Metropolis mayoral candidates get last chance to woo voters
METROPOLIS — Four candidates vying to become mayor in Metropolis did their best to tug at the heart and purse strings of votes at their last public forum at the Metropolis Community Center.
Incumbent mayor Billy McDaniel, Alderman David McManus, Richard Corzine and Julian “Butch” Adams touched on voter issues such as the need for economic stimulus and safe, clean streets.
McDaniel, who has been mayor since 2005, reiterated his support for beautification efforts, highlighted how the city has risen to challenges under his tenure and talk about other challenges that lie ahead. Additionally, he stressed the need to ensure the city’s police and firefighter pensions keep funded. He considers himself a lifelong public servant
McDaniel, the mayor for 12 years now, reiterated his support for beautification
efforts, highlighted how Metropolis had risen to challenges under his tenure,
and talked about other challenges that lie ahead. He also stressed the need to
ensure that pensions for the city’s police and firefighters receive funding.
McManus pushed a common narrative, much like McDaniel: the need to focus on state-level decisions, as it has handicapped Illinois’ potential to stimulate the economy. “It’s hard for us to pull companies in or anybody to come in because Kentucky has got their billfold open where Illinois has got their hand out,” McManus said.
McManus, a Vietnam War veteran who has served on the city council since 2005, believes that the state’s proximity to Kentucky, as well as the state’s business-friendly policies, is hampering Illinois, which currently is hostile toward businesses. Those conditions have led to the city’s high-pressure fiscal situation that he feels is best eligible to address
Corzine took a different stance, being critical of the city government’s operations and arguing that the city needs to do a lot more to make itself attractive to businesses. Among those criticisms was how the city organized the annual Superman festival and how the money which was spent on handing flowers could have been better utilized for cleaning the street, which was lined with bird feces. “How can we expect people to clean up their properties and do good work with their properties when we don’t do anything with the city?” Corzine said.
Corzine was optimistic about the city’s prospects because of its close proximity to major rivers with access to railroad and highway infrastructure, but argued that the city needs to renew efforts to attract business interests.
Adams, a lifelong resident who hails from a working-class family, has supported himself with blue-collar jobs in the area and renewed calls for a more fiscally conservative budget so the city can avoid bankruptcy. “I’m afraid of bankruptcy if things are not corrected,” Adams said. “We need to clean up Metropolis so we can attract companies to build here.”
Adams also expressed concerns of the city losing its river casino and pledged for more public meetings to garner greater, expanded community involvement in the local government.