Where mayoral candidates stand on housing, pension

Peoria will see a new mayor in 2021 — the first time that’s happened since 2005. Five candidates are vying for voters’ support to replace four-term incumbent Jim Ardis, who decided not to seek reelection: Andres “Andy” Diaz, Rita Ali, Jim Montelongo, Sid Ruckriegel and Chama St. Louis.

The top two vote-getters in the Feb. 23 primary election will square off in the April 6 general election. The Journal Star provided a seven-question survey to all three candidates. Their responses as submitted are provided here in the order in which they appear on the ballot.

Peoria mayoral candidate Andy Diaz is one of five candidates on the Feb. 23. primary ballot to replace longtime mayor Jim Ardis.

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Andres “Andy” Diaz

Website: DiazForMayor.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PeoriaMayorDiaz

What does Peoria need to do (or stop doing) to attract new and diverse businesses? 

First, the City must have a plan for development and reinvestment in the community. Without a plan, neither residents, developers, nor city staff will know what we are doing and what our goals are for growth. Without that plan, it is difficult to convince people to invest their money in Peoria. Once we have a framework in place, we must work with City staff to view their work as customer service representatives: responding to residents and developers in a timely fashion with helpful answers. Our priority should be to help those doing incremental development here in town instead of spending resources to attract outsiders to do development. We must reduce the red tape, simplify processes, and find ways to say “Yes” to help our residents and businesses find success in Peoria. Once we have a plan, improved our processes, and tapped our local opportunities for development, we can begin to work on larger incentives and development in the community.