Eric Evans appointed to vacant seat on Paxton City Council

PAXTON — Lifelong Paxton resident Eric Evans was appointed Tuesday night to fill a vacant seat on the city council.

The 36-year-old Evans was appointed by Mayor Bill Ingold to fill the Ward 1 seat previously held by Bob Jones, who resigned in June after serving on the council since December 2016.

Jones had been elected in April to a four-year term, and Evans was appointed to fill the first two years of that term. In 2019, Evans will have the opportunity to be elected for another two years, according to City Comptroller/Treasurer Julie Burgess.

In asking for the council to concur with his appointment of Evans, Ingold noted that Evans has been “very active” with the Paxton Park District and is raising a family in town. The council concurred with the mayor’s appointment via a 7-0 vote, and Evans was then sworn in to office by City Clerk Gwen Smith.

Up until a few years ago, Evans served for several years as an elected member of the Paxton Park District’s board of commissioners, including serving as the board’s president.

Evans continues to serve as chairman of the Ford County 911 Emergency Telephone System Board — a position he has held for several years.

Since 2002, Evans has also been a volunteer firefighter for the Paxton Fire Protection District. Evans is also now a state-licensed first-responder for the fire department.

Evans has been married for four years and has a 4-month-old son. Evans is the son of Dan and Kim Evans.

Evans graduated from Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School in 2000 and later earned a technical degree from Universal Technical Institute in Glendale Heights. For the past four years, he has worked in equipment sales at Shaff Machinery and Implement Co. in Urbana. Previously, he worked for John Deere and as a route driver for Aquality Solutions.

Evans said that when he became aware of a vacancy on the council, he decided to contact the mayor and express interest in filling it. Evans said his interest in serving as an aldermen is mainly to see his hometown continue to improve economically.

“Economic development was the big thing I wanted to help out with,” said Evans, who is expected to chair the council’s city property committee.

Evans said he has been pleased with the number of improvements being made to the town’s economy in recent months under Ingold’s leadership, including the opening of a new hotel on the city’s west side, the opening of new restaurants both on the west side of town and downtown, and the expansion of existing businesses.

Evans said he hopes his new position as an alderman will allow him to help the city continue such economic growth.

“We’re really booming pretty good, and we’ve got some really good businesses in Paxton, and I think we can add to that,” Evans said. “There’s always room for improvement. I just feel that that was the big thing that sort of caught my eye that I sort of wanted to help out with. That was the big, big, big reason I pursued (the position).

“I was born and raised in this town, and I think the town’s great. We’ve got a lot of great things going on for a small town. ... I just want to be a part of that and try to help out and see what we can do.”

Location (3):Local, Paxton, Ford County

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