For the first time in 16 years, Loves Park could have a new mayor. That's because the guy who has the job now hasn't had an opponent since then.
Darryl Lindberg went head to head against Alderman John Pruitt at a candidate forum. Important Loves Park issues surfacing at the debate include what to do with the future of the utilities tax, bringing in new businesses to the area, and maintaining the city's infrastructure.
"One of the things that we're looking at for in the future that we have to address is our roads, our sidewalks, are awful," says John Pruitt, who has served as a Loves Park alderman for the last 22 years. He says he is running for mayor because he believes Loves Park needs to see some changes.
"Unfortunately we have to capital improvement plan in the city of Loves Park, and without that plan you can't plan to pay for that or really have any expectations of what you can do in the future," says Pruitt.
Pruitt says if he's elected, one of his first moves will be to put a capital improvement plan in place. But current Mayor Darryl Lindberg says fixing the roads won't that easy. "Some of the candidates talk about the utility tax which amounts to being 5 to 7 dollars month per household. Well the ironic thing is they want to fix sidewalks, they want to put new roads in, but a the same time they want to take a million and a half dollars out of our 10 million dollar budget. Now that's a pretty high percentage," says Lindberg.
Pruitt has also said he opposes the utility tax. He says it was put in place against public opinion. He wants to see a sunset clause put into action to ensure the tax does not become permanent. But Lindberg counters, since the city has been a part of electric aggregation, the average customer's energy bills are lower even with the utility tax added on.
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