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Meet the Candidates

Mayoral candidate questions posed by Lincoln Daily News:

If you are elected mayor:

  1. What will be your main focus as mayor?
  2. What are other areas that you will develop or maintain?
  3. What are your strengths to lead this community?
  4. What is your position on working with the Lincoln/Logan County Development Partnership?
  5. What lines of communication will you develop with other government entities: state, county, nearby cities?
  6. How do you intend to build more revenues for the city?
  7. What would you like the time of your administration to be remembered for?
  8. How will your leadership inspire community spirit?

Dale Voyles       Send a link to a friend

[FEB. 19, 2005]  Responses to LDN questions:

1. Focus: Beginning immediately I would form a task force of civic and community leaders and city council members along with myself to develop a short-term and long-term plan of action. This group would focus on public safety issues, infrastructure needs and develop a plan of action along with recommendations on how improvements would be paid for. This plan would be revisited regularly during my tenure as mayor for alterations or enhancements. I think for the short-term I will work very hard to control spending to build reserves so we can have resources available to grow the city when opportunity arises.

2. I would use my 30-plus years of experience in the utility business to work on upgrading the street lighting in the city. With juvenile crime being up significantly and the prevalence of drugs, this, I think, is an important issue. It is a known fact that with enhanced lighting, crime numbers go down and accidents can be reduced. I intend to make public safety a No. 1 priority. [See news release below.]

3. My strengths come from 30-plus years of marketing and supervisory training in the utility business, 10 years on the LCHS school board, four years on the Logan County Board, two as chairman. I have been involved in many civic organizations in the community and feel I have my finger on the pulse of the community and with my education, work experience and leadership skills am the best prepared to lead the city the next four years.

[to top of second column in this article]

4. Economic development partnership: I am a working member of the economic development panel and believe we have finally put together a cohesive group to develop plans and seize upon opportunities for good, solid economic growth. Rob Orr, our director, working with the county coordinator, and other individuals are beginning to bring exciting opportunities to us. With the ethanol plant to be soon built, Corn Belt Energy’s plans to build a generating plant and possibly a warehouse distribution business, hope and opportunity are on the horizon. All of these are directly related to the economic development partnership and Rob Orr’s work.

7. Remembrance: I would hope it [mayoral term] would be remembered for restoring hope and opportunity to our city and bring a future with jobs that reduce our high unemployment numbers and help retain some of our youth or bring them back after college. I want our city to achieve a cleaner look and have a safer community to raise a family and own a business.

[From Lincoln mayoral candidate Dale Voyles]

News release from Dale Voyles

[FEB. 19, 2005]  In recent forums, I have addressed my concerns regarding juvenile crime in Lincoln and the financial impact of this issue. At a recent forum sponsored by The Courier, the mayor stated that juvenile crime was actually down 42 percent in Lincoln.

I have requested and received the actual statistics from the Logan County state's attorney's office. Following is a history of juvenile reports filed by the Lincoln Police Department as the arresting agency (no other arresting agencies included in these figures):





















Complete figures:


Lincoln Police Dept.

Logan County Sheriff's Dept.

































[to top of second column in this article]

This confirms to me a significant problem exists in our community. Besides the evident problems associated with these cases, the financial costs related to policing, prosecutions, court and probation departments are draining resources that could be put to better use in our community.

If elected, I would work with members of all of these departments as well as other local agencies to attempt to reduce these statistics.

[From Lincoln mayoral candidate Dale Voyles]

Tom O'Donohue       Send a link to a friend

[FEB. 19, 2005]  Responses to LDN questions:

1. What will be your main area of focus as mayor?

My main area of focus as mayor will be city administration. I believe that the best thing the city of Lincoln can do is to improve those areas that only the city can fix. These include a thorough review of zoning, ordinances, taxing structures, fees and other incentives the city can offer to accomplish economic development goals. By reviewing ordinances you can clean up neighborhoods and generate revenue in the form of fines, as well as improve the overall look of the community. By looking at zoning, taxing structures and fees you can focus on the industry that is already here in Lincoln, and in my opinion mostly ignored by current programs, to encourage growth and expansion, which means more revenue and jobs.

2. What are other areas that you will develop and maintain?

I come from a small business background. I look at the politics in this town and I see other important issues like:

  • Fiscal and administrative management of the city itself, which includes a more nonpartisan way of making sure that the best people are working in top city positions.

  • A long, hard look at the community’s school system. We need to reopen the debate as to why we need four school districts in Lincoln.

  • How to best combat the rising crime rate in our community. Have we given the police everything they need to be the most effective force possible; can we improve our community by revitalizing Neighborhood Watch programs not being addressed currently by those running our community.

3. What are your strengths to lead this community?

  • Graduate Lincoln Community High School
    -- 1989

  • Graduate Illinois State University -- 1993, bachelor of science degree in biology

  • Over 10 years experience in management of employees

  • Experience in developing marketing programs to sell not only products but services as well

  • Developing, insurance, safety and risk management programs for clients, tailored to their specific needs, including both short- and long-term planning

  • Experience negotiating between employers, employees and government bodies, and their attorneys

  • Creating, adjusting and working within a fixed budget

  • Developing new sources of income and revenue

  • Running executive-level meetings, including a working knowledge of Roberts Rules of Order

[to top of second column in this article]

4. What is your position on working with the Lincoln/Logan Development Partnership?

Frequently, newcomers to politics speak of change, and there does need to be change, but you cannot have change without learning to work with the people and systems that are in place and to include new people and new systems in the overall process.

It appears that the main focus of the economic development partnership is new business. I think the city should continue to work with the partnership to promote itself to new business. At the same time Lincoln needs to do what it can to promote the growth of industry and business that are already here.

5. What lines of communications with other governing entities -- state, county, nearby cities?

Federal-state: We need to keep improving the communications with senators, representatives and other government officials to promote our relationships and the needs of Lincoln.

County: We need to strengthen this relationship so that we can promote further cooperation between Lincoln and the county and minimize the competitive atmosphere.

Nearby cities: We need to formalize these relationships in order to share our ideas and concerns and to help each other achieve common goals.

6. How do you intend to build more revenues for the city?

As I stated in the answer to the first question, Lincoln should encourage growth and expansion of those industries and businesses that are already here. A plant expansion at the bottling company is worth just as much to this community as a distribution center being built. In addition we need to ask ourselves: "What can we do for smaller businesses in Lincoln? When IGA expands do they get tax breaks like Wal-Mart?"

7. What would you like the time of your administration to be remembered for?

Putting politics aside and doing what needs to be done in order to improve our community.

8. How will your leadership inspire community spirit?

Hopefully, my leadership will inspire others to start taking a realistic, hard look at Lincoln and look past all the different groups and agendas to find common ground on which to improve our city.

[From Lincoln mayoral candidate Tom O'Donohue]

Pat O'Neill       Send a link to a friend

[FEB. 18, 2005] 


  • Two years county board member
  • Two years Logan County Animal Control chairman
  • 28 years Kroger employee
  • Present employer: Eaton Corporation
  • Co-chair Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug (ATOD) Task Force
  • Member of Youth, Disability, Senior Citizens, Minority Committee for the city of Lincoln
  • Union steward for Local 550 for five years
  • Member of union negotiation committee team for Local 550 of United Food, Commercial Workers Union
  • Past or present member of Lincoln Jaycees and K of C
  • Past Lincoln Bowling Association officer for two years
  • League secretary for 20 years, Elite Kickapoo League
  • Past instructor for Young Bowlers Alliance (YABA) for two years
  • Past member of UFCW and present member of Teamsters and Machinist union

Responses to LDN questions:

1. My main focus as mayor is to revitalize the community. I believe we are suited for a bedroom community, with a strong educational foundation, grade schools through colleges. 

I, as mayor, will work strongly with our four colleges on any expansion plans, increasing courses to choose from, etc., to attract more students. Having 4,000-plus young people for eight-plus months a year is a very appealing market for retail, service-type jobs coming to Lincoln.

Second: Affordable housing. Will strongly enforce city codes to upgrade properties that are boarded up and unlivable. To which there are 30-plus such houses that can be available for people to live.

Third: Tourism. This is a booming market for us. We need to really be ready to capitalize on this. With the new Lincoln Library opening up soon [Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield], there will be an overwhelming number of people traveling through or by Lincoln. I will work with tourism to help promote, market or advertise Lincoln in any way possible.

With these three issues I firmly believe will bring much-needed growth to Lincoln. 

2. Other areas that I will develop or maintain: First off I will strive to reinstate the laid-off city workers, firefighters and police to full capacity, ending citizens' concerns for safety issues. I will seek to eliminate one city workshop and city council meeting a month. This could save up to $18,000 a year of taxpayers' money while still getting done what needs to be done. 

[to top of second column in this article]

I will work to re-establish the Neighborhood Watch program, holding town block meetings throughout Lincoln, appointing a chairman for each area to organize volunteers to assist police in fighting crime.

3. My strengths to lead this community: I believe to be my personality and character. Anyone who wants to know what type of mayor I would be, just look at my two years as Animal Control chairman. The proof that I can take a bad situation and turn it around in a matter of a few months as evidenced with the success we now have at the shelter. I can do this for the city of Lincoln.

4. We're only as strong as we can be if we work together. So, it is important that the mayor and Lincoln/Logan County Development Partnership and the county board put all egos aside and work together for the betterment of Lincoln.

5. Lines of communication: This I believe is my strong point. I'm a great motivator and can get people to jump on board with my beliefs. Open-door policy is very important for one thing, and to develop a strong pattern of being someone that you can work with, which in turn will create a good relationship for all parties involved.

6. Besides the first part of my platform, I'm also prepared to offer a property tax incentive break for property owners choosing to upgrade or add onto their property, providing they provide proof that they will invest $10,000 or more and that 75 percent of material and labor comes from Lincoln, Logan County. Then I propose waiving their property taxes for three years, the fourth year paying what they paid before the upgrading, with the fifth year paying the new assessed tax increase.

This I strongly feel will greatly increase our tax bases, sales wise, as well. As property taxes are added to the increased value of property, it will also give many people a chance to clean up and make badly needed improvements. This should also greatly clean up the community, increase overall market value of all property and attract interested parties to come to Lincoln to buy. I strongly believe this to bring in something between $200,000 to $500,000 a year much-needed revenue.

7. I would like to be remembered as a man of action and also a man of my word, as well as a cherished role model for our youth.

8. I'm a very positive person and do not like to dwell on negative situations. I totally believe in myself, the community, our young people, and it shows.

I'm a very happy person who really appreciates who I am and where I come from and really love sharing my optimism with everyone involved. I really believe a strong outlook on things will achieve more than negativism. I will set that example each and every day of my term in office.

[From Lincoln mayoral candidate Pat O'Neill]


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