Voters in Rock Island's 5th Ward have four candidates to choose from in the April 9 municipal election.
The candidates are businessman Dave McAdam, Project Now community services coordinator Kate Hotle, engineer AnthonyHeddlesten andMargie Mejia-Caraballo, who works at the social security office in Rock Island.
Ms. Mejia-Caraballo used to hold the Ward 5 seat but was narrowly defeated by incumbent Jason Jones in 2009. Ald. Jones has decided not to seek re-election.
Ms. Hotle is the youngest of the candidates and wants the city to work to attract more young people to Rock Island.
The city is on the right track on that front, she said, with its support of the development of downtown apartment complexes and the new retail center on 2nd Street. Ms. Hotle said she would bring a fresh perspective to the council if elected.
The former Audubon School building is located in the 5th Ward, and all of the candidates would like to see the structure saved. Fareway has an agreement to purchase the property and plans to demolish the school to build a new supermarket.
Ms. Mejia-Caraballo supports the city's plan to build a new police station. She has toured the existing building and was "astounded that our police can even function" in the space.
She cites her previous experience on the Rock Island/Milan Board of Education and on the city council as her strongest asset.
Mr. Heddleston works as an engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He said his problem-fixing skills would be an asset to the city.
He's active in local community organizations and would like to see "neighborhood ambassadors" appointed in the 5th Ward who could act as liaisons with the city.
Mr. McAdam is an excavation and demolition contractor. He ran unsuccessfully for the city council in 2007 and is a member of the city's board of zoning appeals.
Mr. McAdam said the city's street, water and sewer program is inadequate and wants to see the city get in front of maintenance issues before they become too costly. As a businessman, he said his experience managing staff and meeting payroll makes him a good candidate for council.