Monticello Alderman Sherrie Gillespie, who has served on the Monticello City Council for seven consecutive terms and four administrations, will not seek reelection.
“It’s been fun. It’s been pleasurable, and I’ve treasured the opportunity,” said the Ward 1, Position 1 alderwoman. “I have had the honor of working in the administration of four different mayors. There comes a point in your life when you know it’s the right time to say goodbye. This is that point.
“Being selected by my peers (which now seems like several years ago) to run for the city council was a very symbolic milestone in my life,” she said. “To my knowledge, no African-American female had ever done so. But perhaps the greatest part of that accomplishment was the fact that I never had a challenger for the position. It’s a wonderful feeling of achievement when your community and your city entrust you for such a long time.
Gillespie said that her plans were to leave the city council earlier, but there were several citizens who pleaded with, and eventually convinced, her to seek re-election.
“I realized myself that there was still some unfinished business,” she said. “I do want to make sure that the Sadie T. Johnson Community Building is rebuilt, restored and returned to its prior importance and significance within the city of Monticello. That should be without question.”
Gillespie said she believes that people all over Drew County know that I she served their needs and represented their concerns, regardless of race, creed or color
“The knowledge and experience I’ve gained, the people I’ve really grown to know, and the relationships I’ve established since joining the council won’t end because I’m not there,” she said. “People know that and people respect that. They know whatever I set out to do, I set out to be and do the very best I can.
“Monticello is a great place to live; always has been and always will be,” Gillespie said. “There are great people serving on the council who have the best interest of the city at heart. There will always be times when they will agree to disagree, but I’m convinced that they truly love Monticello. They just need real support and not bickering.”
Throughout her service, Gillespie said her husband and family have been completely supportive of her efforts.
Commenting on her future, Gillespie said she still has plenty to keep her busy.
“My husband is a pastor and we are also in our 15th year of operating our pre-school and childcare business,” she said. “I also have grandkids to watch and help grow up.”
Gillespie said she is announcing her intentions not to seek reelection early so that the people of Ward 1 will have an opportunity to seriously contemplate the significance of finding the right person for the job.
“I’ll stay out that process unless I’m asked for advice,” she said.