When Fairview Heights elects a mayor, he tends to stick around. Everett Moody, the first mayor, served for 10 years. George Lanxon, the second mayor, served for 16 years. Third and retiring mayor Gail Mitchell has served for 20.
So voters need to choose carefully because, who knows, the next mayor might still be in charge in 2039.
Tonight, residents get the opportunity to meet the three candidates, Mark Kupsky, Joshua Frawley and Speed Allen Jr. A forum is set from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Pontiac Junior High School.
This has been a lively campaign, with competing themes of youth and experience. In a three-way race, it’s anyone’s guess what the outcome will be.
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Reading the candidates’ views and campaign brochures is valuable, but listening to the candidates and watching how they handle themselves in public should provide a more rounded view of how each one might represent the city. The many issues the new mayor will have to tackle include taxes, economic revitalization, redeveloping the west end of town and maintaining an aging housing stock. Add to that dealing with an often contentious City Council.
Fairview Heights residents should consider attending the forum tonight as a way to invest in the community’s future. Even if the new mayor serves just one term, it’s to everyone’s benefit to elect the person best able to lead.