Arellano wins second term as Dixon mayor
DIXON – Mayor Li Arellano Jr. won his second term in office Tuesday, and a newcomer will be joining the City Council.
Arellano won 63.7 percent of the vote against challenger Councilman Ryan Marshall in a vote of 1,258 to 717, according to unofficial election results.
“I’m so humbled by all of the support, and I’m really looking forward to what’s coming ahead,” Arellano said.
He said the results serve as a strong stamp of approval of the past 4 years, and he’s proud to be part of the city’s leadership team moving Dixon forward.
Several goals are on tap for the next 4 years, including moving forward with the Viaduct Point riverfront revitalization project, a partnership in which the city and the Lee County Industrial Development Association are securing about 10 acres of land stretching from the Peoria Avenue Bridge to the viaducts, to prime the area for redevelopment.
Other goals are to continue looking at ways to improve the city’s financial health in the wake of growing pension costs, as well as making a push for more infrastructure work, more partnerships with other governing bodies and organizations such as the Park District, and more sales tax revenue through economic development, especially along Interstate 88.
Arellano, 37, owns Jimmy John’s in Dixon and Rock Falls and co-owns the Frosted Spoon in Rock Falls. He’s also a sergeant in the Army Reserves and served two combat tours in Iraq. Elected in 2015, he is the city’s first Latino mayor and its first in the city manager form of government.
He and his wife, Jamie, have four children.
Marshall, 34, owns The Stables bar downtown, served on the Lee County Board for a year and a half and also was involved with Dixon Main Street and the Dixon Area Chamber of Commerce as well as the transition team to merge the organizations. He was elected in 2017.
Marshall said he was disappointed but looks forward to getting work done on the council and continuing to build collaborations between the city and other organizations.
“I want to thank all of the supporters,” Marshall said. “It means the world to you when you have people willing to back you and go to bat for you.”
On the council, newcomer Mary Oros won Kevin Marx’s spot and incumbent Mike Venier retained his seat.
Venier garnered 42.56 percent of the vote followed by Oros with 32.72 percent, and Marx came in with 24.72 percent, according to unofficial election results.
Oros is an agent at Harrison Insurance Agency and motivational speaker for the United Way of Lee County. She was motivated to run for council with the goal to maintain public safety services and improve stress management resources for first responders.
Venier, 59, is one of the family owners of Venier Jewelers downtown where he has worked for more than 4 decades, previously had leadership positions on different boards and organizations including Dixon Main Street, and was elected to the council in 2015.
Marx, 64, is the chief practice officer at KSB Hospital as well as executive director of the Lee County Industrial Development Association. He has worked at KSB since 1978, was chairman of the Dixon Plan Commission for a decade and was appointed to the City Council in 2015 to fill the spot vacated by Jesse Arjes.
Li Arellano Jr. - 1,258
Ryan Marshall - 717
Dixon City Council
Kevin Marx - 852
Mike Venier - 1,467
Mary Oros - 1,128
*unofficial election results