- Kent Casson
Candidates share views at forum
The three candidates running for two spots on the Chenoa City Council outlined their views of the city during a candidate forum hosted by the Chenoa News website Tuesday evening.
Political newcomer Joey Bell has been in Chenoa 27 years and is a Prairie Central High School graduate. He served nine years in the Army National Guard and currently works for the Illinois Department of Transportation.
“I’m excited for this opportunity to possibly serve,” Bell said during opening remarks.
Kyle Buchanan, a current city commissioner running for re-election, moved to Chenoa in 2013. Buchanan graduated from Eureka College in 2008 with a business administration degree. He was first elected commissioner back in 2017 and has worked with finance and insurance since.
“There have been some tough times the last four years, especially this last year, but it’s been a joy to serve and I hope to continue to serve,” Buchanan stated.
Dwayne Price, who also currently serves on the council and is running again, said he was “transplanted” to the city back in 1972. Price graduated from Chenoa High School in 1979 and spent four years in the Navy before working in building maintenance at Illinois State University for 30 years. He later retired from ISU and has volunteered locally since.
“I established the Route 66 scene out there on (Routes) 24 and 66,” Price explained. “I got the tourism going there about 10 or 12 years ago.”
Buchanan would like to see businesses continue to grow in the city if he is elected again.
“I’d like to expand our footprint out by 66 and 55 and get some of that property revitalized and developed,” he said.
Price wants the council to continue doing what it has been in working with the various departments. He pointed to increased activity in the park and a desire to work on tourism efforts surrounding the Mother Road.
“The drainage system in town has gotten a lot better,” Price observed.
Bell is hopeful the city will move in a positive direction but has concerns over the city parks.
“I feel like those have been neglected for quite some time,” said Bell.
One question submitted ahead of time asked the men why they wanted to be a city commissioner. Price highlighted his more than 20 years of volunteering in the community.
“I think what I’ve done has been a plus and I just want to add to it.”
Buchanan and Bell both expressed a desire to be the change in the community.
“I’ve been here all my life – I’ve seen the good, I’ve seen the bad,” Bell said. “I’ve got kids at home and want to see a positive future for them.”
Growing up in nearby Fairbury, Buchanan took great pride in his hometown and hopes his kids feel the same someday.
“I want my kids to feel the way I felt about Fairbury about Chenoa,” said Buchanan.
Tuesday’s candidate forum was moderated by Kent Casson of Chenoa News and held in the brand new community room of the Chenoa Public Library.
Watch Tuesday evening's forum from the Chenoa Public Library here: