Beardstown 2017 Mayoral Candidate Profiles

Tom Cooper

Formerly Warehouse
Operations Manager at Ruan Transportation.
    Bring professionalism to city management; precinct/ward structure and boundaries; deteriorated infrastructure; increase sales tax revenue to the city; working with local businesses to ensure “best value” can be purchased in Beardstown; create local jobs; expand Beardstown’s business enterprise; promote the integration of minority population; creation of a cultural center; develop a plan to include a marina; convert the existing non-usable marina into a wildlife habitat; revamp the grass and leaf pickup program; revamp facility demolition program; ensure city’s business programs and ordinances are equitably and uniformly administered; initiate a city-wide recycling program; expand the city-wide clean-up program.
    Having several generations of family history serving Beardstown, there is nothing better than to see small town USA thrive and flourish. My parents owned and managed a hardware business for many years in Beardstown.  My mother was Chairperson on the Beardstown Township Board as well as a valued employee of the First National Bank for many years.  My grandfather was fire chief of Beardstown for 30 years and created the Rural Fire Association.  As a result of this family heritage, I came to love the “quaint” town that we call “home” and want to see Beardstown flourish and prosper once again.
    My goal is to “Rebuild Beardstown” to once again make Beardstown “one of the best small towns in Illinois.” I will work diligently for the citizens to help transform Beardstown to once again be a prosperous and thriving community.  The hope and desire to achieve the “American Dream” has sadly been lost in our town and I am personally committed to changing that overall direction!

T.J. Erickson

Former Beardstown
Public Works and
part-time Carpenter’s
    I always take the time to listen to the voices of my friends, family, neighbors, citizens of Beardstown, and the ‘undoubtedly equal’ rural route community. I hear repeatedly as well as I have seen first hand that getting no answers to our problems has created more problems.
    The accuracy, integrity, and overall performance of the Beardstown city council over the past several years has left many puzzled and scratching their heads in frustration. The problems at hand are  direct reflection of the leadership in charge.
    Throughout the wards, we’ve felt such a wave of disgruntled emotion and action that the citizens nominated new people to lead the charge in ‘restoring the faith’ in our local government.
    Elect the people you know have compassion, honesty, and a true moral compass. A voice of the people should represent the complete demographic of the community, not just a select few, and definitely not what’s for the best of the company they call City of Beardstown.
    If elected, I will identify community concerns, be available to listen to the public at any time, and provide a timely response.
    I will be able to contribute my skill-set obtained from years of hard work and on-the-job training, as well as my ability to overcome obstacles by implementing simple life skills. I am confident I will be a positive voice in the neighborhood.
    I will work to improve diversity by representing everyone equally, and I will strive to restore the faith in the city leadership. If elected, I will focus on race relations, job creation/retention, economic development, waste, and the rebeautification of our whole community. I will yield progressive infrastructure ideas and I will intelligently budget the general fund.

Leslie Harris

Retired from the Office of the Secretary of State in 2010, after 33 years of service. Presently employed part-time; contractual through Department of Human Services Department of Mental Health in Beardstown.

    Economic Development: need to pursue new business ventures, strengthening our existing business. Aging population: create committee of the City that deals with the seniors and disabled people working very closely with the County, State and Federal level. Sewers, streets, sidewalks, and curbing. Drugs are a common problem in all small towns. No new tax increases.
    Of these, the most important is streets and sewers, finding funding to repair these projects in our community without raising taxes.
    My goal as Mayor for the city of Beardstown for the next four years is to make Beardstown a town for all with better streets and sewers while staying within our budget. Bringing in more industry with jobs.
    I have been and always will be a Mayor for the people. I will be honest, fair and respectful to the public. I love Beardstown, I want to make a difference for our community promoting our schools, park district, existing business and new and supporting our Chamber of Commerce Office, Main Street, Incubator Program, and lending institutions. I have the experience and leadership for our city since serving as an Alderman for 24 years here in Beardstown. I believe in fairness, being honest and trustworthy. I have always served my constituents to the best of my ability in all circumstances in our City of Beardstown.

Tim Harris

City Councilman.
    The most important issue is the need for more communication and cooperation between all the elected positions and the department heads, resulting in more informed, fair, and correct decisions. The need to promote and support both new and existing business. Adjusting the spending to fit the importance of the needs. We as city employees have a duty to serve and provide services for the citizens, while also knowing that we are running a business. To ensure we have the means to do so requires careful financial planning. Setting up a fair, common-sense plan to effectively enforce our property maintenance ordinances for a clean, safe, healthier environment for citizens and business to benefit from. We should work and communicate more with the Chamber of Commerce, the Main Street program, and others to ensure there are not opportunities passing us by that could be benefit the citizens and business. The continuing problems with the city’s infrastructure, much of them associated with the water and sewer systems. Access to the river has not improved; we should not give up until a solution for this situation has successfully been accomplished.
    My goals as mayor are to represent everyone equally and help restore the public’s faith and trust in their elected officials. When I leave office, I want to look back and see improvements that are long-lasting and not just short-term, getting-by-day-to-day quick fixes. These are realistic goals.
    As a Councilman, I can see how important the mayor’s leadership is to the future of our city. I feel I am the best candidate for the office.
    The next mayor is going to face many problems that already exist, as well as more that will develop. Now more than ever we need fair, common-sense leadership.