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Legacy of leadership

Posted: Friday, Jan 18th, 2013

Bill Cipolla being sworn in to office of Mayor of Rochelle in 1967.

ROCHELLE — Former Rochelle mayor Bill Cipolla passed away earlier this month, but his leadership which spanned over portions of three decades in office helped transform the “Hub City” and leave a lasting mark on the community.

Cipolla served four terms as mayor (1967-1983) and he was passionate about his job. While he did not make everyone happy with his decisions, people who knew him remember him as a good guy whose enthusiasm and hard work gave Rochelle the progressive push it needed at the time.

One of the biggest issues during his 16-year tenure as mayor was the building of the Seventh Street (IL Route 251) overpass that allowed motorists to travel north and south through town without having to be stopped for long periods of time by trains.

While most people don’t think twice today about the importance and convenience of the overpass, before it was built the bridge was one of the most controversial subjects of the time in Rochelle and had many opponents.

For the complete article see the 01-17-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-17-2013 paper.

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