Thoms tries to get ahead of mayoral learning curve in Rock Island

Next mayor already meeting with outgoing mayor

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - Voters wanted change when they went to the polls in Rock Island and Moline.

Both cities elected new mayors.

Rock Island also had four city council seats on the ballot. Only one incumbent won re-election.

That is definitely change.

It was a decisive win in the mayor's race.

That's not an easy task considering there were four candidates vying for the job being vacated by Mayor Dennis Pauley.

Most votes gets the job. No runoff. No majority needed to win.

Well, retired businessman Mike Thoms got the most votes and a majority of the vote.

It's an impressive accomplishment given the size of the field. Thoms campaigned on a pro-business platform and met with 70 business owners in the city trying to get support leading up to election day.

That strategy seems to have paid off for him.

Mike Thoms used to be a regular panelist on 4 the Record. That is until he told me a few weeks before announcing his run for mayor that he was considering pursuing the non-partisan office. It would not have been fair to the political process to have him appear.

Now that the election is over, he's allowed back on the program.

Only now he's in the hot seat.

Rock Island Mayor - elect Mike Thoms spoke about the challenges he faces during an appearance on 4 the Record.

It's one thing to run a strong campaign and win an election. It's another thing to govern.

Thoms explained how he's approaching the transition and the learning curve he expects when it comes to running Rock Island.

Arguably, the city's biggest personnel need is a permanent city manager. Randy Tweet has been doing it on an interim basis.

Thoms discussed how he's going to approach filling that spot for the long-term. It's up to City Council, but he hopes to have some influence. 

Thoms explained what kind of expertise he'd like to see  in the person who gets that job.

Four of the City Council seats were on the ballot. Three of them were won by newcomers. That's a lot of change.

Thoms discussed what he thinks about working with a very different council and handling people who might not share the same political ideas as he does.

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