Augustana Professor Challenges Incumbent for Mayor of Moline
Augustana Music Professor Sangeetha Rayapati is challenging Incumbent Stephanie Acri for mayor of Moline.
Candidates for Moline City Council held a campaign rally on Sunday outside the Esperanza Center. The event was organized by newcomers facing incumbents.
Mayoral Candidate Sangeetha Rayapati addressed a crowd of supporters ahead of the April 6 election.
“So, let me ask you: What did it take to get you here today? Did you drive on a road filled with potholes and cracks and things that are just going to take your car out? Did you drive past empty storefronts and blighted buildings? And I’ll just remind you; we haven’t had a community or economic development manager for two years. That’s the kind of decision making we need to change.”
Rayapati is a music professor at Augustana College and a Moline-Coal Valley District School Board member. She’s running against first-term Mayor Stephanie Acri.
Outside of the Mayor’s office, Acri owns and operates Evans Premium Manufacturing in Rock Island. She says her top priority is infrastructure.
“I’m an engineer by trade, and I believe that infrastructure is the foundation of all prosperity. I think that you have to have good roads for people to want to live in your community, and you have to have good roads for businesses to want to invest in your community, so I have a strong priority of increasing the amount of road work we do every year.”
For Acri, that means designing shovel-ready projects, which allow the city to draw funding from grants and other sources to ease the financial burden on taxpayers. .
Acri’s opponent, Rayapati, says she’s running to fix the city’s understaffing.
“We’ve decreased staffing in places like public works so much that we’ve had to outsource, or they’ve chosen to outsource rather than right-sizing our current staffing levels, and so we need to do that so we can not spend recklessly.”
But Mayor Acri says she has filled new positions with established leaders in the Quad Cities, like Geoffrey Mannis. He’s worked with the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Davenport Partnership, and is now the Main Street Program Manager for Moline.
“He works very closely with our downtown businesses, making sure that they’re supported in a way that helps them prosper.”
Both Acri and Rayapati say they’ll revitalize Moline’s roads and invest in local businesses.
Residents can vote by mail now or in-person on April 6.