Dixon mayor running for second term
DIXON – Mayor Li Arellano Jr. will pursue a second term, and he hopes to bring ongoing projects to fruition.
Arellano said there’s a long list of accomplishments he’s proud of since taking office in 2015, including switching over to the city manager form of government, consolidating city divisions into a Public Works Department, merging the Dixon Chamber of Commerce and Main Street, catching up on resurfacing and other infrastructure improvements, negotiating four union contracts, coordinating with other governments on projects, cleaning up and adapting the city’s liquor code, and making operations more sustainable at the Dixon Municipal Airport.
But there’s an equally long list of projects the Republican wants to see through, so he’s running for re-election in the April.
“I’m happy with how far we’ve come, and how fast,” he said. “I don’t want to walk away in the middle of economic development projects, and we’re taking serious steps for solving longtime concerns.”
One of his main goals is to make progress on the Viaduct Point economic development project, a partnership in which the city and the Lee County Industrial Development Association secured about 10 acres of land stretching from the Peoria Avenue Bridge to the viaducts to attract new development.
Other goals include finding a long-term plan to address pension obligations, growing economic development and retail in the city, completing projects such as the bike path extension, fostering intergovernmental relationships, continuing to negotiate union contracts to maintain staffing levels, and creating stronger regional planning when it comes to transportation projects and entertainment offerings.
“One of the trends during my time in office has been to ask the tough questions, make them a public discussion and make different systems and relationships better,” he said.
Arellano, 37, owns Jimmy John’s in Dixon and Rock Falls and co-owns The Frosted Spoon in Rock Falls, is a sergeant in the Army Reserves and served two combat tours in Iraq. He’s also the city’s first Hispanic mayor.
He and his wife, Jamie, have four children.