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East Peoria Mayor John Kahl highlights past term in campaign announcement

East Peoria Mayor John Kahl announces his bid for re-election at Riverside Park on Friday, Sep. 16.
Collin Schopp
East Peoria Mayor John Kahl announces his bid for re-election at Riverside Park on Friday, Sep. 16, 2022.

Mayor John Kahl is seeking a second term leading the city of East Peoria.

At an announcement event on Friday, Kahl highlighted accomplishments of his first term, including creation of a five-year capital plan, fostering positive relationships with Peoria across the river and securing millions in grants.

“I want to give credit to legislators on both sides of the aisle,” said Kahl. “I think it’s extremely important to do, in this day and age, because with the divisiveness that we have at the local, state and federal levels; oftentimes things like that tend to go unnoticed.”

There have been some major projects started during Kahl’s first term, including exploration of a new fire station, expansions to the police station, updates to the EastSide Center and an unannounced $5 million development being put in next to the Bass Pro Shop.

Kahl claimed there are good reasons to keep him in the mayor’s seat to oversee these projects.

“There's a lot of things on the backside that people don't understand. Good things take time to develop. And I think it's important to see them through. So we don't have any hiccups. So there's no delays. So we move forward on everything that we committed to doing,” he said. “I'm all about getting the work done from start to finish, not starting something and then leaving it for someone else to finish.”

Kahl also highlighted public safety and increasing development of law enforcement as a pillar of his platform moving forward.

“I've made it clear as mayor — I served as police commissioner — that East Peoria will continue to be proactive in its policing. I don't apologize for that,” said Kahl. “It's kept our community safe, it works for us. And my job as an elected official over East Peoria, is to make sure that we continue to do that.”

Another aspect of the public safety piece is a program that has added school resource officers to East Peoria’s grade schools. Kahl said conversations he’s had with students show him that the officers are effective.

“These kids don't necessarily have good home lives, but they know that they can trust that individual. So if they go with their problems, they're there to help,” said Kahl. “And it helps keep them out of trouble, too.”

If re-elected, he said he would stay the course on working with the city council to continue to grow East Peoria.

“Four years ago, when I asked for their vote, I laid out what that would take, as far as leadership things that I thought were important to take into that office. And that's integrity, transparency and accountability,” he said. “I think I've delivered on every single one of those in the last 3 1/2 half years. And I would venture to say the entire city council has been a great council.”

So far, no other candidate has announced a campaign to run for East Peoria mayor.

Collin Schopp is a reporter at WCBU. He joined the station in 2022.