Democrats gunning for a spot in Rock Island Township government laid out their visions on how government can better serve those in need at a forum Thursday night.
The two candidates for township supervisor and four of the six Democrat seeking four trustee positions fielded questions from township residents at the Rock Island Public Library a month before the Democratic Party primary election scheduled Feb. 26.
The main goals of township government is to assess property value and provided help to those in need, said pre-school teacher Heather Gray, a township trustee since 2008.
The "life-long resident" of Rock Island said she hopes to encourage youth involvement by creating a community garden and using the township's facilities as a resource for younger students.
"Education only leads to better things," Ms. Gray said.
Vince Thomas, another current trustee who said he has lived 54 years in Rock Island, agreed more could be done to help the "vast" amount of children in lower-income families in the city.
Incumbent James Kerr, who became a trustee in 1992, said township government has been able to work well to achieve its goals in the past.
"We've got a good team that really tries to help those in need," he said. Still, he said, more canbe done to engage the community and drum up volunteerism. He suggested the township consider sending out a newsletter to better inform residents.
Trustee-hopeful Rita Kirk said the township government to expand its programs for seniors and low-income residents. Currently a bookkeeper for the township, Ms. Kirk said her unique perspective gives her insight into what she can hope to improve as a board member.
Supervisor candidate Alan Carmenagreed community involvement is critical to better serve the public.The retired Planning and Redevelopment Administrator for the city of Rock Island said there are low-cost options to make township government more accessible to the public, such as meetings and social media.
His opponent, Glen Evans, said the township should focus on helping residents find employment. "We just need to give them an opportunity to work," said Mr. Evans, a minister at Wings of Faith Ministries in Rock Island.
Current township supervisor John Brown has announced he will not seek re-election. The new supervisor and four trustees will be elected on April 9.No Republicans have filed for the posts.
Running unopposed are township assessor Brenda Carmen and township clerk Joan Clark. Both also were at the forum to address concerns from the audience.
Today is Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.