MEET YOUR LOCAL CANDIDATES: Jon Panfil, Traer City Council

2021 Combined City/School Election: Traer City Council candidates, two seats open, vote for two

Jon Panfil

AGE: 64

PROFESSION: Retired after 20 years as City Clerk

EDUCATION: College Graduate-Accounting

FAMILY: Wife Diane, Children Ben and Lucy

What motivated you to run for school board/city council/mayor? My desire to stay involved in the city since my retirement.

What qualities and behaviors should school board/city council members and mayors exhibit? Honesty, respect for the citizens

What do you see as the primary roles and responsibilities for the position you are running for? Being a responsible representative of the people. Try to balance the increasing costs necessary to maintain city operations without raising taxes.

How would you handle requests if approached by an individual? Special interest group? I have dealt with requests for 20 years. As council member it is necessary to listen to people’s issues, and respond with honesty about what can or cannot be accomplished.

Why is it important for people to vote in school board/city elections? This country is based on representative government. If you want a voice, you need to vote.

What challenges do you see small, rural communities like yours facing today as compared to larger cities and suburbs? What do you plan to do to help meet those challenges as a city council member/mayor?

Larger cities have more sources for funding services than small towns. It is difficult for smaller towns to find the money to replace a fire station or repair streets without raising taxes too much. We need to work on alternate sources such as grants and donations to help accomplish these things.

I have been involved in the city operations for over 20 years, first as a council member and then as City Clerk. I put together the city budget every year, and have a knowledge of what we have accomplished in those years, from the Library to the pool, to several phases of Prairie West development and replacing the Mill Street bridge. The new elevator on the south end of town is about to start bringing some increased tax revenue to the city over the next few years, and I hope that revenue can be put to good use in helping solve some of these issues.

Why should people vote for you on November 2, 2021?

I have stayed involved since my retirement by attending most council meetings to keep up with what is going on. I care about what happens here, which is why I was involved in things like the Library and Pool projects, and why I have been with the Traer Theatre as Board President since the reopening in 2006 (and the re-reopening this month–please support your local theatre).

There are three candidates running for two seats. Voters should look at the candidates and decide which two they think would be the best choice to be their representatives.