first order of business, Rinella said, was tending to the budget. "Our sales revenue has doubled over the last 10 years," he said. "And hopefully, that growth will continue. One thing I have learned in my time on the council is that you don't spend just because you have the money to do so and you never spend when you don't have the money."

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Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Feb 2, 2018
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