By Jim Hagerty
While new South Beloit Mayor Alice Schoonover says she is ready to serve the remaining term of Mike Duffy, her appointment is bittersweet.
“Mike was not only the mayor, he was my friend,” Schoonover said. “He was a hard-working man who had a smile that he never shut off. I feel better for knowing him.”
Duffy died June 20. Schoonover was named mayor pro-tem following his death. She was sworn in Monday, June 30.
“I am honored that the board had confidence in me,” Schoonover said. “We have a lot of work to do. There are several things that started with Mike’s dreams, and we want to see those accomplishments through.”
Those projects include an urban ecology center at the confluence of the Rock River and Turtle Creek, the renovation of the Wheeler Avenue Bridge, and an extension of the city’s bike path into Beloit, Wis.
Schoonover said the bike path extension, which could be more than 100 miles, and a cleanup at the corner of Blackhawk Boulevard and Gardner Street, would be subsidized by a $400,000 grant.
The city’s first woman mayor, Schoonover was elected to the South Beloit City Council in 2011. She has also served on the South Beloit school board. Her mayoral term expires in April 2015.
From the July 2-8, 2014, issue