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Pekin City Council candidates and mayoral candidates sound off at forum

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On April 2, 2015, 10 of the 11 Pekin City Council candidates and the three people running for mayor participated in a forum. The council candidates took the firsts round. The mayoral  participated in the second round of the forum.

It was sponsored by the Pekin Daily Times, and moderated by Peoria Public Radio’s Tanya Koonce. 

The candidates are competing for three four year terms in the April 7th election. 

The ten candidates participating in the forum are: John Abel, Bob Bramham, Steve Dennis, Jason Juchems, Bob Keyzer, Ron Knautz, Charles Layne, Mark Luft, Michael Ritchason, and Nathan Schmidgall.

Here are the question they were asked along with their answers:

Do you believe Pekin enjoys a regional reputation as a good place to live and do business?  What would you do to improve or enhance Pekin’s reputation?

Pekin’s median household income is less than $50,000.  Do you believe Pekin’s leadership adequately considers the realities of Pekin’s lower-income residents when setting taxes and fees?

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How would you rate Pekin’s appearance and Code enforcement?

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How would you rate Pekin’s recent development, and what, if anything, do you believe the city could do to bring more business to town?

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Do you place a higher priority on keeping taxes low, or on improving city services?

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Please list one or more things in which you believe Pekin really excels, and please list one or more things in which you believe Pekin needs improvement.

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The three mayoral candidates, Steve Brown, John McCabe, and Lloyd Orrick, also answered questions.

What do you believe is the mayor’s most important role?

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How important is city growth vs city improvement?

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How important do you believe it is to build relationships with state and federal officials, and how would you do so?

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Should Pekin charge for garbage pickup, and if so should it remain a monthly fee or should it be folded into the tax levy?

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Assess the fairness of city employees’ salaries and pensions.

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What is the No. 1 thing you would encourage voters to consider before they cast their votes?

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