"This is going to be my last City Council meeting," she announced, and the read a brief prepared statement.Vogelsberg was appointed to the City Council in 2004 and was re-elected in April 2013.
Her primary reason for leaving the council is to spend more time with her family. She works for the Kane County State's Attorney's Office and felt that she was spread too thin between work, family, her many charitable and community service enterprises and the 3rd Ward.
She is the executive director of the Paul Ruby Foundation for Parkinson's Research and a St. Peter Church volunteer. She co-chaired the 60 Men Who Cook fundraiser and served on the Tri-Com board and Plan Commission. She was mayor pro tem in 2012.
"You can only do so much, and I really thought I could keep doing everything. But you can’t do everything well," she said after Tuesday's meeting.
Vogelsberg said she started thinking about how well she could serve as alderman after she started the full-time job with the State's Attorney's Office.
"I had almost nine years of
perfect attendance, and then my attendance started to fall off — because I’m so
tired after work," she said, with her trademark laugh. "Then a couple things happened with a family member, and I
thought, 'You know, this is a good time to leave.'
"But what really pushed me was that thought that somebody else might come in with renewed passion," she said. "I thought, there’s got to be somebody out there who’s saying, ‘Walk away and let me have it next.’ I really believe we have a lot of great people in our ward."
Vogelsberg stepped away quietly, making the announcement in the New Business portion of the council agenda and asking Mayor Kevin Burns not to make too big a deal of her leaving — no plaques, no presentations, no photo ops.
Aldermen seemed genuinely surprised by the announcement, but they each took a turn thanking Vogelsberg and wishing her well. Many mentioned her sense of humor and ability to disagree but do so civilly and with appreciation for other people's points of view.
"I think you were the best partner I've had on the City Council," 5th Ward Alderman Craig Maladra said. "The way we work together is the way I think aldermen should work together. What people don’t realize is that we disagree on almost everything. But I listen to her, and I think she might listen to me from time to time. I’ll miss her."
"You've come up with some unique new ways to make Geneva a better place," 1st Ward Alderman Chuck Brown said. "You’ve made it fun."
Fourth Ward Alderman Ron Singer agreed.
"There are many things I’ve appreciated — your insights and
especially your sense of humor," he said. "I've appreciated the service, and I think your
constituency has, as well."
City Administrator Mary McKittrick thanked Vogelsberg on behalf of the city staff, "for all of your support and the respect you’ve shown for our work. We have learned from you because of your passion for the city of Geneva. We feel like we're partners and not subordinates."
Burns said Vogelsberg reminded him of the plate jugglers on the old Bozo Circus Show, trying to keep all of her causes spinning without letting them drop. He mentioned that she was instrumental, even before she was an alderman, in spearheading a referendum for a new fire station and expanded police station.
"But among all the titles you've had — plan commissioner, Community Chest volunteer, Parkinson’s research, and a full-time job with the State's Attorney's Office — I know your favorite title is 'mom.' "