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Longtime mayors step down, reflect on service

They sought elected office many years ago for similar reasons and now believe they leave having made a positive impact. Two area mayors are stepping away from elected office confident they made good on efforts to give back to their communities.
Silver Lake Mayor Bruce Bebo and Plato Mayor Bob Becker stepped away from elected office this week. Bebo served on the Silver Lake City Council for 18 years, 16 as the community’s mayor. Becker served as Plato’s mayor for 22 years. Reflecting on their tenure, the two men are proud of the work they have done and satisfied that with the help of their respective council members, their cities are better off today than when they took office. Glencoe City Councilor Gary Ziemer served his community for 12 years on the city council. He declined requests to discuss his tenure and service to the community.
Bebo served four years on Silver Lake’s planning commission and two years as a city councilor before a successful bid for mayor in 2002.
He is particularly pleased with how well the various city councils worked together over the years. Even when there were disagreements, Bebo believes councilors consistently had Silver Lake’s best interests in mind and worked for the betterment of the city. The commitment to the community helped convince Lakes Gas to move its headquarters to Silver Lake, Bebo said. He saw development on the east side of Silver Lake and the collaboration with civic groups and individuals to build the aquatic center in the early-2000s, a public-private partnership Bebo believes Silver Lake should be proud of. He’s pleased the council supported Dollar General moving to town and the city’s efforts supporting the paving of the Luce Line Trail.
“These may not seem like big things to others, but it took a lot of hard work by all the councils over the years to pull these things together,” Bebo said.

(For the complete story, see the Jan. 2 print edition of The Chronicle.)