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91-year-old Dale Trinka Elected to the Lebanon City Council

From left to right: Beth Wilkins, Ulanda Renee Branch, Charles Witty, Robert (Bobby) Davis, Dale Trinka, Charles Bennett, George Fero

By Jade Marceau–Mary

May 1st, 2023, Dale Trinka and six other elected council members were sworn in at Lebanon City Hall on May 1st, 2023 at 6:30 PM. Dale Trinka was just elected as a write-in for a 2-years term to the Lebanon Ward III City Council. The election took place on April 4th, 2023, and was “a mild surprise, ” for Trinka. This is a new experience for Trinka, who is now starting from ground zero. It was only a month before his election that Trinka learned there was no candidate on the Lebanon Ward III ballot, that’s when he decided to set himself a new goal: being elected by his community. “An elective should always be elected rather than appointed, so I decided to start my campaign,” Trinka said. In order to reach his goal, Trinka did not join or organize any meetings but decided to rely on word of mouth to make his name known. Nevertheless, he still believes part of his success involved a degree of luck. 

Since he retired, Trinka has not stopped helping his community; he was the President of the Auxiliary at the Belleville Memorial Hospital in 1998 and volunteered at the book sales. When Trinka left the Memorial Hospital because of the Covid restriction, he had over 12,000 hours of volunteer work but decided to get involved with the historical society of the local community of Lebanon. His friend and coworker describe him as a “very active and organized man.” According to Carole Middendorf, the director of the volunteer service at the Belleville Memorial Hospital (1979-2017), Trinka was a lot of fun to work with, very organized, and someone she loved to work with him. According to Middendork, Trinka will be great for this role as he has a lot of common sense and follows the rules. “He is just a great guy, very fun, and a good friend! He is a great human being that will do great!” Middendorf said.

For the past two months, Trinka has been going to council meetings to learn more about the use and importance of his new role. Trinka is now expected to attend city clerk meetings, represent the people in his area and be in charge of decisions regarding the budget and the community. Trinka hopes to bring more business to town and help people get more involved in the community. Trinka is also in charge of the cemetery committee of Lebanon, IL.

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