Eckart provides young voice for Hecker

At only 18, Aaron Eckart is the youngest person to serve on the Hecker Village Board in its 125 years. 

Yet, Eckart’s involvement in village happenings started long before he filled the position left by Trisha Maddox’s resignation this summer.

“I’ve been involved since a very young age, probably about 12,” the lifelong Hecker resident said. “My parents definitely set the example of that because they are already involved in most of the organizations we have in Hecker, so I kind of followed in their footsteps and helped out in any way I could. I just sort of developed a love for the community, helping everybody out and just being there for the town.” 

In fact, his father is also a member of the village board. This, Eckart said, inspired him to “step up” on the board.

“It’s helped that I’ve been around the mayor and the board for the past 5-6 years, so I’ve been learning a lot at the meetings. I feel like then I was prepared to step into this role and help the community,” Eckart said. 

Through his role as street commissioner, Eckart said he is excited to have a new platform to further give back to the community that has helped him so much throughout the years. 

“They’re there for you if you need something, and we’re there for them if they need something,” he said, referring to how his neighbors influenced his childhood. 

His main goals as street commissioner include improving infrastructure and further supporting businesses. 

“Since we’re already limited on businesses in town, (my goal is) making sure we can cater to their needs to keep them here and do what we can to help them,” Eckart said. “Since we’re a smaller community, we don’t get a lot of motor fuel tax for our streets and stuff, so I would like to look at some grant options for upgrading and improving our streets and try to do what we can with our limited resources that we can have.” 

When not diving into board-related business, Eckart is helping at the fire department, church, Hecker Community Center or Hecker Sportsman’s Club. 

Eckart played an instrumental role in planning this year’s Quasquicentennial celebration, which was pushed back a year due to the COVID pandemic. 

He said this wide range of community involvement is helping him best represent the citizens of Hecker.

“I’ve gotten to know a lot of people throughout all these various organizations and I enjoy the relationships I’ve created with them,” Eckart said. “They definitely know that they can come to me if there’s anything in town that needs to be addressed, so I feel like that’s definitely helped me get involved with the village and be able to have those relationships with people in other communities, organizations and businesses in town.” 

You can meet Hecker’s youngest board member at the next village board meeting set for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at Hecker Village Hall. 

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Madison Lammert

Madison is a reporter at the Republic-Times. She has over six years of experience in journalistic writing. Madison is a recent graduate of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in mass communications. Before graduating and working at the Republic-Times, Madison worked for SIUE’s student newspaper, The Alestle, for many years. During her time there she filled many roles, including editor-in-chief. When she is not working, she likes to spend time with her dog and try new restaurants across the river.
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