ATKINSON -- A longtime village trustee is challenging incumbent Mayor August Junior in Tuesday's municipal election.
Ken Taber, who has served as a trustee for 16 years, said he is running to ensure tax dollars are used wisely. Mr. Junior said he is seeking a new term to build on the foundation for village growth laid down over the past four years.
There's otherwise a dearth of candidates in the village.
Just two candidates -- Robert Rahn and Richard J. Pratt -- have filed for the three open four-year seats on the board. There also are but two candidates -- Michael Vergane and Raymond Elliott -- seeking three open unexpired two-year terms.
NAME: August "Gus" Junior AGE: 31 ADDRESS: Atkinson OCCUPATION: HVAC technician and installer FAMILY: Parents, Corey and Evie Junior; girlfriend, Mary Hansen EDUCATION: Annawan High School, Black Hawk College. POLITICAL PARTY: Independent OFFICE SOUGHT: Atkinson village president PRIOR OFFICES: Current village president, past village trustee WHY RUNNING:I feel we have laid a great foundation for Atkinson residents. I would like to build on that foundation by writing balanced budgets, repairing our infrastructure, and keeping taxes and rates low. KEY ISSUE:The time to develop the I-80 corridor and West View Estates Subdivision is now. Updating our downtown will follow. We have already begun to address this challenge by investing in a TIF district for Atkinson. Our newly minted TIF district is a tool we can use to help offer incentives to developers looking for a place to invest. COMMENTS:I have been extremely proud of our balanced budgets and paying off a large portion of debt early. When I entered office, our debt payments were scheduled through 2024. Now, Atkinson has a good chance to be debt free by 2015. We have offered curbside recycling ($20,000/year), at no cost to our residents, in an effort to become more of a green community. Our workforce is professional, dependable, and efficient. Atkinson's workforce has helped our community attain many goals and deserves great thanks. I believe we are certainly heading in the right direction in many areas of our community. Balanced budgets, staying efficient, and our workforce will all be needed to reach our goals over the next four years.
NAME: Ken Taber AGE:58 ADDRESS: Atkinson OCCUPATION: Employed by The Barn, bar and restaurant in Atkinson FAMILY: Wife Chris Taber; daughter Jamie; sons Travis and Trent; three grandchildren EDUCATION: Graduated from Atkinson High School POLITICAL PARTY: Nonpartisan OFFICE SOUGHT:Atkinson village president PRIOR OFFICE: Atkinson village trustee for 16-plus years WHY RUNNING: I am running for mayor to ensure the people of Atkinson that their tax dollars are well spent. We need to bring unity back to our board. KEY ISSUE:The key issues in Atkinson are economic development and infrastructure. We need to bring business to the I-80 corridor and to our downtown. We also need to attract families to build homes in West View Estates Subdivision. With extra tax dollars from more business and residential, we can build our infrastructure and keep Atkinson a great place to live. COMMENTS:I feel I have a great sense of pride in Atkinson, and I will listen to all of your needs if elected. Thank you for your vote.
Today is Monday, March 10, the 69th day of 2014. There are 296 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Numerous counterfeiters are around, taking advantage of the influx of currency to pass their worthless trash. 1889 -- 125 years ago: J.J. Reimers, secretary and treasurer of the Rock Island Lumber and Manufacturing Co., on behalf of that firm, contributed $500 toward construction of a new Methodist church. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Samuel Ryerson, county recorder, was re-elected president of the 19th District of Knights of Pythias. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Three condemnation suits have been filed by the city of Rock Island to acquire property needed for an approach to the Rock Island-Davenport bridge, which has been under construction since March 6. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Plans for an eight-story Sheraton Inn in downtown Rock Island were announced today at a luncheon meeting at the Gay Nineties sponsored by the Rock Island Chamber of Commerce. Cost of the structure is estimated at $2.5 million. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Representatives of the Hardee's Golf Classic and tournament sponsor Hardee's Food Systems may meet next week with PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman to discuss a possible change in the tournament dates.