O’FALLON – Alderman Herb Roach is asking the citizens of O’Fallon to give him a promotion next April. Roach announced late last week that he intends to run for mayor of O’Fallon in the spring municipal election.
Roach, who has served on the City Council since 2011 and touts a record of perfect attendance at regular council meetings, said he will bring his 40 years of management experience, fiscal responsibility, integrity, and open communication to the office if he is elected.
“This city has been so good to my family and I throughout the years. I want everyone to benefit from that same quality of life that has brought so many families to O’Fallon and make it their home over it’s 163 year history,” Roach said.
One of the major issues Roach wants to address is the city’s priorities and economic development.
“I think if we properly set our priorities and we properly use the money we receive, I don’t see why we have to keep raising property taxes on the people. I don’t understand it. I’ve opposed it in the past because, when it comes to the economic growth, we’re in a great location,” he said. “I’ve visited well over a 100 communities and I’ve seen some very good economic programs and I’ve seen some very weak and poor ones.
Roach believes the city has relied on TIF districts as an economic development tool too frequently and needs to consider other options.
“We’ve got nearly 600 acres in TIF now. I seriously doubt they all need to be under TIF. One TIF we developed for Menard’s. We knew Menard’s was only interested in one or two sites, and we could have just TIF’d those sites and leave alone the hundreds of other acres that TIF takes in. I’ve sat on the other side of the table and so I know what needs to be done.”
Roach cited the recently announced deal in Edwardsville to bring in two Amazon distribution centers and how the city was able to attract Amazon with other incentives than just TIF districts.
“It was a well structured, well negotiated program and they didn’t have to tie anything up for 23 years to do it,” Roach said.
Roach said he also wants to work to try and pull the O’Fallon community together more.
“When you look around at Collinsville, Fairview Heights, Belleville, they all have gatherings in their communities. They have picnics and fairs. What do we have here that’s sponsored by the city? We don’t have the Homecoming, Fireman’s Picnic, Booster Picnic. We don’t have Strange Folk anymore. These activities bring communities together,” Roach said.
Roach said he plans on beginning to walk door to door in the next few weeks and will be walking with a survey asking residents what is important to them.
“Open communication is a big thing. I think some people are feeling left out. I plan on walking to 6,000 homes starting this week. Currently, I walk my ward twice a year with a survey. I get more walking around talking to people. Few people take time to pick up the phone or send an email, but if you knock on their door and come to them, they’ll tell you what they think,” Roach said. “I have always felt comfortable with the way I have taken positions because I know how the people in my area feel. And now I want to know how the rest of the people feel about things.”
If you want to learn more about Roach and his positions on various issues, visit his web site: www.HerbRoachCares.com.