By RJ Walters / For the Jackson Citizen Patriot
Albion’s current mayor and its previous mayor are vying for the seat in the Nov. 2 election.
Mayor Joe Domingo, who won the position two years ago, is seeking re-election against former mayor Bill Wheaton. Wheaton served for nine years as mayor before losing to Domingo in the 2008 election.
Why are you running?
Domingo: “No. 1, I love Albion — I’ve lived here all my life and right now I think we’re on a movement of getting change, and I think with the upcoming election that change will continue with me being in that seat.”
Wheaton: “A lot of local citizens have issues with the current administration and they were all surprised the current mayor won his past election. And some people asked me if I’d run again because I have so much experience — 13-and-a-half years total with council and as mayor. (Another reason is because) “of the antics that went on when the current mayor tried to terminate the city manager, the chief of public safety and the finance director.”
What is your top priority, and how will you address it?
Domingo: “Community knowledge, to keep them informed and let them know what’s going on and to bring jobs to this town because we desperately need that. We’re working with the Albion Innovation (Project), and we’ve already looked at other companies and have asked them what they’re doing and they’re bringing us ideas.”
Wheaton: “I have contacts and the knowledge of where to go to see if we can get some help for the city. It’s not going to be a piece of cake because property values are going down, the (tax revenues) are going down and all the costs are going up. So we’ve got to find ways to continue to provide what we have to provide with what we (already have).”
Why do you believe you are the right person to be a leader of a city council incurring so much change?
Domingo: “I think I do a good job of leadership. I get out in the community, I don’t turn anybody’s phone calls down, I get back to them and I communicate with everybody like I said I was going to. They might not like the ideas or the answers they get, but at least they get an answer.”
Wheaton: “My biggest issue is I would put my experience on the line for these four brand-new council people coming on. None of them have any experience … and the current mayor had no experience whatsoever, he’s stumbled a lot. I’d like to say I can guide these four new people.”
Meet the candidates
Family: Wife, Jill; three children, seven grandchildren
Education: High school diploma and some college
Community involvement: Recreation Board, youth football coach, Substance Abuse Prevention Services, New Hope Worship Center Food Bank, Chairman of Albion Innovation Project, Community Partnership into the 21st Century
Family: Wife, Lou; three children
Education: High school diploma and trade school
Employment: Part-time at the General Store and Hardware and a Mobil gas station
Community involvement: Senior Citizens Board, American Legion Commander, Cub Scouts, Rotary Club