PROPHETSTOWN – Many mayors are re-elected, but few can say they have led two towns.
Prophetstown Mayor Steve Swanson, 60, can. He served for 8 years in the 1990s as mayor of Tampico. In 2009, he was elected to lead Prophetstown.
“I looked it up on the Internet,” he said. “I couldn’t find anyone else who has been mayor in two towns.”
Tuesday, Swanson will be challenged by Alderman Al Posey in the mayoral race.
For the last 10 years, Posey, 62, has served on the City Council – 8 of which he was also mayor pro tem.
“I thought it was time to move up,” he said. “I want to see more business come to town. I’m tired of seeing empty storefronts. Some of our businesses are moving out of town. I think I can promote Prophetstown a lot better. I know a lot of people.”
Swanson has lived nearly his entire life in Prophetstown, with the exception of some years in Tampico. He said the city has accomplished much during his term as mayor.
“Since I started as mayor, I’ve had the privilege of working with a great council,” he said. “We’ve accomplished a lot more in the last 4 years than has happened in a long time.”
Swanson credited the local Main Street organization and other groups with improving Prophetstown, saying the town has many events, including one of the best Fourth of July celebrations in the area.
“To offer all that, we have to stay on top of infrastructure,” the mayor said. “We’ve done a lot of work on the infrastructure – the water, the sewer. Most of our infrastructure is very, very old, like in every town. It’s been out of sight and neglected.”
Posey, who has lived in Prophetstown since 1976, agreed that Main Street has worked hard. And he said residents take pride in the appearance of their houses.
All other candidates in the city election are unopposed.
Candidates for Prophetstown mayor
Education: Graduate of Prophetstown High School
Occupation: 35 years as construction supervisor on major road, bridge, water and sewer projects in northwestern Illinois
Government experience: Mayor of Tampico for 8 years; mayor of Prophetstown for 4 years
Family: Wife, Diana; each has five children from previous marriages
Education: Graduate of high school in Green City, Mo.; associate's degree in paralegalism from Columbus College in Georgia; associate's degree in history from Sauk Valley Community College
Occupation: Retired after 25 years with the Department of Corrections
Government experience: 10 years on Prophetstown City Council, 8 as mayor pro tem