Flessner to step down as village board president in Roberts

ROBERTS — Rick Flessner said Friday that he plans to resign next year as president of the Roberts village board.

Since 2000, the 63-year-old has continuously served as the elected president of the board in the central Ford County community of 362 residents.

His current four-year term expires in April 2021, but Flessner said he plans to move to Paxton in 2019, which will make him ineligible to continue to hold office in Roberts. Flessner said he will resign whenever he ends up moving.

“My master plan was to finish my term there, but I don’t think it’s in the cards right now,” Flessner told the Ford County Record.

Flessner said he has been contemplating the next stages of his life for about six months. The decision he had to make became clearer once he and his wife, Debbie, purchased a home at 1001 S. Union St. in Paxton to spend their retirement.

Flessner said moving to Paxton affords him the convenience of being close to his grandchildren who live there. They are the children of his daughter Kathryn Swan.

“The idea is to be closer to the grandkids and their events so we don’t have to drive (from Roberts and back) in inclement weather,” Flessner said.

While being closer to his grandkids is the “primary reason” for moving, Flessner said he also wants to devote more time to his elected position as Ford County coroner. The coroner’s office is located in the courthouse in Paxton.

“I want to devote more time to being on-call 24 hours a day, five days a week, as coroner,” Flessner said.

Flessner was appointed coroner in December 2017 as a replacement for the retiring Doug Wallace and was elected to a two-term as coroner in last month’s election after running unopposed.

Flessner has also been a volunteer firefighter in Roberts since 1992, but he said he plans to leave the fire department when he moves. Flessner said he has no plans to join the Paxton fire department once he relocates.

Flessner said he is not aware of anyone who has expressed interest in filling the village board president’s position once he steps down. He said, however, that he plans to “talk to some people to find out if they have some interest” in upcoming months.

Flessner said he has thoroughly enjoyed living in Roberts and serving the community.

“The people are great in Roberts, and it’s a great place to be village president,” Flessner said. “The people are pretty patient, pretty kind. I’ve got no issues with (the town), no axe to grind. It’s been terrific.”

Flessner retired last year as a safety technician for Lee Farms Excavating, a position he had held since 2012. Flessner previously worked for Kahle Farms from 2011 to 2012, as a bituminous and concrete mixture inspector for Tobey’s Construction from 2009 to 2011, as a recycled catalyst inspector for MCAT Services from 2008 to 2010 and in supervisory roles for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) from 1975 to 2008.

On Nov. 22, Flessner celebrated his 43rd wedding anniversary with his wife, the former Debbie Kietzman. They have three children: Erich, Rachel and Kathryn.

Location (3):Local, Ford County, Roberts

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