The first and only public forum for candidates for the position of Mayor of Keokuk took place Monday night at city hall. Candidates Dan Winn, Patricia Whiteside, Tom Richardson, and Carl Morgan were all present and accounted for in their opportunity to educate the public on each of their particular agendas. 10 questions were asked by a moderator with each candidate being given a minute and a half to answer. Tom Richardson spoke of his passion for the city he has called home his whole and how he feels there is a lot to build on in Keokuk. Dan Winn explained that his experience on the council and as a small business owner have given him insights into how to turn the tide in the favor of Keokuk. Patricia Whiteside highlighter her experience in historic preservation as how she can benefit a town that is filled with history. Carl Morgan appealed to the younger demographic stating that his experience as a reserve police officer and volunteer firefighter has given him insights into how to battle crime and dilapidation in Keokuk. The entire 1 hour forum will be available to view on the Keokuk Area chamber of commerce website Wednesday.
The 2nd and final forum was held for candidates for roles in the city of Keokuk’s governance. Monday night more than 40 people filed into city hall to take in the Mayoral Candidate forums and while a smaller number turned up Wednesday for the city council forums, interest in the candidates ran just as deep. The candidates running for at-large as well as the 1st and 5th wards of the Keokuk City Council talked issues and ideas. The state of the streets, the cities role in demolition and preservation, and ways to promote tourism were the biggest topics amongst the 7 candidates for the 3 seats. Support for the current role of city administrator Aaron Burnett was nearly unanimous with the exception of 5th ward candidate Steve Rairden stating that Burnett’s salary eats up too much of the budget. Rairden was joined by at-large candidate Joe Shuman as the only candidates who were skeptical of the price tag for the Rhythm City Barge that has been placed at the Keokuk Riverfront for future development. Video of both the Mayoral and Council forums will be available to view on the Keokuk Chamber of commerce website on Friday.