Phillip G. Elmore
Job: Insurance broker
Facebook: For a Better Belleville
Education: Belleville East High School, Broadcast Center, National Association of Life Underwriters
Previous offices: 7th Ward alderman, 2009-2013
Qualifications: I have managed people and events in our community for over 30 years. I have chaired Deutsch Fests, worked at Paint the Town and Art on the Square. I created the Tour de Belleville Family Bike Ride, which has raised over $110,000 to benefit public safety. I've also started Belleville's first dog park, which will open soon. I've worked as a commissioner and managed crews in youth sports. As alderman, I serve on Traffic, Finance, Master Sewer, Economic Development and Annexation and the Historic Preservation Commission. I was instrumental in the formation of three subcommittees that were created. They include: Leaf Burning, Wheel Sticker Alternative and Website Development. I started eight new neighborhood watch groups and three neighborhood associations. No other aldermen or mayoral candidate has started as many "citizen-based" groups. Professionally, I have assessed customers' assets and liabilities through being a multi-line insurance agent. True leaders let their people and policies lead. Through the skill of listening and communicating, and without political prejudice, we will make Belleville better.
Top issues: Public Safety: Everything revolves around our city improving public perception. We need more police officers. We need to integrate the use of surveillance cameras. These cameras are designed to record their location for days at a time. They are a deterrent and will aid in prosecution. If we don't start to fight crime in a different manner, we will continue to decline. Responsible use of TIF: This is an effective funding resource. The problem we currently endure is the lack of prioritization. There is no plan for how to best use taxpayers' money. The use of TIF for infrastructure improvements will have top priority. If we enter into a commercial development agreement, it will be evaluated on our city's needs first. Treasurer position: Please see Dean Hardt's comments. Transparency in City Government: Citizens should always be able to see how their dollars are being spent. The citizens are my employer. I will answer to them. City Housing Court will remedy delays we currently experience with St. Clair County. I am not above the citizens. Dean Hardt and myself are two of the citizens.
Mark W. Eckert
Phone: 618-233-6810, Ext. 239
Facebook: Belleville Good Government Party
Education: Graduate of Belleville West High School, 1974, over 60 hours college credit in law enforcement courses, graduated Southwest Illinois Police Academy 1978, certified emergency medical technician-intermediate
Previous offices: Mayor - city of Belleville - Dec. 20, 2004-present; Alderman - city of Belleville - Ward 5 - May 1997-December 2004
Qualifications: I have over eight years experience as mayor. I have a proven record of leadership, successfully managed nine unions, 400+ city employees and made good decisions in choosing city department heads to lead our 15 various service areas of the city. I have effectively managed a budget of approximately $130 million. I am devoted to strengthening relationships on behalf of the city of Belleville, including Scott Air Force Base, Lindenwood University, St. Clair County, local and state government officials, neighborhood partnerships and businesses. I have seven years experience as alderman of Ward 5 and served as chairman on the Economic Development Committee as well as many other committees. I was a co-founder and executive director of the Franklin Neighborhood Community Association from 1992-1996. I owned and operated Maine Chimney Sweep Ltd. from 1996-2007 and am part owner of Eckert Florist Inc. from 1999-present. I worked for Pete Gaerdner Funeral Home and Ambulance from 1973-1988, making many emergency and life and death decisions. My experience and my proven record qualify me for this office. Worked with the American Red Cross from 1988-1992.
Top issues: Crime is of great concern to this administration and is taken very seriously. I supported the Police Department's efforts to reduce crime by not staffing the west end police station and put six officers back on the streets to patrol west Belleville. I continue to encourage and support saturated field patrols, extra downtown patrols, parole sweeps and all hands on deck efforts. The new records management system is making progress and will be implemented soon, as well as monitoring our income for the new gaming for the possibility of hiring a few more officers. I support the occupancy ordinance and the new Crime-Free Housing Program. I continue to work aggressively on economic development by working with Lindenwood University and Southwestern Illinois College, encourage development on Illinois 15, continue to strengthen our downtown, and maintain street improvements, including the North Illinois Streetscape, Sixth to 28th Streetscape, McClintock Avenue and many neighborhood street and sidewalk repairs.
Job: agent, fls insurance, alderman for the city of Belleville
Facebook: Vote Joe Hayden
Education: Master's degree in public administration, bachelor's degree in government, Belleville West High School
Previous offices: Alderman Ward 5 1993-97, 2011-present
Qualifications: I have master's degree in public administration and over 20 years of government experience. I am the only mayoral candidate to put forth a detailed written platform. I have a track record of listening and responding to citizens' needs. The people of Belleville are tired of the status quo. With over 20 years of working with public budgets, I will plan and prioritize the city's needs with the taxpayer's best interest being the top importance. The people have a right to walk their dog at night and not feel threatened. The current administration wants us to accept crime as common place. That is unacceptable to me. In my career, I have dealt with public personnel issues, wrote grants and directed multimillion dollar Capital Improvement Program plans. I have worked hand in hand with police and fire departments, supervised park and rec programs, maintenance of parks, streets and city infrastructure. I served as alderman from 1993-97 where we added 16 police officers, lowered crime and lowered property taxes six years in a row. I have the experience and education to make a difference for Belleville.
Top issues: The number one issue in the city of Belleville is crime. I ran on that platform for alderman in 2011 and got 62 percent of the vote, because I was in touch with the residents of Ward 5. Unless we lower crime, end the negative perception within our community and outside the city, people will continue to move and our city will decline. My webpages listed above provide detailed plans and platforms on how to reduce crime. Until a recent BND article confirmed my premise that crime was the number one issue, my opponents had not taken crime serious. The other key issues are tax increment financing (TIF) reform, housing, open government and transparency, budget reform and better community relations with staff, citizens and businesses. My webpages also offer detailed plans and programs to deal with these issues. Without TIF reform, the city will reach a TIF cliff that will put us in a position to not be able to afford basic services. The city of Belleville's election comes down to one thing: Are you happy with the status quo? If you are not happy, please vote for Joseph W. "Joe" Hayden for mayor April 9.