Posted Online: April 09, 2013, 11:59 pm

Taber upsets Junior for Atkinson mayor

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By Claudia Loucks cjloucks@qconline.com

Atkinson has a new mayor.

Longtime trustee Ken Taber captured 144 votes Tuesday night, and current Mayor August Junior received 129 votes.

Mr. Taber, a village trustee for 16-plus years, said he chose to run for the mayor's seat "to bring unity back to the board."

A village trustee from 2007 to 2009, Mr. Junior was elected mayor in 2009. He was seeking a second term as mayor after an unsuccessful campaign in 2012 to unseat state Rep. Don Moffitt, R-Gilson.

"This isjust another chapter in my life," Mr. Junior said. "I have had an awesome opportunity from the age of 25 to 31 to lead this community."

"I will now focus my efforts to grow our family business and focus on family," he said. Mr. Junior's business, DeDecker Hardware, is across the street fromMr. Taber's business, Gordo's Barn, in Atkinson.

"I want to thank the people of Atkinson for giving me the opportunity to serve first as a trustee and then as their mayor," Mr. Junior said. "I do see an awesome future for the village of Atkinson, and I hope the progress we have made over the last four years will continue. The election process is a great way for people to choose their paths."

Mr. Taber said the key issues in Atkinson are economic development and infrastructure.

"We need to bring business to the I-80 corridor and to our downtown," Mr. Taber said during the mayoral campaign. "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," he said."I have a great sense of pride in Atkinson, and I want the voices of the people in Atkinson to be heard. And I plan to listen."