ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The state of Illinois longest-serving city council member works right here in the Forest City.
10th Ward Alderman Frank Beach was sworn in for the 11th time Monday night. We caught up with the Republican today who has seen a lot over the last four decades of service.
He says he’s happy with what he’s been able to contribute so far in his years of public service, but he has no intention of slowing down in his eleventh term.
“I love it. I love the people,” said Alderman Beach.
Monday night, Frank Beach was sworn in as Rockford’s 10th Ward Alderman for the 11th time. City officials say he is now the longest-serving city councilor in the entire state of Illinois.
“I haven’t looked at it as 40 years. I’ve looked at it as just serving day-by-day,” he explained.
Beach says some of his proudest accomplishments since he was first elected in 1981 are co-founding the Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition and helping get the Miracle Mile Business Association up and running.
But he says it’s really interactions with residents in his ward that stand out most to him.
“I also can remember going to a woman’s home, I think about 2:00 in the morning. You open the basement door, and there was water at the top step. The place was just flooded,” said Ald. Beach. “We had to get the fire department out. My wife was with me, we took the child she had there to get out of the house.”
“You can always do budgets, you can always do strategic planning, you can always do all of the things that are important and must be done. But the bottom line of a commitment of an alderman ought to be to serve his people.”
Beach says even after 40 years, his desire to help Rockford become a better place to live is as strong as ever. He is humbled that voters have elected him as many times as they have and tells us he hasn’t even thought about calling it quits.
“I feel strong, I feel healthy. And I serve at the will of the people. And if the people still want me to be involved with them, I want to be involved with them,” the alderman added.
Beach says one of the projects he’s most excited to see come to fruition over his next term is the installation of a fiber optic cable system in Rockford.