Three apply to replace Connelly as Batavia’s 4th Ward alderman

Three people have applied to become a 4th Ward alderman in Batavia.

The Batavia City Council will interview the applicants at its committee meeting tonight. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Jeffery D. Schielke Government Center, 100 N. Island Ave.

The candidates include:

• Dustin Pieper, of the 100 block of North Prairie Street. He is an engineer, and has lived in Batavia for 1¼ years, according to his application.

“I moved to Batavia because I could tell it had good bones, as they say,” he wrote in answer to a question about why he is interested in the post. “I thought it was doing a lot of things right, which I hadn’t seen in other places I lived around the country. For many years now I have had a keen interest in what makes for effective towns, and so I am excited to be able to get involved more directly at the local level.”

Pieper said he organized a group advocating for fiscally sustainable walkable urban design in Batavia, and participated in a cleanup of the Fox River in May.

• Katherine Swiecicki, of the 300 block of North Prairie, who has lived in Batavia 1½ years.

Swiecicki is a stay-at-home parent, but previously worked as a manager for condominium associations in the Gold Coast area of Chicago.

“I was born in this beautiful prairie river valley that is unlike anywhere else and I returned to it because I wanted my children to live in a place where the arts are alive, there is diversity of thought and culture, and the communities feel both tightly knit and still warmly welcoming,” she wrote in her application.

Her interests include advocating on causes, including anti-racism, gun-violence prevention, climate action and supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

• Darrell O’Brien, of the 800 block of North Forest Avenue. He has lived in Batavia for 25 years, and is retired from a job in operations management. He volunteered for 10 years as a paramedic and firefighter in Pennsylvania before moving to Batavia. He wrote that his work and volunteer experiences, plus participating in park and library programs as he raised his children, “all supports a diverse insight into many of the constituencies represented within our Batavia Community.”

Typically after the council interviews the candidates, it goes into a closed-door session to discuss and rank them. Then the mayor will announce the results, and appoint the person at the next council meeting.

The new alderman will replace Thomas Connelly, who was reelected in April but resigned in May. His replacement will serve until the April 2025 election.