Photo by Fred Pollard
Alton resident Scott Dixon has announced his candidacy for mayor in the upcoming election. The 52-year-old businessman and former general manager of Dixon Distributing to date is the only candidate to announce his intent to run against current Mayor Brant Walker in next spring’s election.
A quiet river town on the surface, Alton actually maintains a steady buzz, with parties, restaurants and bars often the go-to sources for finding out what goes on behind the scenes.
One of the most popular topics of late has been the upcoming election season. Following weeks of whispers, more than 75 people on Aug. 6 converged on Lincoln Douglas Square downtown, braving the rising heat to hear what some already knew local businessman Scott Dixon was planning to say.
“Alton is blessed with its history and historic buildings, a growing cultural scene and a location at one of the most important river confluences on the planet,” Dixon, 52, said.
Making reference to the area’s rich farmland, biking and hiking trail opportunities, river assets and a scenic byway, he painted a picture of a city on the verge of rebirth.
“These are the types of things that people today want in a city,” he said. “We have them all right here, waiting to help us prosper once again.”
Calling for a “renaissance” for the Alton area, Dixon formally announced his candidacy for mayor and outlined five key areas he says are vital to growth, including maximizing the use of “assets” such as landmarks and cultural organizations, improvement of the quality of life and marketing of the area as desirable to visitors, maintaining and enforcing ordinances to ensure a welcoming vibe to the city, teamwork among Alton’s leaders and the update of a master plan to “fix our problems, rather than using Band-Aids.”
“As mayor, I’d push for transparency, professionalism, accountability and responsiveness to our citizens,” Dixon said.
The cleaning and beautifying of the city also would be a priority during his term as mayor, he said.
Born in Alton, Dixon has a master’s degree in business administration and spent 25 years working with the family business, Dixon Distributing, eventually serving as vice president and general manager. He opened a retail shop in Florida, Finials Foray, before returning to the Alton area in 2014. He has worked with the Alton Beautification and Clean City Committee (serving as chairman from 2005 until 2007), the Meeting of the Rivers Foundation and the BridgeWest committee, among other local organizations and charities.
Dixon said the closing of area factories over the past few decades has necessitated a change in a success plan, including the examination of other cities in the Midwest he says are crawling out of the “rust belt.”
“When we fell behind the times, our growth stopped, but we always got ourselves back on our feet, and then prosperity returned,” he said. “Recently, however, we’ve struggled to continue this legacy of prosperity and adaptability that was always a part of our history.”
Under his leadership, Dixon said his aggressive plan for the city would increase tourism, attract residents, draw new business and create jobs.
“We must embrace the riverfront (and our other priceless assets) and make it an attractive place that draws people to our city,” he said. “I am not someone who boasts, but I feel that I love Alton more than anyone I know. I want our city to get better, and I am confident that I can help us get there.
“This city and its culture fill my heart and my soul.”
Dixon is the first candidate to announce that he will run against Mayor Brant Walker in the upcoming April elections. More information on Dixon’s campaign can be found on Facebook at “Scott Dixon for Alton” or his website at scottdixonforalton.org.