By Rachel Klein
Local elections are coming up in Peoria for Mayor and City Council. The ballot also includes Illinois Central College Board of Trustee positions to be filled.
Incumbent candidate Jim Ardis, 56, is running for reelection for mayor of Peoria. He is opposed by Couri Thomas, 39, a Peoria Area Food Bank Warehouse Supervisor.
The outcome is hard to foresee because Ardis has experience as Peoria Mayor since 2005, however he has gotten into some conflict this past year. However, Thomas has no experience and the Peoria citizens do not know what to expect from him.
Thomas described his platform focus to 1470 WMBD in an interview saying, “There are a lot of things, from unemployment and poverty to infrastructure.”
He explained to 1470 WMBD that his job has allowed him to meet and speak to citizens and it has encouraged him to run. They have expressed their frustrations and Thomas says, “I feel like someone has to step up and take on that leadership.”
Ardis told piavotes.com, “My priorities have always been public safety, supporting and creating education opportunities and job/economic development.”
When Thomas was asked the same question he said, “Bring wealth to Peoria by investing in scalable business and worker training to meet the needs of our businesses.”
Along with the Peoria Mayor position, City Council District 1 and 4 incumbent Council members are facing opponents. For District 1, incumbent Denise Moore is running against David J. Berry.
According to the Peoria Journal Star, Moore was the first African American councilwoman when she was elected in April of 2013. She has worked to bring businesses to her district.
David J. Berry actually supported and voted for Moore in her past election but has now decided to oppose her in this local election.
According to the Peoria Journal Star, Berry said he has nothing against Moore but he thinks there are some problems with how the city conducts business in general.
“I see a lot of decisions being made behind closed doors and the public getting information after decisions basically have been decided,” Berry said to the Peoria Journal Star.
City Council District 4 is between incumbent councilman, Jim Montelongo, and Assistant Police Chief, Mike Eddlemon.
Jim Montelongo told the Peoria Journal Star, “Making sure a city has great basic city services is the primary role for city government. Fire, police and public works are our main responsibilities.”
Mike Eddlemon told the Peoria Journal Star that his top priorities are jobs, crime, and neighborhood improvement.
Local government positions are not the only thing being voted on this election. Illinois Central College has eight Board of Trustee candidates running for three open positions.
Winners of the April 4 election will serve an unpaid 6-year term with duties that include appointing a college president, other administrative personnel and all professors. To hold, preserve, and invest in the assets of the district, to fix the principal objectives and policies of the institution, and to represent the institution to the public.
ICC Board of Trustee candidates include:
- Carl Cannon, 55, a Supervisor of Community Outreach.
- Angelito “Lee” Capati, 65, President of AC Gentrol, Inc.
- Kelly Daniels, 39, an Instructional Designer at Caterpillar.
- Paula Davis, 62, who is currently retired.
- Brett Fugate, 42, founder and owner of Fugate Drums.
- Ronda Guyton, 44, Peoria County Sheriff’s Deputy
- Patti Polk, who is following her late husband, James, on the board.
- Rachel Reliford, 33, a Senior Physician Recruiter at OSF HealthCare
In the April 4, 2017 General Election in the City of Peoria make sure you take into consideration everyone’s positions and their platforms to make Peoria a better place.
Photo Courtesy of Peoria Journal Star and WCBU on Twitter.