Statement of Alton Mayor Tom Hoechst regarding decision of Judge Harrison:
The rules and laws related to getting your name on the ballot are publicly available to all potential candidates. I have heard from many Alton residents who believe a candidate for Mayor should have their own personal affairs in order if they want to represent a City with hundreds of employees, 28,000 residents and a $29 million budget. That is why there is a state law on this very point. With today's decision, the Judge has now confirmed the Electoral Board followed that law correctly.
The Electoral Board did establish that Mr. Walker had improperly taken the homeowner property tax exemptions on rental properties where he didn't live. He blamed that problem on the County Treasurer's office. The Electoral Board found he was delinquent in the payment of fees for sewer and trash services on the rental properties he owned. He blamed that problem on the water company and on city employees even though he admitted under oath he didn't rely on the information provided him by the City. The law recognizes that a person who cannot keep his personal obligations to the city in order should not lead the city. Mr. Walker continues to blame county employees, city employees, the water company and now no doubt, the Judge, for his problems.
I look forward to running on my record of digging the City of Alton out of the financial ditch, helping to bring hundreds of jobs to Alton and making our neighborhoods safer.
With respect to my opponent running as a write in candidate, the central question in this race is "Who will move Alton forward in a positive way and who will move Alton backward"?. My opponent is supported by a businessman who has tried repeatedly to bring an unwanted mobile home park to Alton, by the former Public Works Director Jim Hernandez who I did not re-appoint when I became Mayor, various others who seek city jobs if he is elected, and by a handful of nightclub owners who have had troubles with the police over serious crimes committed at their establishments. Those are the people who would take us backward. I want to keep Alton moving forward and look forward to having a conversation about which candidate is most qualified to accomplish that goal.