PORT BYRON -- Nine people have filed to fill five village posts up for election April 4.
The ballot includes village president, a two-year trustee and three four-year trustees. Because no one filed to run for village clerk, trustees elected April 4 will appoint a person to that post.
Village residents also will be asked if future municipal elections become nonpartisan.
-- Village President (Mayor):
Republican Kevin Klute, 56, has been village president since August 2013 after serving as a trustee.
Born in Honolulu, he has lived in Port Byron for 20 years. He graduated from Ames (Iowa) High School and studied accounting at Iowa State University. He ran a restaurant in Des Moines before moving to Porty Byron. He currently is an estate planner for Safe Money Conceptsin Port Byron.
While serving as mayor, he started the Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Development Committee. He also started the Economic Development Committee to the develop Port Byron as a recreational destination and spearhead economic development with downtown revitalization and activities, such as the Baby Blues Fest. He has worked to repurpose the old Academy and increase visitors to Dorrance Park.
“I believe the biggest challenge for Port Byron is to keep moving forward and be visible,” he said.
He and his fiance, Brandi, live at 306 Ravine St., Port Byron. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Independent challenger Dr. Bruce Peterson, 74, sees the No. 1 issue facing the village as a need for stronger leadership. He has lived in Port Byron since 1988.
“With stronger leadership, the village will be able to improve services to its residents, merchants, schools and to our many visitors," he said. "As I am fully retired, I now have the time and experience to meet the many demands of the office of president."
He said he wants to build a “team approach” to address village concerns, address and implement the Comprehensive Plan's long-range goals and helped develop a full service grocery store and other businesses at the Old Academy site on Illinois 84.
Dr. Peterson had a Rock Island Dental Practice from 1970 to 2016. He has served six years as a village trustee after being a member of the Planning, and Zoning Committee since 2005.
For 31 years he was a Rock Island County-Regional Office of Education board member. He also is a a member of the Rock Island County Waste Management Commission, the Port Byron American Legion, the Vietnam Veterans of America Quad City Chapter 299, the River Cities Rotary Club in Rapids City and Trinity Lutheran Church in Moline. He also is a volunteer for Honor Flight of the Quad Cities.
He was an Army captain 1967-69, served on the Quad City Civic Center authority for three years and the Moline school board 1975 to 1987 and was a Moline alderman 1989 to 2000. During four of those years, he was mayor pro tem.
As a Port Byron village trustee, he helped create a Comprehensive Plan for the village working, created an “Adopt a Street” program, recruiting donations for the Riverfront Development and playground. He advocates nonpartisan elections in the village.
A Moline High School graduate, he earned degrees from the University of Iowa and the St Louis University School of Dentistry 1963-1967. He and his wife, Jan, live at 1319 N. Shore Drive, Port Byron. They have six children and 11 grandchildren. He can be reached at email@example.com.
-- Village Trustee (2-year term):
Republican Roger Oliver have lived in Port Byron since 2002.
He earned a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; a private pilot’s license through the Air Force Flight Indoctrination Program; an officer commission in the Air Force in 1971; and a master's degree in Arts and Business Administration through Webster College, Webster Grove, Mo. in 1981.
He served in leadership positions, as a pilot and logistics officer, earning the rank of colonel before retiring after 30 years. He also was self-employed nearly 10 years as a financial services representative for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
He was president of congregation councils at two churches and currently is financial officer for All Saints Lutheran Church, Davenport. He a member of the Davenport Noon Optimist Club where he is its liaison to the (Davenport) Civil Air Patrol and a Boy Scout Troop. He also is an officer in the Port Byron American Legion Post and has served three years on the Port Byron Cemetery Board.
He and his wife of 47 years, Marilyn, live at 309 Apple Court, Port Byron. They have two children and five grandchildren. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Independent D. Wayne Oney, 67, has lived in Port Byron for 17 years.
Mr. Oney said he wants to improve communications with residents and he wants to see the village have a grocery store and community center for kids and families with a focus on family activities.
He grew up in Hillsdale and graduated from Riverdale High School before earning bachelor and master degrees from Northern Illinois University. He worked 38 years for John Deere. In his last position, he was responsible for more than 500 employees, three facilities and a multi-million-dollar budget. He is involved in Knights of Columbus and is a volunteer at St John’s Church.
He and his wife of 42 years, Veronica, live at 1619 Whitetail Drive, Port Byron. They have four children. He can be reached at email@example.com
-- Village Trustee (4-year term)
Republican Incumbent Scott Sidor, 57, has lived in Port Byron for 10 years and has been a trustee for eight of them. He currently is the finance committee chairman.
Born in Madison, Wis., he is president/CEO of Safe Money Concepts and SMC Wealth Management in Port Byron. He also owns Clay Spring Manufacturing near Des Moines.
“I believe in nonpartisan politics and try to work as a team to do what always is in the best interest of the village," he said. "The biggest challenge for the village is to balance infrastructure with aesthetics of the community while keeping an eye on the people’s money."
Mr. Sidor said his biggest achievement is a balanced budget for the village. “Eight years ago the village could not pay its bills," he said. "Today, we have a balanced budget while still building a massive amount of infrastructure -- and saved almost $800,000 in capital revenue for a rainy day."
Mr. Sidor helped vacate the old school property to make room for new business, develop the new park across from village hall and acquire financing of the Water Treatment Plant and Water and Sewer Extension Project from the Public Works to Dollar General Store along Illinois 84 which included ADA-compliant sidewalks.
He and his wife, Kim, live at 2319 Woodhaven Lane, Port Byron, with their son. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Republican incumbent Brian Bitler, 56, has lived in Port Byron for 32 years. He says the biggest challenge facing the village is money.
“We spend too much of it," he said. "We have to stay within the amount we take in.
“The long range goal of the village should be family activities and family focus,” Mr. Bitler said.
He said he wants the village to grow while keeping its small town atmosphere. He said his priority would be advancing the sidewalk project moving forward. Mr. Bitler does not favor using tax dollars as incentives for new homebuyers and does not support a residential tax incremental financing district. He said families living outside the TIF district do not receive adequate representation.
He said hi his achievements as a trustee has been bringing a park to the town, sidewalk improvements and controlling TIF spending.
Born in Albany, Ill., he has an associate degree and is retired from Exelon.
He and his wife, Vicky, live at 821 N. High St., Port Byron. They have three children and six grandchildren. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Republican challenger Dustin Sloan, 35, has lived in Port Byron for six years and owns Honey-Do Handyman in Port Byron.
Mr. Sloan graduated from Rockridge High School and attended Northern Illinois University before working in finance for 10 years and starting his own business. He currently is a coach for Jr. Rams Wrestling.
“I would like to bring a younger perspective to the board and help the community move forward,” Mr. Sloan said.
He and his wife of seven years, Summer, live at 402 Oak Blvd., Port Byron. They have three children. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Democratic challenger Sarah Ford, 37, is a writer, social activist and entrepreneur. She has lived in Port Byron on and off for 20 years, returning last year after living in Oregon and Colorado for a year.
“The biggest challenge for Port Byron is spending and investing wisely, while ensuring the greatest benefit for all citizens," she said.
“I’d like to see the board continue to strengthen what’s special about Port Byron -- our downtown businesses, the recreational opportunities, the riverfront, our community networks," she said. "I hope to bring more access to fresh and locally grown food, such as getting a farmers’ market, dedicating community garden space for residents’ access, and planting native fruit trees around town."
She has a bachelor's degree in English and philosophy from St. Ambrose University. She self-published “Yep, It’s Rocket Science!” with local educator and retired hovercraft engineer Bob Windt, and they bring his science toys program to local schools and events.
She is a current member of the Port Byron Planning and Zoning Committee and chairman of Port Byron Green Committee. She was Port Byron Township Clerk 2008 to 2012 and has been involved with AmeriCorps, the Slow Food Quad Cities Board, the Quad Cities Water Keeper Board and the Sage Sisters of Solidarity and Reverence for Life University.
Ms. Ford lives with her three children at 301 N. High St., Port Byron. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Independent challenger Patty J. Lindley, 60, has lived in Port Byron for 17 years.
New to the political scene, Mrs Lindley said the biggest challenge in Port Byron is money and communication.
“Many people are not willing to come in front of the board to discuss issues," she said. "If elected, listening to my fellow residents would be my No. 1 priority.
"I care about the historical preservation of our community," she said. "Port Byron still has the unique distinction of a farming community with riverfront access and a blended downtown urban feel. I believe preservation can be achieved along with development and growth."
Born and raised in upper Rock Island County, she earned an associate degree from Black Hawk College in accounting and business management. She has 25 years of professional experience in finance management and consulting, as well as five years professional experience in land development project management.
Mrs. Lindley and her husband, Gary, have three daughters and five grandchildren. They live at 207 Bluff St., Port Byron. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.