As your mayor of Rock Island, my top priority would be to have an open door to all of our citizens, employees, union employees, residents and business. Seventy-two businesses and residents have left our city. Our population continues to shrink and our infrastructure is deteriorating. I present you my top priorities:
As your mayor I will strengthen the core of our city by:
-- Supporting small businesses that stitch the fabric of our city and bring small business and large big box retail together as partners.
-- Enhancing our 11th Street corridor from River to River, all 2½ miles, while bringing this concentration of businesses all leading to our District, Blackhawk Road and 18th Avenue.
-- Filing our empty storefronts with modern service and retail business, made up of our diverse population; new immigrants to young professionals; our families that want to return to their heritage, and others eager to share their dreams with our dreams of an eager community yearning to share with all.
-- Strengthen our Southwest Business Park which will add residents, which will create opportunity for more infill housing developments; once again building for a better tomorrow.
-- Concentrate on fixing our city's infrastructure, not just main roads, but alleys and secondary streets, all mired in large gaping craters and deteriorating curbs, sidewalks and breaking water lines.
-- Continue to bring business to the 1st Ward, while adding new housing, and areas where our youth can mingle without crime.
-- Continue to market our beautiful Martin Luther King Center, not only to one ethnicity, but to all of our Quad-Cities, helping young and old experience the dream and vision of Dr. King.
We must balance our priorities and not continue to neglect our loyal businesses, both large and small; all while continuing to share our historic neighborhoods and residents who share a vision for a Rock Island that will show other communities why we strive for Rock Island Pride.
I agree that SW Rock Island, including Jumer's needs our attention. We have tough competition ahead. However, let's utilize what we have and preserve our natural landscape.
The ramp that Jumer's installed off of Interstate 280 onto Highway 92 leads right to Jumer's and to our new Southwest Rock Island Business Park on Andalusia Road. The access is there, the utilities are there, all without jeopardizing a levee system or being dependent upon modifying a levee our city is not liable for and does not own.
I have walked over the last five months, in rain and snow, much of the city, talking with our residents, our churches and our business. I have attended neighborhood meetings and have heard all of their praise and problems.
As mayor I hope you will stand behind me on these goals, piercing these thoughts through with transparency and public input, as we build TOGETHER a stronger and healthier city. I would be honored to have the privilege of your vote on Tuesday, David A. Levin is a commercial Realtor with Ruhl and Ruhl.