SILVIS -- Four candidates for two Silvis city council seats in Tuesday's Democrat primary election say they're running for office because they want to play a part in the city's continued development and progress
In Ward 1, incumbent Robert Cervantes face Mike Johnson.
In Ward 4, newcomers Todd Malmstrom and Joseph Johnson face off in the contest to replace incumbent Tom Conrad, who is running for mayor.
Winners of the Tuesday primary are unopposed in the April 9 primary election.
Ald. Cervantes, an alderman for 12 years, points to his experience as a main re-election qualification.
"We've got a new mayor coming in, and we have a lot of aldermen who have only been there for only about a year and a half or so, so my experience is a plus," he said.
"I think my opponent's intentions are good and honorable, but I just don't see the commitment that goes along with it," Mike Johnson said.
Mr. Johnson pointed to attendance statistics listed in meeting minutes recorded by the city clerk. Ald. Cervantes has attended 73 percent of city council meetings and 55 percent of committee meetings, according to those statistics.
"Each council member sits on three committees and chairs one, so to be gone for nearly half of them is not something I would like to see going forward," Mr. Johnson said. "Committee-of-the-Whole meetings are opportunities for me, and members of the community and press to hear discussions and see aldermen participate in the process, so being gone almost a third of the time isn't what I'd like to see either, going forward. After 12 years, maybe it's time to look at a change."
Ald. Cervantes declined to discuss his attendance figures, saying instead that his experience in office, his familiarity with city issues, and his ability to track meetings online and committee meeting notes keeps him well-informed about what's going on in the city.
The city's direction, development and progress spurred Mr. Malmstrom interest in seeking office, he said.
"I want to be involved in the direction it's heading," he said. "Being in that area, and seeing all the development that's coming in made me want to assist my neighbors with any issues that arise. I'm a people person, and, work-wise, I deal with problems on a regular basis, and I hope to can continue that into my political career.
Mr. Malmstrom said he wants to make sure the cost-of-living for citizens in Silvis doesn't continue to rise; keep our taxes down, and watch the city boom with progress," he said.
Jossph Johnson previously served as Fair Acres Neighborhood Association president for 15 years. He also had served as an election judge and has been active in several civic clubs and social service organizations.
"If nothing else," Joseph Johnson said, "I ask people in the Fourth Ward, just to get out and vote."
Candidates in Silvis
Name: Robert Cervantes Age: 55 Birth date: March 27, 1958 Address: 203 5th St. Years in Silvis: 30-plus, including 12 years at current address; was born and raised in East Moline Education: D.B. Hoffman Elementary School, Glenview Junior High School; United Township High School graduate Employment: Freight associate at Kohl's, Moline, for two years; Upper Rock Island County Landfill for 12 years Political experience: Silvis Ward 1 alderman for 12 years
Name: Mike Johnson Age:65 Birth date: Jan. 28, 1948 Address: 600 8th Ave. Years in Silvis: 18-plus, including 10 years at current address and eight years near Schadt Park; grew up in East Moline and Silvis area Education: 1966 United Township High School graduate; attended Black Hawk College in Moline for two years. Employment: retired in 2008 from MidAmerican Energy after 35 years as a contractor and full-time employee. Political experience: none, but was involved in unions during his employment tenure, including as an officer in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 109, Rock Island.
Name: Todd Malmstrom Age: 44 Birth date: May 21, 1968 Address: 961 17th Ave. Years in Silvis: 30-plus, including seven years at current address Education: George O. Barr; 1986 United Township High School graduate; attended Black Hawk College and Morrison Institute of Technology. Employment: Sexton Ford for 12 years Political experience: none, but serving as a union steward for the UAW and for and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
Name: Joseph Johnson Age: 66 Birth date: Address: 1120 21st St. Years in Silvis: 31 years; originally from Armenia until he was 6 1/2 years old; grew up in Bettendorf Education: 1965 Davenport Ascension High School graduate; attended Black Hawk College, majoring in business and marketing. Employment: 11 years at Oscar Mayer; seven years at the former French and Hecht wheel implements; contractor at Deere & Co., managing cleaning crews; Army and Illinois National Guard veteran. Political experience: none, but had served as Fair Acres Neighborhood Association president for 15 years, and has served as an election judge for 18 years.