Moore officially announces candidacy for Quincy mayor, says city needs better jobs, less debt

Quincy Alderman Kyle Moore, R-3, chats with supporters before he officially kicks off his mayoral campaign Saturday at the Elks Lodge. (H-W Photo/Matt Hopf)
Posted: Nov. 17, 2012 5:19 pm Updated: Dec. 1, 2012 6:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Republican 3rd Ward Alderman Kyle Moore wasted no time in attacking the record of Quincy Mayor John Spring Saturday as he officially announced his candidacy for the office.

Even though Adams County has the second-lowest unemployment rate in Illinois, Moore said the Spring administration has failed to develop and maintain an environment for the creation of more head-of-household jobs.

"In order to unify the community on a common vision on how we're going to go after head-of-household jobs, we're going to need a new administration at City Hall," said Moore, who did not elaborate on how he would increase the number of higher-paying jobs if elected.

Moore, 31, announced his candidacy for the Republican mayoral nomination flanked by family and supporters at the Quincy Elks Lodge. He has served on the City Council since defeating incumbent Bob Klingele in 2009.

Spring, a Democrat, is expected to announce he will seek a third term during a Monday morning press conference in Washington Park.

Candidates for elected municipal positions can begin filing petitions Monday for the February primary.

Moore also took issue with the city's unsuccessful push for developing hydropower facilities at lock and dams on the Mississippi River.

The City Council approved moving ahead with the project in 2006. The city spent nearly $5 million -- including a $475,750 grant -- before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission abruptly dismissed the city's preliminary permit and licensing applications for Lock and Dam 21 in Quincy in February 2011.

FERC's move came just two weeks before a scheduled site visit, and the agency later denied the city a rehearing on the matter.

"They failed to offer clear leadership on their own hydropower project, which cost our city $5 million in debt," Moore said.

Moore was one of two aldermen to vote against issuing $6.6 million on bonds for the hydropower project in September 2009. The council at the same time approved $5.533 million in bonds to pay for renovation and expansion of the Quincy Public Library, and $1.2 million in bonds for capital improvements to the Oakley-Lindsay Center.

The bonding authority for the library project came from the Adams County Board through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and the OLC is responsible for paying off its bonds.

The city has paid off most of the hydropower bond money since the project was halted last year.

"Our current debt per person is $659," Moore said. "That has been raised by over $200 per person by this administration (through issuing new bonds)."

"Next year, we're going to be having a discussion on (possibly) replacing $1 million worth of garbage (and recycling) equipment. Now why haven't we set aside money for the previous five to 10 years so we have money to pay for those trucks and we don't have to go out and borrow?"

In July, city officials said they will have to address how to proceed with garbage and recycling collection because of the age of the fleet. The city bought five garbage trucks and four recycling trucks in 2001 for $1.012 million, paying them off over six years.

Moore said he wants to develop a customer-centered approach to providing city services, although he said specifics would be announced later in the campaign after he gets feedback from residents.

"We look at other cities and how they are delivering city services, and we look at what's the best model that we can use and how we can incorporate into our existing structures," he said. "Our men and women who work for the city do great work and they work hard, and so I think if we give them the leadership that tells them that we're going to try it a little bit different and we're going to see what works and see what doesn't.

Moore said "the biggest honor of my life" has been serving on the City Council.

"I have tried to be an elected official (3rd Ward residents) would be proud of supporting," he said. "I have proposed new ideas and worked with the administration when we found common ground."

He touted the accessibility of himself and fellow 3rd Ward Alderman Paul Havermale through semiannual town hall meetings and a 3rd Ward website. Moore also touted his initiative for placing the city's budget online and having it available for 21 days for public inspection.