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Council Meeting PaysTribute to Gary Sandberg

PEORIA - The moment of silence lasted a little longer in Peoria Council Chambers Tuesday.
PEORIA - The moment of silence lasted a little longer in Peoria Council Chambers Tuesday.
For the first time in 24 years, Gary Sandberg is no longer a councilman. A photo and flowers stood in his place at his seat.
"He was a great guy. He's going to sorely be missed and he was a true friend," said at-large councilman Eric Turner.  
It was Gary's night. His colleagues wore bowties, a dress synonymous with Sandberg. And as the horseshoe relived their favorite moments, some were almost drawn to tears.
“It’s very hard,” said Beth Akeson.  
"When you read the book of Peoria someday, some of us probably won't be more than a footnote,” said at-large councilman Ryan Spain. “But the Gary Sandberg story will be a remarkable chapter in that book."
“He was a watchdog for the taxpayers. He never forgot who he was working for,” said council member Chuck Grayeb. “He knew that the king’s cheese was made of the people’s milk.”
“I guarantee that everyone who’s ever had the opportunity to meet Gary whether it was a just in passing or through long complex projects every one of them will never forget him,” said Mayor Jim Ardis.
Some smile about the man with classic one-liners and a special ability to recall facts. Sandberg always fought for the little guy and his children, Cari and Colt, say he loved his city. 
 "He loved Peoria as much as he loved us, so for that we're grateful," said Cari Sandberg.  
After addressing the crowd, Colt, lived a longtime dream and sat in his father's chair.
The public is invited to celebrate the life of Gary Sandberg on Friday, July 26, 2013. A service will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Gateway Building in downtown Peoria.
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