Sid Ruckriegel believes his experience and relationship skills give him the qualifications he needs to become the next mayor of Peoria.
“As a business owner and a community leader, having worked for the betterment of Peoria way before ever coming to council, and being able to bring those relationships in those skills into the role of mayor, I think would be very key,” Ruckriegel said of his candidacy to succeed incumbent Mayor Jim Ardis.
“The role of mayor is to make sure that all of the interests of the city are being addressed and heard, and I’ve got a track history being able to do that --working with several organizations in the past here where I’ve shown proven results of being able to make sure that we have fully hit the mission of what we were supposed to do and to be able to bring those economics of that organization into play as well,” said Ruckriegel.
With Ardis choosing not to seek a fifth term, the field of candidates for the office stands at seven people with Ruckriegel’s announcement. But he sees that large number of candidates as beneficial to the citizens of Peoria.
“It is what some would call a crowded field. I rather see it as a really good representation of the options that Peoria has, to be able to choose their leaders,” said Ruckreigel “I think there’s going to be some good conversations, some great focus on topics and the future of the city, and I think a field like this is able to give Peorians the most choice about what they would like to see the future of their city be.”
Ruckriegel joins fellow council members Rita Ali and Jim Montelongo, pastor Chuck Brown, entrepreneur Andres Diaz, community activist Chama St. Louis and 2017 candidate Couri Thomas in seeking the mayor’s office.
Ruckriegel said he decided to run at the urging of several neighborhood leaders, small business owners and first responders.
“The reason that we are a great city is, every time--whether it be through government or through other entities within our city--that we have been asked to rise to the challenge to be able to fix and to work and make progress on those challenges, we’ve been able to do that,” he said. “And I truly believe that if we come together and work in partnership with one another to be able to face the challenges that we face as a city, we can make progress in those and make tomorrow better tomorrow.”
Ruckriegel pointed to his work with the United Way, the Peoria Riverfront Museum and the Peoria Public Library board among his accomplishments and qualifications. He said he wants to use his relationship skills to help foster financial growth and investment in the city.
“I think we’ve got to develop a tangible economic plan that our citizens and businesses understand. We’ve got to come back and reinvest dollars and prioritize our procedures for making sure that where we have this investment happening, that we get investment back in,” he said.
“We need to grow the economic base so that we’re not having to face the financial decisions that we’ve had to face over the past couple of years. If we grow the economic base, if we can increase those revenues in other ways besides raising fines, fees and taxes, then we can appropriately fund all of the necessities for our city, including appropriately funding, public safety and all aspects of public safety.”
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