ALTON — Mayoral candidate Scott Dixon will hold a town hall meeting Wednesday to discuss plans to revitalize neighborhoods, businesses and the riverfront, and to make his case against what he sees as the failed leadership of the current mayor.
Dixon will seek questions and views from the public at the meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Riverbender Community Center Atrium, 200 W. Third St.
“Alton cannot afford another term for Brant Walker,” Dixon said. “Brant Walker is running for re-election on his record. But Brant Walker is not being straight with us. He’s not being honest with us.”
With six weeks to the April 4 election, Dixon said he will discuss how he would take Alton in a new direction from Walker, who he says uses misleading statistics to depict a false image of progress under his term.
In key areas including crime, economic growth and cracking down on slumlords, Dixon said Alton has lost ground during the last four years.
“Not only does Brant Walker manage through statistics, he uses them deceptively,” Dixon said.
For example, Dixon said Walker claims to be tough on slumlords because he issued 3,500 citations.
“But that claim is empty because 88 percent of those citations are not prosecuted,” he said.
That contributes to declining neighborhoods and a lower quality of life, Dixon said.
“Too many residents feel unsafe in their neighborhoods,” he said.
While Walker cites 130 building demolitions under his watch as a sign of progress, Dixon said the city needs proactive policies that prevent the problem in the first place.
“We cannot afford a mayor who prioritizes destruction and demolition over building and growth,” Dixon said.
“We know that property taxes are going up while property values are going down,” he said.
Dixon said the current mayor has not been accessible to citizens, has presided over mismanaged budgets and unfunded pensions, and has haphazardly pursued various projects without a plan that asks Altonians what their real priorities are.
Dixon pledged to directly confront Alton’s problems, to seek residents’ opinions and to run a transparent administration.
“We all want responsibility, accountability, transparency and good management,” he said. “There are serious questions about whether we’ve gotten that from Brant Walker.”
Dixon said while Walker claims credit for progress in Alton, “I’ve met no business owner who gives him credit for their success. What they do see is a mayor fond of photo ops, a hotel fiasco and caving streets. We can’t afford a mayor who takes credit for others who are successful in spite of him.” Refreshments will be available to be purchased at the town hall meeting inside the Community Center.