Councilwoman follows in mother’s footsteps

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MARKLEVILLE — Darlene Coverdale is following a family tradition.

Coverdale was sworn in by Madison County Republican Party chairman Russ Willis on Monday as the newest member of Markleville Town Council.

Coverdale is replacing her cousin, Matt Gustin, who was on the board for five years.

He resigned because he moved out of town limits.

Coverdale is also following the footsteps of her mother, Sally Gustin, who was on the board for 35 years, until she passed away in 2013.

When her mother died, Coverdale took her spot on the board for six months, but did not run in the ensuing election.

“I wanted to carry on what she wanted for this community. So, here I am,” Coverdale said. “I’ve had a little taste of it. I think things are going smoother with the town now than they were back then.

“I’ve always been interested, and I love this community. I want to see things come to Markleville.”

Coverdale, 57, is a survivor of colon cancer and has been cancer-free for two years. She said now with more time on her hands, and healthy, she feels she can help make a difference in the community she has called home her entire life.

“I’d like to have been (more involved in the community), and I think I can put more time and effort into it now. I had colon cancer surgery two years ago, and I was dealing with health issues,” she said. “I no longer have cancer. I was limited on what I can do. When the (council position) opened up I said I’ll take it if no one else wants it.”

Willis, who was responsible for appointing the new member, said Coverdale was the only person to fill out the needed paperwork to take the open spot.

“The other councilmen (President Daniel Roseberry and member Kevin Allen) are all in agreement (of her addition),” Willis said.

“I’m excited and nervous,” Coverdale said of being her town’s new board member. “I don’t know if I could ever fill (my mother’s) shoes, but I am pretty happy about (being selected to be on the town council). She loved this town. She always prided herself on the low tax level in Markleville. She wanted to take care of Markleville and have a nice community.

“I hope I am making her proud.”

She said the town is in much better shape than when she was on the board in 2014. Now, as one of the board’s three members, she hopes to help her hometown grow.

“I would like to see new things come to Markleville,” Coverdale said. “We don’t have a lot of property in town for business, but I’d love to see Markleville grow and flourish. I would like to see a little more activity going on.”

Coverdale’s first meeting with the council will be Feb. 8. The council meets twice per month on the second and fourth Mondays.