South Beloit City Hall

Courtney Prentice has been chosen as the new South Beloit City Council member. He was among 11 applicants for the vacant council position.

SOUTH BELOIT—A new South Beloit City Council member is scheduled to be sworn in at the June 6 council meeting, following the review of 11 applicants for the council position.

Courtney Prentice, who currently serves as chair of the South Beloit Planning Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals, recently was chosen to fill a position on the council.

The council position became vacant because South Beloit Mayor Ted Rehl is retiring from the council effective at the end of May. Finance Commissioner Tom Fitzgerald will take over as mayor pro-tem, which would leave his position on the council vacant. All terms on the city council will expire next May, including the position that Prentice is filling.

Prentice has served on the South Beloit Zoning Board for eight years. He also served for eight years on the Prairie Hill Board of Education—six of those years as board president.

He is regional manager of Rally Appraisal based in Rockford.

Fitzgerald said all the applicants for the position showed great interest in serving the community and it was a difficult choice.

“I could have put all the names in a hat and drawn any one of them and I think we would have done alright,” Fitzgerald said. “There was a lot of interest from citizens.”

The process of choosing a council member went very quickly as Fitzgerald began interviewing applicants on May 14. All applications were submitted by May 18.

Fitzgerald said he spoke with all the applicants, most in person and some by phone, but in the end he was impressed with Prentice’s knowledge, background and dedication to public service.

“His knowledge of development and annexation impressed me. He definitely will be an asset as the city moves in that direction,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald will be serving as mayor of South Beloit until the term expires a year from now. He said he has not decided yet if he will run for mayor in the general election in April of 2023.

“I haven’t made my final decision yet,” Fitzgerald said. “I want to test drive this mayor thing for a few months and discuss it with my family.”