Dear Citizens of East Moline,
First and foremost, a sincere ``thank you'' to each of you for the opportunity and honor of serving you as mayor of East Moline for the past four years. I hope it is obvious that I love my community and have a passion for serving you in this capacity. Although it is a part-time position, I'm very proud of the full-time effort I have put forth. I take the job of mayor very seriously and have always striven to represent you in a most positive and appropriate manner.
We all want what's best for East Moline. As mayor I will not make unrealistic promises. I will, however, showcase my record of proven accomplishments against my opponent's campaign promises. I, too, want to keep taxes at a minimum, retain and attract new businesses, and create more jobs. The advantage I see is that we have a great team in place, focused, experienced, and dedicated to these principles and goals.
The seeds of economic development have been planted. From Day 1 as mayor, I have instilled the assertive approach for a ``developer friendly'' climate offering creative incentives while reducing bureaucratic red tape.
The key to a vibrant and thriving community is to bring new business and industry. This creates the much-needed jobs and diversifies and expands our tax base resulting in reduced reliance on property taxes -- a desired win-win situation for the residents as well as the city.
Unfortunately it all requires time, as with every change in leadership comes a period of adjustment, refocusing and re-evaluation priorities. The momentum of progress and the important continuity it provides is ever so critical when establishing on-going trust and relationships with prospective developers.
We are starting to see the results of our determination come to fruition. Please visit morenoformayor.com to see the 30 new and/or expanded businesses that have come to East Moline during my tenure. I'm very proud of the fact that we have lured some, while others happened without city enticements; nevertheless, they chose East Moline under my watch and because we created the climate for consideration.
Despite the sluggish national economy, I remain optimistic for several Reasons: I-5 Corridor: We recently annexed 300 acres expanding potential development along the I-5 corridor and a much anticipated sewer line along that corridor will most definitely showcase that area for further developments. Woodside Road housing development with 115 upscale homes. CNH: the wonderful news of demolition will facilitate and expedite the redevelopment of this prime 150-acre riverfront property. Downtown: Never in our history have we had such tools to encourage investment and redevelopment in our downtown. Recently approved were: tax increment financing district, Special Service Area, and Enterprise Zone, with guidance and support from Mainstreet Association, REDEEM, and Downtown Image Committee. By summer 2005, we'll be able to see some positive benefits unfolding downtown. Ridgewood Shopping Center, almost at 100 percent capacity is vibrant and bustling with business. The GRIP, The Quarter, the Avenue of the Cities -- all bring great promise for progress and new developments.
My opponent continues to devalue these accomplishments, in fact it's time the truth be told on the Jewel/Osco Superstore.
We all know how important this retail icon and anchor is to our local economy. My opponent claims that he saved it from moving to Moline. A review of public records/minutes/dates proves that THIS mayor and administration were instrumental in negotiations with the property owner and store officials. My opponent's term expired in 2002, negotiations (in which he had no part) were finalized and signed in late 2004. The fact is that I, as mayor, acted on this important business development due to open this spring with a new extension of First Street, a new intersection, new outlots for much desired businesses/restaurants. So much opportunity and growth potential coming to fruition as a result of my actions on your behalf as mayor of East Moline.
Friends, for 16 years you have entrusted me with your confidence. I'm proud to have worked for, volunteered in, and contributed to my community, not just at election time, but every day, every year, enjoying every moment. I would appreciate your continued support. Thank you for the honor.