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Councilman to run for mayor

November 29, 2018 GMT

DIXON – The youngest member of the City Council is making a run for mayor in the April 2 consolidated election.

Ryan Marshall, 34, who was elected to the council in April last year, will be vying for the city’s top elected position against incumbent Mayor Li Arellano Jr., who announced his run for a second term in September.

Marshall is a Dixon native and owner of The Stables bar downtown. He was on the Lee County Board for a year and a half and was also involved with Dixon Main Street and the Dixon Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as the task force and transition team responsible for merging the two organizations.

He said Wednesday that when he joined the council last year, there was a lot of “hurry up and wait” and dragging on issues for months without action, which was part of his motivation for throwing his hat into the mayoral ring.

“At some point, a decision has to be made,” he said. “We should sit down and come up with a solution, and it shouldn’t take 2 or 3 months to get there.”

A few of his top priorities if elected include promoting more partnerships with Sauk Valley Community College to create more higher-level training opportunities to move people into better jobs and focusing on more residential development in the city to give people more options to move to Dixon.

Others include continuing to look at improving infrastructure and developing a plan to address growing pension obligations.

The mayor is also the city’s liquor commissioner, and because Marshall has a liquor license, he would need to appoint someone else into the role if elected.

He said he would be easily accessible and open to ideas.

“Dixon is a city of ‘we’ not a city of ‘I,‘” he said. “We need to work on Dixon as a ‘we.’”

The deadline to file for mayor or two open council seats was Monday, and Arellano and Marshall are the only two competing for mayor.

Arellano has said his future goals include finding a long-term plan to address pension obligations, growing economic development and retail in the city, completing projects such as the bike path extension, fostering intergovernmental relationships, continuing to negotiate union contracts to maintain staffing levels, and creating stronger regional planning when it comes to transportation projects and entertainment offerings.

Three will running for two 4-year council seats consisting of incumbent councilmen Kevin Marx and Mike Venier and newcomer Mary Oros, an insurance agent at Harrison Insurance Agency and motivational speaker for the United Way of Lee County.