Streator’s newly appointed Mayor Tara Bedei said Tuesday she is goal oriented.
Moving forward, she would like to see the city hang its strategic plan on the City Hall council chamber walls for the public and council members to reference and to use for accountability, for example.
“I’m all for transparency and for the public understanding what we’re doing and why we make the decisions we make and the thought process behind them,” she said.
The council voted unanimously Tuesday to name Bedei as the city’s next mayor after Jimmie Lansford resigned. Lansford had served as Streator’s mayor for 11 years, citing health and personal reasons for his Dec. 31 resignation.
Bedei is the city’s first woman to serve as mayor.
Bedei, who is a plant manager at Streator Dependable, has served on the council the longest of any current member, taking her seat in September 2013. She was serving as mayor pro tem prior to Lansford’s resignation. She said she had a conversation with Lansford prior to his resignation about some of his goals and the direction of the city.
“I want to thank him for his service to the community,” she said. “This isn’t the way he would like to leave office, but I have a lot of respect for him and I hope I’m able to make him proud of the job I do. Those are big shoes to fill.”
Bedei will be sworn-in officially at the committee of the whole meeting Tuesday, Jan. 11. At that meeting, she will resign her position as councilwoman and the council will have 60 days to fill her vacancy. The vacancy will be the second the council has had to fill this term. Joe Scarbeary resigned in September and Timothy Geary was appointed then. At that time, the council interviewed two other candidates for the vacancy. The council will decide at the Jan. 11 meeting the process it wants to take for filling the vacancy.
Bedei has a Facebook page “Tara Bedei - Streator City Council” where she posts council agendas, information and answers questions from the public. She has managed this page regularly for a few years.
As a councilwoman, Bedei has been active in Streator Tourism, the Walldogs committee, Streator’s 4th of July Celebration committee, the Streator Action and Revitalization Team, Streator Leading Ladies, among other organizations.
The mayor position will be up for election in April 2023 — along with four other council seats. Bedei said as of Tuesday, her plan is to run for a full term as mayor.