BELLEVILLE – Lonnie Herrington wants to see a whole new set of eyes on council come November. And he wants to be one of them.
Herrington, a local roof contractor, has been in the mayoral race since February. He has since been joined by former Intelligencer managing editor Bill Glisky and Councillor Pat Culhane.
Herrington also ran for mayor in the 2010 municipal election and received only 350 votes. He says he’s better prepared this time around.
“My point last time was to learn the ropes. This time, I’ve learned the ropes and I’ve had four years of actively participating in this and planning for this. This time, I’m prepared.”
Herrington said he doesn’t believe he’s at a disadvantage by not having been on council. He thinks citizens recognize change is necessary and the current group of people at council aren’t getting the job done.
“The city needs new eyes. I want to see nine new people with nine new ideas. With nine people looking outside the box, we’re going to be able to proceed like crazy.”
Herrington said the difference between him and Culhane is the latter has eight years of experience at City Hall. Herrington doesn’t think that’s a good difference.
“Eight years at City Hall has put us into this position. Infrastructure deficits haven’t been handled properly, (we’ve had) tax increases, and a few years ago, we had to deal with them giving themselves exaggerated raises. Where I come from, you don’t get raises if your performance is low.”
Herrington said he wants to be mayor because Belleville needs a leader that’s willing to partner with the community to “aggressively look at the needs of the community who can stand up there with a backbone.” Herrington talked about how the city needs a mayor who will focus on Belleville’s needs, not just its wants.
Herrington said the most important issues facing Belleville are taxation, fiscal responsibility, and jobs.