Metropolis Mayoral Candidates Unify in Agreement on Job Creation Necessity

Mar 10, 2017

Credit The Metropolis Planet, Facebook

  Job creation is the hottest issue for residents voting in the upcoming mayoral elections in  Metropolis, Illinois. Economic development continued to reappear in questions from community members in a candidate forum last night.

 

Incumbent Billy McDaniel blamed a growth deficit on the lack of a state budget. McDaniel faces challengers Julian 'Butch' Adams, Richard Corzine Jr. and David McManus in the April 4th election. Corzine is a business owner better known as “Big Daddy” of Big Daddy’s BBQ. He says the mayor needs to get out of the city office and into offices of CEOs to attract business.

“Put our flower baskets up, clean the bird feces off the sidewalk,...I mean that’s what it’s going to take to gussy this place up and get the people in here. If we don’t we might as well get a big billboard printed says ‘Metropolis closed for business' because that’s where we are going.”

Corzine says Metropolis is a prime location for distribution centers with access to the river, railway and I-24. McDaniel as well as McManus said they want to develop the riverfront. Adams said he’d support local business development on Market Street.

 

 

Candidates were provided a list of 12 questions prior to the forum. The questions listed below were asked during the question and answer session. Candidates had 3 min to respond to each question.

 

 

 

1: What is your view of Massac county board of commissioners relationship to the city?

2: Beatification of the city has been a big topic as well as attracting new business, how would you keep the beautification effort going as well as attracting new business, what are your plans?

4. How do your previous positions help you as Mayor?

6: Metropolis has an aging population, how do you attract and retain a younger demographic?

7. What do you view as the city’s biggest development opportunity currently?

11. What are the major challenges you foresee in the future and how do you plan to tackle those?

12. How can we create more opportunities for youth to prevent them from going to Paducah.

 

Julian 'Butch' Adams: “Lived in Metropolis all my life....Came up through life the hard way, but learned from it.” Married to Betty J. Adams, with four children and five grandchildren.

 

1. What is your view of Massac county board of commissioners relationship to the city?

It is in our best interest to be able to negotiate together. More people of the city should be encouraged to join city meetings and contribute ideas.

 

2. Beatification of the city has been a big topic as well as attracting new business, how would you keep the beautification effort going as well as attracting new business, what are your plans?

-Lots of major problems. Including old buildings that could cause potential health concerns. -Would like to restore Massac Theatre and see it running as a successful business again.
-Cites efforts in Owensboro to save front beams of original buildings and utilizing those as focal point to support the process of rebuilding new brick and mortar stores.

.-Cites Salvage yards as an eyesore: “vehicles in the middle of town are housing cats” and they are an eyesore that takes up parking for existing businesses.

 

4. Life experiences

-Raised in poverty and had a lot of help from people in the community and all they asked in return was to help the kids in Metropolis. I love this city and am dedicated to the people.

-Spent 35 years working in a plant doing various jobs including heavy equipment operations around city water treatment systems.

“I have concern for all.”
-I have friends in politics and citizens that are sources of information and advice.

-Spent several years in the ministry.

 

6. Metropolis has an aging population, how do you attract and retain a younger demographic?

-There are state and federal grants available that should be utilized.

 

7. What do you view as the city’s biggest development opportunity currently?

-A lot of opportunities have passed us by already. But we have a lot of businesses coming in on Market Street and they need to make a profit and the only way we can help them is by increasing population and keeping people on this side of the river.

-Need industrial development, factories that can provide more jobs and attract more families.

-Every opportunity goes right past I-24 and until we can get them to stop we will keep seeing opportunities pass us by.

 

11. What are the major challenges you foresee in the future and how do you plan to tackle those?

-Afraid of bankruptcy if things aren’t corrected.

-Need to clean up Metropolis to attract business.

-More jobs will bring in people and revenue.

-Would like to engage city and citizens with more public meetings held regularly.

-Fear the possibility of losing the boat (casino), need something else to fall back on.

12. How can we create more opportunities for youth to prevent them from going to Paducah?

-First get with the schools and ask the young people. Encourage youth to get involved with city government, build their pride and get them off their phones.

-Construct a mini mall on  the 51 acres on the north end of town.

 

Richard Corzine Jr: Better known as Big Daddy of “Big Daddy’s BBQ” and married to Cricket Corzine, with 2 daughters. Cites high hopes in creating a better community.

 

1. What is your view of Massac county board of commissioners relationship to the city?

-Let the county do its job. If they need our help, they will ask, we don’t need to get involved unless ask for support.


2. Beatification of the city has been a big topic as well as attracting new business, how would you keep the beautification effort going as well as attracting new business, what are your plans?

- I was one of those that voted against the flower baskets.

“It wasn’t a matter of the beautification, we couldn’t even get the funds to clean up the bird feces but we are spending money on all that.”

-Cites issues with spending local tax dollars to support businesses outside of the city.

”Anytime possible we can help the people in metropolis, as long as it is within reason and its feasible, we should try and keep our money in Metropolis. We keep preaching, shop Metropolis first, then the city takes the money and they run elsewhere.”

 

-We have to take a hard stand on the dilapidated buildings in this town, barns, sheds, houses that are in such a state of disrepair, it would take a small fortune to fix them. We need to create a system, like rebuild Metropolis program.

“If we go to the city garage there are 15 to 20 old dilapidated pieces of equipment that’s not working, how can we expect people to clean up their properties when the city won’t”

 

4. How do your previous positions help you as Mayor?

-Did not cite previous experience, instead spoke about the unique location Metropolis has and should utilize in attracting future business.

6. Metropolis has an aging population, how do you attract and retain a younger demographic?

One word answer: Jobs. If we don’t get jobs here no one can afford to raise a family.

7. What do you view as the city’s biggest development opportunity currently?

-Distribution centers are being built all over Illinois but not Metropolis. We have to get out of the Mayor's office and get out and tell the businesses we are interested.

- Need to clean the bird feces off the sidewalk and “gussy this place up” to get these businesses in here.

 

-If we don’t change now, we can’t stand four more years of what we got and it's time to start now, otherwise we might as well put up a big billboard that says closed.

11. What are the major challenges you foresee in the future and how do you plan to tackle those?

-Single largest problem is the loss of current business and lack of interest of others . We talk about hanging flower baskets yet behind them are Bradford Pears that should have been cut back years ago, along with bird feces all along the sidewalk.

“Who wants to locate their business in the middle of a cesspool.”

The state of illinois, worse state to open a business, need to verbalize concerns to governor and legislators. Need to get out of the Mayors office and into the CEOS and ask what they need to get them here.

12. How can we create more opportunities for youth to prevent them from going to Paducah.

-Work with volunteers already engaged with youth. Listen to their ideas.  

“Open our ears and shut our mouths and let the folks that are with the youth offer ideas on incorporating those to attract the youth.”

 

Think outside the box, kick it out of the way and do things differently. Too many ideas attached to money and look at volunteers already doing things.

Billy McDaniel: Incumbent.  Long time resident, married 48 years to wife Betty and has one daughter. Always been in public service, spent several years in grocery business, spent 32 years in BBQ business.  Enjoys every day of work, goes to bed every night happy.

1. What is your view of Massac county board of commissioners relationship to the city?

“ I personally don’t think there is a problem with the county.”

We all belong to Massac County

2. Beatification of the city has been a big topic as well as attracting new business, how would you keep the beautification effort going as well as attracting new business, what are your plans?

-Continue flower hanging baskets.

-Further develop a grant matching program for local businesses.

4. How do your previous positions help you as Mayor?

-Former business owner of BBQ business.

-The city of Metropolis and God have given so much to me and I could never give back all the community has given to me.

-I have been your Mayor for 12 years, I have not dreaded coming to work one day.

 

“Anybody can probably be Mayor as long as you are smart enough and humble enough to surround yourself with the best people you can.”

6. Metropolis has an aging population, how do you attract and retain a younger demographic?

-Create an atmosphere that attracts small businesses and enables them to grow.

7. What do you view as the city’s biggest development opportunity currently?

-Biggest opportunity is the Port District.

-If we can acquire Ingram that could bring in at least 25 good paying jobs.

-Harrah’s casino is a good neighbor to the city of Metropolis and they would like to get off the barge and build on land.

11. What are the major challenges you foresee in the future and how do you plan to tackle those?

-Number one obstacle we will face is the state of Illinois.. We have budgets every year, but we are handicapped because the state doesn’t have a budget.

-Solution: we can find funding via grants and low interest loans.

-Number two concern, police and fire department pensions

“This year alone cost the city $700,000 in city revenue to maintain because the state isn’t doing its part.”

12. How can we create more opportunities for youth to prevent them from going to Paducah?

 

-Must continue to invest money in city parks and programs.

-Proud to say in the last 12 years we have put a lot of money into our swimming pool. Over 50 years old but still good.

-Plan on putting in a new splash park and water slide.

-Want good productive things to keep kids busy.

-Increase opportunities in sports programs

 

“There is plenty of things for kids to do, they just need to get off their phones and computers to find it.”

 

-Need to continue funding after school programs provided by city.

 

David McManus: Married to Tracy and has 5 boys. Born in Metropolis. Served in Vietnam. Enjoys working in the city and has been an Alderman for last 12 years.

1. What is your view of Massac county board of commissioners relationship to the city?

-Would like to see the county and city meet quarterly to increase working relationships and include the port authority as well as the city of  Joppa and Brookport.


2. Beatification of the city has been a big topic as well as attracting new business, how would you keep the beautification effort going as well as attracting new business, what are your plans?

-Continue funding the flowering baskets.

“You only get one opportunity to make a first impression...you wouldn’t believe how many comments we get on the flowering baskets on how good they look.”

 

-Speed up process to demolish dilapidated buildings by utilizing nuisance laws.

4. How do your previous positions help you as Mayor?

-Worked with TVA for several years. Worked with city council for 12 years.

“My biggest advantage is my military experience”

- I know how to delegate and to pick the right people to surround me.

6. Metropolis has an aging population, how do you attract and retain a younger demographic?

-Jobs.

-We need to hire an economic developer to advise on ways to attract new business.

7. What do you view as the city’s biggest development opportunity currently?

-Riverfront is biggest opportunity.

11. What are the major challenges you foresee in the future and how do you plan to tackle those?

-Agrees with current mayor on most issues.

-Concerned with pressures from the state.

-Number three is our location, next to Kentucky because “KY has their billfold open where Illinois has its hand out.”

12. How can we create more opportunities for youth to prevent them from going to Paducah.

-Would like to include a sports complex that the entire family could enjoy.

 

-Take over the ambulance service. It can pay for fire department and put money back into general fund.