Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley plans to take a few road trips. The two-term mayor and former alderman has announced he will not run for re-election. Pauley says he retired from AT&T last year, and he and his wife bought a motor home.
He's proud of the number of housing projects that have been completed under his tenure, and the beginning of development in the southwest part of Rock Island. Those projects include a Fed-Ex sorting center, three expansions by Hawk Technology, and Green Thumb Industries medical marijuana facility.
One big development project on Big Island was blocked, but Pauley says revenue from sales taxes are still the key to growth in the city.
Bringing a WalMart to 11th Street was another project Pauley worked on. After investing $600,000 to study the Black Hawk Plaza site, the company decided not to build a new store in Rock Island. Pauley is confident the city will find a developer, and it should include a grocery store.
Pauley's tenure also included crime prevention. The biggest challenge Mayor Pauley sees ahead is the increasing cost of police and fire pensions. Two people have already announced they are running - 4th ward alderman Stephen Tollenaer and local businessman Mike Thoms.
Dennis Pauley has decided not to run again for mayor of Rock Island. Monday he announced he'll step down next spring after eight years as mayor and four as third ward alderman.