Since leaving office several years ago, I've watched with interest developments locally. As a result, I plan on Tuesday to support the candidates running for re-election for mayor and city council in Rock Island; and to vote "yes" on the county referendum concerning public buildings.|
As to the mayor and council, Rock Island has for years lost sales taxes to neighboring communities because we don't have large flat areas for big-box retailers. Mayor Dennis Pauley and the current council understand this problem and have worked aggressively to create more retail opportunities == on 11th Street with the proposed Walmart, and in Southwest Rock Island at the intersection of the Rock Island Parkway and Interstate 280. They've also continued strong public/private partnerships set up over the years, to revitalize the downtown and our older neighborhoods. And they've worked to maintain quality public services while holding the line on taxes.
So I'd say they've earned our continued support.
As to the county referendum on public buildings, approval of this will allow costs of needed improvements to our county courthouse and related facilities to be spread over a longer time at a lower rate of interest than other alternatives. Consolidating county operations downtown as supporters are suggesting also makes sense, since splitting functions at different locations just reduces efficiency and increases operating costs.
So I plan to vote for those running for re-election in Rock Island and for the County Public Building proposition. And I encourage your support for Mayor Pauley, Aldermen Brooks, Foley, and Austin; as well as a "Yes" vote on the county public building commission referendum.
Mark W. Schwiebert,