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Spring Valley mayoral candidates

Editor’s note: The BCR sent questionnaires to all three candidates running for Spring Valley Mayor. Following are their responses. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

Cliff Banks

Experience: Four years as mayor of Spring Valley. A union carpenter for over 30 years and project superintendent for many large construction projects such as hospitals, Target stores, Super Walmart and Sam’s Club stores, bridges and river lock projects. Past president of the Walleye Club.

What do you see as the three most pressing issues facing your town?

1. Spring Valley needs to bring more business into our town and to support business in our area to provide jobs for our citizens.

2. Our infrastructure is aging and falling into disrepair. Although much as been done in the last four years, much is needed, including the renovation of our wastewater treatment plant to come into compliance with the EPA.

3. Along with the infrastructure, our sidewalks are deteriorated and falling apart. When people come to look at our community, one of the first impressions they get is how well kept the town is including the city’s streets and sidewalks. I have worked with local contractors to put together a construction plan for the beginnings of a sidewalk replacement program.

If re-elected, what one thing would you most like to accomplish? I would like to continue our program of infrastructure improvement to prepare for and help entice business to want to build and grow here. We need to take care of the little issues before they grow into big and costly problems.

Why should voters cast their ballots for you? I have and will continue to be sensitive to the needs of our citizens. I will work to see our aging infrastructure is upgraded or replaced to keep Spring Valley in compliance. We have successfully replaced many deteriorated sewers/water mains and will continue to pursue grants/low-cost funding to care for our infrastructure to minimize user fees. I have worked to improve our business community, seeing several new or remodeled businesses come into town. Numerous sidewalks have been replaced; approximately 1.2 miles of roads repaired. I was instrumental in starting a community garden and in being the first community in the state to pass an ordinance banning illegal bath salts. I have donated back $5,000 per year of my salary as mayor to help pay for needed projects. I am proud of Spring Valley; I want to continue the projects and the programs started in the past and to be a part of the future success.

Walt Marini

Experience: Worked for Illinois Power at the power plant in Hennepin for 33 years, alderman 12 years with five of those years being Finance Chairman.

What do you see as the three most pressing issues facing your town?

1. To bring pride back to our community by cleaning up the town, including the buildings in the downtown area and repairing neighborhood sidewalks. Absentee landlords, bankruptcy and foreclosures are making clean-up, repair and enforcement very difficult. I promise to continue working with the aldermen on these issues.

2. Bring in new tax dollars and jobs by advocating economic development, including new commercial and light industrial growth, while also strengthening and maintaining our existing businesses and job retention. We can market our industrial corridor and work on job retention with our existing businesses. I’d also like to explore a means of expanding our small business industrial park.

3. Maintaining our infrastructure and ensuring that our outfall from the wastewater treatment plant meets the requirements of our permit from the IEPA. This would include the separation of our sewers and cleaning/repairing of the east and west interceptors.

If elected, what one thing would you most like to accomplish? While working on the issues that face Spring Valley. I would like to restore pride in the community and professionalism and integrity in the office of the mayor. By opening up lines of communication and working together with everyone, I’d like to rebuild a collaborative effort in Spring Valley. While it takes leadership and time to foster cooperation, if everyone would choose just one area to give extra of themselves, we could accomplish many wonderful things. Even just taking time to share ideas can create solutions. The collective efforts of everyone are what make good places to live even better.

Why should voters cast their ballots for you? I will conduct the office of the mayor with professionalism and integrity. During my 12 years on the council, I have learned a lot about how the city operates; what type of finances it takes; and what skills and abilities are needed to provide our residents with the best services that we can and stay within our means. It is important to be honest and forthright in choosing paths that I believe will best serve the community. I believe in developing partners as a means of learning about better tools, procedures and methods, to help us run the city, and I feel I am able to work professionally with local, state and federal leaders. I have the technical skills to use technology on a daily basis. If elected I will continue to work with everyone to help Spring Valley prosper. Together we can make Spring Valley even better.

Jack Narczewski


• Police officer 18 years.

• 10 years as sheriff of Bureau County.

• 2 years as alderman for the Third Ward.

• As sheriff, I was responsible for a $1 million budget.

What do you see as the three most pressing issues facing your town?

1. Economic development.

2. Responsible use of the taxpayers’ money.

3. Work with the city council instead of against them.

If elected, what one thing would you most like to accomplish? I would like to restore the pride of the people once again to the mayor’s office.

Why should voters cast their ballots for you? As the retired sheriff of Bureau County, I will be a full-time mayor. I will have no other job, but that very important one. I will have the time to always be available to the residents of the city. 

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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