The bursar at Southern Illinois University will be the newest member of the Du Quoin City Council, if her appointment is confirmed Monday as expected.
Jill Kirkpatrick, a Du Quoin native and for 19 years the SIU bursar, is the choice of Du Quoin Mayor Guy Alongi to replace Commissioner Dale Spencer, who resigned from the council on Feb. 26.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Monday, where Kirkpatrick is expected to be approved and sworn in as the city's Finance Commissioner.
"She is a perfect fit for this commissioner's position and the city's needs at this time," Alongi said in a statement released Wednesday.
She will serve until the next consolidated local election in April 2019. She could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Du Quoin. Graduating from the Du Quoin High School, she got a bachelor's degree in business administration from Southern Illinois University, majoring in finance. In 1995, she earned an MBA from SIU Edwardsville.
After 10 years in the banking industry, in 1999 Kirkpatrick joined SIU as bursar. For 19 years she been responsible for the accounting procedures, systems and policies of collection, depositing and tracking the university's tuition and fees.
Her husband, Eric, is a guidance counselor at Du Quoin High School. The couple has two children, both in college.
"I hope you will welcome and have the same confidence in Jill as I do to move Du Quoin forward," Alongi added, inviting the community to attend the meeting in person or watch it on cable channel 16.
Meanwhile, Du Quoin City Clerk and Finance Director Andrew Croessman said Thursday that the city and Spencer are preparing a joint appeal to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, where a recent audit caused Spencer to resign his council seat.
In the appeal, the city and Spencer are fighting an IMRF ruling that Spencer must repay the pension money he received between his election to the city council in 2015 and Feb. 26, 2018, when he resigned.
Spencer was an elected city commissioner in the 1990s. He was appointed the city's public works director, and after he retired he wanted to run for commissioner again.
According to Croessman, Spencer said he talked to the IMRF in 2014, and was told he could be a commissioner again without jeopardizing his pension. However, a recent IMRF audit came to a different conclusion, and the agency is now demanding he repay all the pension money he received during the time he was on the council.
Croessman said the city is participating in the appeal to protect itself against liability. He added he expects the matter to be settled sometime this spring or early summer.