Marion mayor Bob Butler to retire in January - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Marion mayor Bob Butler to retire in January

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MARION -- Mayor Bob Butler is set to retire early next year, after 55 years on the job.

Butler says hearing problems are making it hard for him to do his job effectively.

"I've had a gradual deterioration in hearing," Butler told News 3. "It's to the point that often times when I'm talking to someone one-on-one or in a group, I either do not hear all that's being said or I do not understand what is being said."

Butler continued, "This is not satisfactory and I think the hearing situation is not going to improve, so it is in the best interest of the city and the citizens for me to step down at this time."

Butler said he hasn't had a vacation in several years, so he plans to take December off. His last day as mayor will be January 31st. 

Marion finance commissioner Anthony Rinella, who by law becomes mayor pro-tem, will take Butler's place, finishing the remainder of his term.

"He thought this was best for the city," said Rinella. 

Rinella, who is running for his own term as mayor, said Butler will be a tough act to follow. 

"He's laid such a foundation for this city that's unheard of -- 55 years," said Rinella. "That's why Marion has progressed the way it has."

For his part, Butler said he's not worried about his legacy.

"I'm really not too concerned about my legacy or how I will be remembered," said Butler. "I know the accomplishments that we've had and that gives me great personal satisfaction, so if I'm remembered by anybody, I hope that it is in a favorable light. "

Below is the official release from the city of Marion:

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