Powell resigns from council

By Tammy Sholer

The announcement of DeKalb 7th Ward Alderman Mark Powell’s resignation last week brought sighs of relief from several of Powell’s colleagues on the DeKalb City Council.

“I’m glad to see him leave,” said 3rd Ward Alderman Bill Hanna. “He was a powerless power on the council making noise.”

Powell could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts. His resignation will take effect Aug. 10.

Fourth Ward Alderman Rita Tewksbury said Powell’s resignation is “best for DeKalb and best for the council.” She said Powell seldom attended budget meetings in which many important decisions were made.

The meetings Powell did attend he disrupted with name calling that hurt people’s feelings, Tewksbury said.

“Truly, the last year-and-a-half only ran with six people (on the city council) anyway,” she said. With Powell gone, the council will run smoothly again, she said.

Fifth Ward Alderman Bessie Chronopolous said it is unfortunate that Powell did not spend much time in his aldermanic duties because the council needs seven people to operate properly. “Sometimes it was as if he didn’t exist,” she said.

Hanna said Powell’s constituents, who are mostly NIU students, suffered the most. In the next election, 7th Ward constituents hopefully will consider the candidates and elect someone who represents them, Hanna said.

“Mark Powell only represented Mark Powell,” he said.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” DeKalb Mayor Greg Sparrow said. “The public wasn’t buying what he was selling.”

Sparrow said Powell’s other job kept him away from DeKalb constantly. “What reason did he have to stay here? I didn’t think he would last another two years,” he said.

Sparrow said he will appoint an alderman in October to replace Powell. He said he wants to wait until NIU classes resume to give students the opportunity to apply for the position.

Powell was elected alderman in April, 1987, and his term is scheduled to end in April, 1991. Powell ran for DeKalb mayor in the April 4 election, receiving 172 of the 4,491 votes cast among four candidates.