STICKNEY – It may have been only seven votes that made Stickney Village Trustee Debbie Morelli the new village president last month, but Morelli takes the seat confident that it was time for a change.
Morelli, who was sworn in May 7, defeated incumbent Daniel O’Reilly after he served one term. She was appointed as trustee in 2002 and elected for her first full term in 2003. She has served as a trustee since.
Morelli said it was residents who convinced her to take a run for the president’s seat.
“The reason I ran was because I just had listened to a lot of people who supported the past president and they weren’t happy with the way things were going,” she said. “I’ve also had an interest in it. I thought if there ever was at time for me to run for president, this would be the time to do it.”
Morelli remains the longest serving elected official in the village.
Asked if she attaches any significance to being the first woman to sit at the head of the Board’s table, she said very much so.
“I think it’s very much significant,” she said. I have a very different prospective on things. I know the way I handle things will be different than the last group. I think people were ready to have a woman step up and run the village. I know by talking to village employees, they’re really looking forward to working with me.”
Morelli said she ran on a platform of having the right people in the right position, not because of who they knew, but what they know.
“We’ll reach out to everyone in the community, not just certain people,” she said.
Morelli wants to start off on a positive note by beginning preparations for the village’s 100th anniversary this year.
“That’s going to be one of our big projects,” she said. “We have to start talking to the senior residents, collecting memorabilia and history.”
As far as what else needs to be done, or fixed, Morelli said she needs to get established in her new role and start looking. And yes, she said, there may be house cleaning as a result of what she finds.
“That’s what we promised the residents,” she said. “It’ll be a new adventure, that’s for sure.”