Danville Mayoral Race Attracts Six Candidates
A total of six candidates are running for mayor of Danville, including current mayor Scott Eisenhauer.
Barbara Dreher, who is the executive director of the Danville Election Commission, said because of the large number of mayoral hopefuls, there will be a February primary to narrow the list down to two candidates who will run in the April election.
"There has been a lot of talk around town," Dreher explained. "People are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the city. Some people aren't. The ones that are dissatisfied are taking their chance."
Eisenhauer is up against the largest number of challengers since he was first elected eight years ago. He attributed the high turnout to voter cynicism towards incumbents coupled with the response to unpopular decisions he has made during the recession, like raising the city's sales tax by one percent.
"Why wouldn't you want to be mayor now?" Eisenhauer said. "You're coming in at a time where the city's fiscally solvent. You're coming in at a time where the tough decisions have been made. Yes, there have been some tax increases over the course of the last eight years, but it's been at an effort to decrease the property tax. And so those things have been accomplished."
But Danville alderman and mayoral hopeful Rickey Williams Jr. said Eisenhauer would not have had to make those tough decisions if he did a better job managing the city's finances. Williams explained that financial discipline must go back to a "zero-based budget focusing on needs first."
Williams added that if elected, he would look at raising taxes as a last resort to treating the city's budget problems. He also said he would be open to eliminating middle-management jobs created during Eisenhauer's time in office that are dragging down the economy.
"I'm willing to do what's right, and the decisions I've made have been in the best interest of the people," Williams said.
Other candidates who have tossed their hats into the race include Vermilion County Board Chairman Jim McMahon, business owner David Quick, and residents Donald Nord and Rose Marie Carlton-Darby.