Spring Valley bids farewell to Mayor Walt Marini

Marini hands over post to Spring Valley’s first female mayor

SPRING VALLEY — Spring Valley residents on Monday night packed the council chambers to see outgoing Mayor Walt Marini preside over his final council meeting before handing over the job to Melanie Malooley-Thompson.

An emotional Marini thanked those who worked with and beside him over his eight years as head of the council, saying he looks forward to seeing everyone around town as his retirement from civic duties officially begins.

“I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to service this community that I have lived in for the past 49 years,” Marini said. “I was originally elected to the council in 2001 and served as the alderman of the third ward for 12 years. During my tenure as an elected official, I have enjoyed being a cheerleader for Spring Valley, but I believe it is time to make way for a fresh perspective to help lead Spring Valley through the next four years.”

Marini detailed some of the accomplishments achieved during his tenure, including constructing a new water treatment plant and a new aeration system for the city’s lagoon. He said during his time, the city was able to pass a sales tax increase to fund road repairs and implement a program to finance sidewalk repairs. Additionally, he said, the city benefitted from the foresight of creating an economic director position, something neighboring towns have since implemented.

“Each day there was something different going on, which made the job very interesting, and at times very challenging,” he said. “The joy I have derived from my role as mayor is beyond description. I have enjoyed working among and with all of the aldermen, the people in the street and police departments, Becky (Hansen) and the ladies in the clerk’s office and Debb Ladgenski, our economic director. All of the accomplishments of this administration are due to the collaboration between the mayor and the council.”

“I think it is not a bad idea to have perhaps a new fresh perspective for someone to take Spring Valley to the next level,” Marini continued. “Getting people from all walks of life and younger citizens involved in local government will be good for the city.”

Malooley-Thompson was sworn-in prior to the meeting adjourning.

With the new council in place, the board approved the following appointments: Sheryl Churney of Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins as city attorney and Chamlin & Associates as city engineering firm.

Additionally, the council approved the appointments of: Dave Argubright, board of fire and police commissioners, three-year term; Julie Eilers, police pension board, two-year term; Dave Baracani, park board, five-year term; Mark Wiltse, zoning board of appeals, five-year term; Jane Weberski, Jim Arkins, Nancy McNally and Nora Cosgrove, library board, three-year term; Luke Carls, Lynda Hanson, Nate Cullinan and Mike Dergance, planning commission, four-year term.