Photo by Diane Cox
Scott Miner was the first individual to announce his candidacy for the position of Wood River mayor. As the youngest elected official in Illinois, Miner hopes to make history again by becoming the youngest mayor in the state.
WOOD RIVER — Scott Miner, an East Alton-Wood River senior in 2013, turned heads as he became the youngest elected official in Illinois by earning a seat at the table of the Wood River City Council.
As his four-year term comes to a close in April 2017, Miner hopes to climb a little higher by asking residents to elect him as the city’s mayor. If elected, Miner will be 22 years old, edging out Andy Manar of Bunker Hill as youngest mayor in Illinois. Manar, a Democratic member of the Illinois Senate, was elected in 2001 at the age of 25.
“When I ran for city council in 2013, the only concern anyone could voice was my age,” Miner said. “At that point I had no name recognition and some may say I was a nobody. I got out there and I pounded the pavement and talked to hundreds of residents. I knocked on doors and listened to the voters. I shared with them my ideas, my message and my vision for Wood River.
“People looked past my youth and saw me as a person who is committed and dedicated to our city. I’ve worked hard and haven’t taken their trust for granted.”
As the first Wood River resident to announce a mayoral candidacy, Miner anticipates he will have an opponent to face and feels that following the same campaign strategy would be the best place to start in his campaign.
“I have learned so much in my three years on the council and we have faced some trying challenges as a city,” Miner said. “I have been fortunate to have people such as Mayor Frank Akers and Councilwoman Sharon Kadell.
“Losing Fred Ufert a little more than a year ago was a tough situation for the council and the city. We lost a friend, a colleague and a leader in the community. Frank (Akers) has done a great job and really stepped up in the position.”
Miner said the biggest lesson he learned while in office at the local level is teamwork and the importance of everyone working together to ensure the city runs smoothly.
“A city is not just run by one person (or even two); it’s a team effort,” Miner said. “Between the mayor, the city administrator, the council members, support staff and all of the departments, it takes everyone working and doing their individual part to have one big operation that is successful. It took a little bit of time getting accustomed to the process of decision-making, but I’ve learned the ins and outs quickly and I was able to get to work for our residents.”
Admired for his dedication and hands-on approach, Miner has gained the respect of colleagues. Known for being at as many functions, games, events and gatherings as possible, Miner has made a name for himself as a present and accessible public servant.
“It’s obvious to me that Scott is very bright; he knows and understands the community,” Akers previously told AdVantage News. “I enjoy working with him and enjoy his very positive attitude. I think he’s doing a great job. He is obviously a student of government; I was young when I got started in politics and I see that he and I have a lot in common.”
Issues Miner has on his agenda include revitalizing the downtown area, a recreation center and the restructuring or rebuilding of the community pool. Keeping up with the tradition of having a solid, reliable and dedicated mayor at the helm of the city is why he says he chose to run for office. Miner called his campaign a “leap of faith,” knowing that if he is not elected, he will no longer hold a position within the city. Regardless, he says he will maintain a presence in the community.
Miner is employed as a supply inventory coordinator for BJC HealthCare at Alton Memorial Hospital. He says he feels that position has given him additional experience with management and organizational skills that could prove to be beneficial in local government.