By DOUG WILSON
Herald-Whig Senior Writer
Candidates running for alderman in Quincy's 3rd Ward say constituent needs should be the top issue in this, or any other election.
Mike Martin, a Democrat, said people want quality jobs, and that will be his top priority if he is elected to the Quincy City Council.
"If there were better jobs, people would not have to work two or three jobs to make ends meet. They'd be able to stay home and make sure the kids do their homework. That would help that kid later on in life," Martin said.
Jared Holbrook, a Republican, said society often casts aside the very young and the very old. He plans to be the kind of elected official who represents all the people of the ward and of the city.
"When I was going door-to-door, I met this elderly man who was in a major battle in World War II. We talked for about an hour. He was so happy I was there," Holbrook said.
During their interviews, Holbrook and Martin focused on their own plans and chose not criticize each other.
They are running for the seat left vacant while Alderman Kyle Moore, R-3, campaigns for the office of mayor. The 3rd Ward is an expansive area in the northeast quadrant of the city. It includes many subdivisions, as well as some retail and industrial areas.
Holbrook already has campaigned extensively. He was one of three Republicans on ballots in the primary election, and he campaigned before winning that race in late February.
"The reason it gives me a running start is that it gives me the confidence to go door-to-door and ask people to vote for me. People want to talk," Holbrook said.
Martin said an unexpected change in his job has made it difficult for him to get out to campaign. A long-time field representative for the Carpenters Union, Martin was told on Jan. 8 that the Quincy local had become part of a union that includes Litchfield, Decatur, Springfield, Jacksonville and Quincy.
"My job is now in Springfield," Martin said.
Nothing has changed about Martin's run for office. He said cellphones and email are used by other City Council members to stay in touch with constituents and city officials.
"I'd be able to attend most council meetings. Maybe I would have to miss one a month," Martin said.
Thanks to his job with a union, Martin said he's in a good position to promote job creation in Quincy.
"We need to entice business to come to the area," Martin said.
He said the work force is one of the best selling points, with knowledgeable, educated people who have a strong work ethic.
Holbrook said Quincy is a safe community and the beauty of the riverfront is a good selling point, as well.
Quincyans tell him they're most interested in wise use of tax dollars.
"They're worried that money will be misused or used inappropriately," Holbrook said.
If elected, he has pledged to continue the town hall meetings that aldermen Paul Havermale and Moore have held.
Martin has attended City Council meetings off and on for a couple of years. He hopes to be among those who return balance to a City Council that has been dominated by the 10-4 Republican majority since 2011.
Holbrook said an alderman's job involves lots of little things that don't have anything to do with political affiliation.
"The first time I called my alderman was when I needed a new recycle bin. I called Paul Havermale, and they got me a new bin right away," Holbrook said.
"Getting people's calls returned is really big, in my opinion."