HENRY — Two candidates, Democrat Randy Constantine and incumbent Republican David Donini, are vying for the position of Henry mayor in the April 9 election.
William Randy Constantine
Randy Constantine is a retired child protection investigator with the state of Illinois who also served as commissioner of public health and safety for Ottawa 1999-2003.
Constantine said he is seeking office because he would like to help draw more industry into Henry.
“Our population has been declining and our young adults are leaving town to seek employment elsewhere,” he said. “If I am elected, I plan on being a full-time working mayor.”
Constantine said, as mayor, he would dedicate his time to economic development.
He said one of his first goals would be updating the out-of-date comprehensive plan.
“I will form a committee and together we will update this plan,” he said.
Constantine said he also would work with state agencies to promote the city’s industrial park.
“We need to get employment for our citizens,” he said. “Economic development will be at the top of my list.”
Other important issues Constantine said he would like to tackle include bringing transparency back to city government in Henry and getting job descriptions for all city employees.
He also would like to form a youth advisory committee so the youth of Henry can bring their issues to the city council and have a voice in their city.
Constantine also would like to see more riverfront development. He said he would start that process by forming a committee to work on a development plan for the riverfront.
Before becoming mayor, incumbent David Donini, who works as a maintenance supervisor at Liberty Village in Princeton, served as a 1st Ward alderman in Henry.
“I have decided to seek a second term as mayor because of all the support and encouragement that I have received from my fellow citizens,” he said. “I have helped create a good working relationship between the city council, city employees, police department, chamber of commerce, businesses, organizations and boards.”
Donini, who has lived in Henry for 33 years, said he will continue to work for the city’s greatest asset — its residents.
If re-elected, Donini said he will continue to focus on Henry’s growth.
“We have established the first TIF district. With the TIF funds we will stimulate new private investment, encourage economic development and help to improve our public infrastructure,” he said. “To help our existing businesses we have developed the Business Exterior Renovation program and I will encourage the use of this program to enhance the city. It is important that we continue to support our existing businesses.”
Donini said focusing on the aging water system is a priority.
“As a first step we have installed a new backup generator at the water tower pumps. We must continue to upgrade our water system by improving and replacing old service lines and adding new service lines for the future growth of our city,” he said. “Additionally we need to upgrade and resurface our streets and continue replacing old sidewalks.”
Donini said he will continue working with the developer of the new subdivision known as Eagle Valley Estates, help the city maintain a working budget and keep government costs as low as possible.
As another means of growth, he said he will continue to work with Ozinga Materials in developing the port area and bringing new employers to the city.
“I intend to appoint members of the community to serve as a marketing group for these sites we have to offer,” Donini said. “The City of Henry should no longer remain one of the best kept secrets in the area for a place to live, work and raise a family.”
Shannon Crawley-Serpette may be reached at (309)364-2268 or firstname.lastname@example.org.