Sycamore mayor sworn in

By Paul Kirk

The center seat of the Sycamore City Council Chambers was vacant at the beginning of Monday’s meeting. It was pushed back from the chamber’s bench, vacant of its usual occupant.

Mayor B. Phillip Ramsey sat in that chair for the last six months. Before Ramsey, Mayor Harold “Red” Johnson presided over the council. Monday night, Bernard McMillan was sworn in by City Clerk Gayle Brantner. A job she has done twice too many times in her office term, she said.

McMillan said he was shocked to find himself the mayor of the city.

“I was on vacation at the time of (Ramsey’s) heart attack. I worked with him and was a good friend. Things happen pretty sudden,” McMillan said.

However, despite the shock, 3rd Ward Alderman Arthur Drake said he was not totally surprised to hear about Ramsey’s heart attack.

“It came as a terrible shock, but he did have a heart condition. I saw changes in him. He would turn gray when he was talking to you. Being mayor was quite a burden. It put to much pressure on him,” he said.

Drake said he predicts the succession process to go very smoothly as it did when Ramsey replaced Johnson.

City Attorney Tim Johnson called the council to order and proceeded to read a petition calling for McMillan to be sworn into office pursuant to an ordinance passed about three years ago. The ordinance states that the chair of the Finance Committee will fulfill the mayoral duties until the next general election in 1993.

McMillan was sworn into office after a vote of confidence by the council. McMillan chose Cheryl J. Maness to replace him as a 1st Ward Alderman. Maness is currently a school teacher in Sycamore School District 427.