South Beloit mayor and school district leader ready for retirement


South Beloit Mayor Pro Tem Tom Fitzgerald (L) said goodbye to outgoing Mayor Ted Rehl (R) at a farewell event July 25 at Nature at the Confluence in South Beloit.

After 17 years in South Beloit, "Mr. Personality" Ted Rehl has come full circle. After serving seven years as mayor of South Beloit, he recently announced his retirement and his return to Milwaukee. The announcement comes a year before his second four-year term was completed.

Rehl arrived in South Beloit in 2005, to become the brand-new Willowbrook Middle School’s first principal. The school is in the Prairie Hill School District.

A few years later he was appointed Prairie Hill School District Superintendent. Besides Willowbrook Middle School at 6605 Prairie Hill Road, the district includes Prairie Hill Elementary School, 14714 Willowbrook Road.

During this time, Rehl became a popular host and emcee for local social and community events.

After 10 years at Prairie Hill, Rehl thought he was ready for retirement but instead decided to run for mayor of South Beloit following the death of mayor Michael Duffy in 2015. He decided that if he could successfully run a school district, he could run a small town.

And he did. For the next seven years, Mayor Rehl made significant changes to the little city of South Beloit.

He ran on the promise to attract new development to the area and generate tax revenue.

Construction of a new sewage treatment plant, spearheaded by Rehl, was completed a few months ago.

“I’m 74 years old,” Rehl said, “I’m running out of steam. The commute back and forth between South Beloit and Milwaukee the last several months has been difficult.”

Rehl presided over his final meeting, June 6, 2022. At the meeting, Commissioner of Accounts and Finance Tom Fitzgerald was sworn in as Mayor Pro Tem.

Old friends, past and present, city and village officials, and hundreds of South Beloit residents gathered for a farewell celebration at Nature at the Confluence, 306 Dickop Street in South Beloit, on Monday, July 25, 2022.

Rehl and his wife Annie said their final farewells to a city they have called home for 17 years.

(L to R) South Beloit City Attorney Aaron Szeto, outgoing South Beloit Mayor Ted Rehl, Annie Rehl and former Village of Rockton President Dale Adams got together for a final group picture at Nature at the Confluence farewell gathering, June 25.
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