ContextIn 2017, 2 of 5 At-Large Council seats were up for election. This was due to 2 At-Large Council Members vacating their seats to accept positions in the state legislature (Chuck Weaver left to become a State Senator in 2015 & Ryan Spain left to become a State Representative in 2016). Because there were 2 seats to fill in this election, voters engaged in cumulative voting; this means that each voter had two votes to cast. The 2 votes could be cast on a single candidate or spread across 2 different candidates.

The other 3 At-Large Council seats will be up for election in 2019.

In 2015, 11,284 voters (16.6% of registered voters in Peoria) cast ballots for At-Large Council Members (Source: Wikipedia).

Roles and Responsibilities of District Council MembersAll City Council Members meet regularly on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 6:00PM. City Council seats are part-time positions and are compensated with a salary between $14,000-16,500 (Source: City of Peoria 2015 Payroll).

Candidates (4)


Zach Oyler (Winner)
Age  32
Current Employment Self Employed – Realtor
Education MBA, Robert Morris University
Residence District 2
Endorsements Peoria Journal Star
Why do you want to be a Council Member? Our council needs more members dedicated to public service and that is what I am all about. I am willing to give my time and talents to tirelessly work for the citizens of the great City of Peoria at a time where we have across the board challenges from budgets, to businesses, to infrastructure, to neighborhood issues; and the list goes on. We need steady hands to guide Peoria forward and leaders who are committed to openness and communication.
What are your top priorities, if elected? The two areas most important to me where I can lend a hand are the budget and neighborhoods. Without new tax revenue streams, the city is going to have another shortfall in the coming few years even considering the recent tax increases. We need to be aggressively discussing and looking for new business far in advance of the budget planning cycle. Our tax payers cannot bear the burden of another tax increase which will make us even more uncompetitive. From the neighborhood standpoint, the district council members cannot be expected to do it alone. There are too many issues and too much ground to cover. I plan to be heavily engaged with the district council members working to clean up neighborhoods, bring in new business, help address citizen issues, and troubleshoot solutions to the vast challenges we have around the city. We need hands on Servant Leadership and I’m not afraid to roll up my sleeves and get to work in the City.
How will you use your power as a Council Member to advance these priorities? It’s not about power, its about collaboration. I will be a Council Member dedicated to working directly with constituents, at large and district council members, the business community, and other government entities to address the challenges of this community with a long term view. We need transparency and dedicated public service to guide us forward.
What sets you apart from other candidates in the race? Ultimately the voters of this great City will make that determination. What makes me an asset to this council is experience in the corporate world, experience in self employment as a realtor where I work directly with the people moving in and out of this community to see what brings them here and sometimes make them leave, and a long term dedication to many charities in our community. There are complex challenges ahead of us that require leaders dedicated to public service and communication; both of which I am wholeheartedly committed to.
Campaign Website:
Campaign Contributions: Citizens for Zach Oyler
Related Media:

Endorsement: At-large Peoria City Council (Peoria Journal Star, 3/30/17)
Peoria candidates’ topics include Caterpillar, water, Riverfront Park (Peoria Journal Star, 3/1/17)
City candidates address need for change with Peoria landlords (Peoria Journal Star, 2/26/17)
Peoria council candidates spar over spending, tax policies (Peoria Journal Star, 2/23/17)
At-large council candidates talk about ways Peoria can spend and save money (Peoria Journal Star, 2/17/17)
At-large City Council candidates view problems of racial equality and abandoned homes (Peoria Journal Star, 2/15/17)
At-large council candidates address Peoria’s sewer overflow problem (Peoria Journal Star, 2/14/17)
Zach Oyler to run at-large for City Council (Peoria Journal Star, 11/10/16)
Lectern lesson for council candidate Zach Oyler (Peoria Journal Star, 11/18/16)



Sid Ruckriegel (Winner)
Age  46
Current Employment Owner/V.P. Treasurer SERVUS, Inc.; owner Colburn-Hull I and II, LLC; owner Duroc, LLC
Education  Vanderbilt University
Residence West Bluff, District 2
Endorsements Peoria Journal Star
Why do you want to be a Council Member? I have always believed that one should be investing their time and energy making an impact on their community and helping make it a place that has value for all that live there. Through the years, I have been fortunate in being able to serve our community through my work on non-profits, by making sure my business was a good community partner and actively participating in our city’s neighborhoods, and by mentoring individuals and businesses. I have been able to bring these skills to the Council and I would like the opportunity to continue to merge these traits with my business background for the continued work we have in front of us as a city.
What are your top priorities, if elected? My top priorities are simple and have been actively pursued not only since I have been on Council but before: 1) secure and safe neighborhoods throughout all of Peoria; 2) grow viably strong jobs by helping train our workforce and fostering innovation and entrepreneurship; 3) building relationships within our community’s network of non-profits, grass roots organizations, and other public governmental groups such as local school boards, focusing on basic city services such as roads, police, and fire; and 4) helping set our fiscal responsibility as we face both operational challenges within our community and unfounded mandates from the outside. With recently announced challenges that face our city, now more than ever, experience working on these priorities is key for the overall success of our entire city.
How will you use your power as a Council Member to advance these priorities?
Being an At Large Council Member offers the ability to get direct feedback from the community at large, set active priorities, and build the relationships both within and outside of City Hall that can help move initiatives forward that can tangibly better Peoria. The work of a Council Member is not just done at Tuesday’s meeting but is done each and every day and the results are measured in not only the votes that are taken on the floor but the visible results of one’s actions and results on the community.
What sets you apart from other candidates in the race? The factor that sets me apart is the experienced ability to combine business leadership (leading a company and its future growth, fiscal responsibility of budgeting, accountability, and decision making), tangible legacy of active and committed community involvement, and a vision for Peoria to become a place for all Peorians to be able to create quality lives for themselves and their families.
Campaign Website: www.sidforcouncil.com
Campaign Contributions: Friends of Sid Ruckriegel
Related Media:

Endorsement: At-large Peoria City Council (Peoria Journal Star, 3/30/17)
Peoria candidates’ topics include Caterpillar, water, Riverfront Park (Peoria Journal Star, 3/1/17)
City candidates address need for change with Peoria landlords (Peoria Journal Star, 2/26/17)
Peoria council candidates spar over spending, tax policies (Peoria Journal Star, 2/23/17)
At-large council candidates talk about ways Peoria can spend and save money (Peoria Journal Star, 2/17/17)
At-large City Council candidates view problems of racial equality and abandoned homes (Peoria Journal Star, 2/15/17)
At-large council candidates address Peoria’s sewer overflow problem (Peoria Journal Star, 2/14/17)
Sid Ruckriegel announces run for remainder of at-large Peoria City Council term (Peoria Journal Star, 6/16/16)



Robert Hanauer
Age 32
Current Employment Adjunct Professor, Illinois Central College
Attorney, Cusack, Gilfillan & O’Day, LLC
Education  J.D., Northern Illinois University
B.A., Augustana College (Political Science & Communication Studies)
Residence Fourth District
Endorsements Change Peoria
Why do you want to be a Council Member? I want the opportunity to effectuate positive change in Peoria by focusing on assisting those in the community who need the most help. I also believe that the City Council will benefit from having several lawyers, as a check on the City Manager and Corporation Counsel.
What are your top priorities, if elected? I will work on creating an inclusive environment for all Peorians through various initiatives including diversity dinners where people from all walks of life can come together and learn from people with vast and varied backgrounds, experiences, and lives. As a general practitioner in Peoria, I represent residents who have been treated unfairly based on race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and gender. I have seen what fear of others can do to a community. I want to minimize that fear.
How will you use your power as a Council Member to advance these priorities? I will ask the City Manager and Corporation Counsel targeted questions. I will appear at public events and speak against discrimination; I will talk with community leaders working within the Peoria Park District, Peoria Public Schools, and various private organizations to discuss how to create opportunities providing structure for at-risk youth during the summer months. I will seek feedback on whether the outreach programs lead to improvement in the classroom. I will demand accountability when a FOIA request is denied, asking the tough questions to see if there is a legitimate basis in law to deny requests that may otherwise be lawful. 
What sets you apart from other candidates in the race?  While some of my opponents may be, or aspire to be, politicians, the only thing for which I’ve ever run is a track or cross-country team. My attention to detail, knowledge of the law, dedicated work ethic, and willingness to help others who cannot help themselves, make me the type of candidate who is not afraid to challenge the status quo and has the fortitude to maintain the fight against any opposition. I won’t back down, ever! Further, the Council will benefit from having another lawyer to act as a check and a balance.
Campaign Website:
Campaign Contributions: N/A
Related Media:

Peoria’s primary might be behind us by the next election (Peoria Journal Star, 3/19/17)
Peoria candidates’ topics include Caterpillar, water, Riverfront Park (Peoria Journal Star, 3/1/17)
City candidates address need for change with Peoria landlords (Peoria Journal Star, 2/26/17)
Peoria council candidates spar over spending, tax policies (Peoria Journal Star, 2/23/17)
At-large council candidates talk about ways Peoria can spend and save money (Peoria Journal Star, 2/17/17)
At-large City Council candidates view problems of racial equality and abandoned homes (Peoria Journal Star, 2/15/17)
At-large council candidates address Peoria’s sewer overflow problem (Peoria Journal Star, 2/14/17)



John Kelly
Age  67
Current Employment Retired after 40 years in Peoria with Morgan Stanley and predecessor organizations
Education Bergan High School (’67), University of Notre Dame (Finance)
Residence  445 W Woodridge Lane, District 3
Endorsements
Why do you want to be a Council Member?   I love our city. I was born here. I have been working with City Hall, and the County to a lesser extent, for more than 40 years. However, my employer did not allow its employees to hold public office, so I could not hold office. I retired last August so that I could run. I believe that I, uniquely among the candidates, have ideas that can help Peoria become a growth city.
What are your top priorities, if elected?  I would like to offer our older neighborhoods, that are in need of significant investment, real estate tax abatement on new construction or improvements for ten years, incentivizing those who invest, instead of City Hall I would like to reform our building permit rules so that homeowners and business owners either don’t need a permit for most upgrades, or, in a few cases with additions or expansions, make the permitting process smoother and quicker. I would also favor eliminating all fees for permits, since charging these fees amount to nothing less than fining people who want to invest in our city.  I would like to reform our sometimes over-the-top building codes so that they resemble the codes that growth cities are using.
How will you use your power as a Council Member to advance these priorities?
 I work well with other people. I have cultivated good relationships with all city councils and mayors for over forty years. Some of these councils have taken my ideas and put them into practice with new ordinances. They have always worked. So even though most of my ideas represent a departure from the way we are doing things now, I believe I can be persuasive with my fellow council members and with the mayor.
What sets you apart from other candidates in the race? I have specific ideas that can make Peoria a growth city. The other candidates hope to manage the status quo.
Campaign Website: http://johnkellyforcouncil.com/
Campaign Contributions: Kelly for Council
Related Media:

Peoria candidates’ topics include Caterpillar, water, Riverfront Park (Peoria Journal Star, 3/1/17)
City candidates address need for change with Peoria landlords (Peoria Journal Star, 2/26/17)
Peoria council candidates spar over spending, tax policies (Peoria Journal Star, 2/23/17)
At-large council candidates talk about ways Peoria can spend and save money (Peoria Journal Star, 2/17/17)
At-large City Council candidates view problems of racial equality and abandoned homes (Peoria Journal Star, 2/15/17)
At-large council candidates address Peoria’s sewer overflow problem (Peoria Journal Star, 2/14/17)



Scott Kelsey was eliminated through the Primary Election and was not on the General Election Ballot on April 4, 2017.

Scott Kelsey
Age  51
Current Employment Construction Services Manager,
Midwest Engineering Associates
Education
Residence
Endorsements
Why do you want to be a Council Member? I want to be a Councilman because I’m passionate about helping people and I take great pride in being a citizen of Peoria. I feel my experiences as a Construction Manager will serve the city well. Not only do I have construction experience, I have experience with conflict resolution, negotiations, contracts, budgets, etc. I believe in transparency, collaborations, and input from our citizens.
What are your top priorities, if elected? My top priority would be to work with the Mayor, City Council Persons, PPS District 150, Religious leaders, and the community to eliminate the social and economic disparities in Peoria. I also plan to be heavily involved in the CSO issue. I want to look for ways to reduce city expenditures to fund road repairs, fund pensions, and make sure our first responders are well equipped.
How will you use your power as a Council Member to advance these priorities? I plan to collaborate with local leaders and the community to prioritize issues and develop corrective actions.
What sets you apart from other candidates in the race? My experience with collaborations, negotiations, willingness to listen to the community, and willingness to make positive change makes me a great candidate. I do not intend on being a politician, I plan to be a public servant. I’m honest, ethical, and trustworthy.
Campaign Website:
Campaign Contributions: N/A
Related Media:
City candidates address need for change with Peoria landlords (Peoria Journal Star, 2/26/17)
Peoria council candidates spar over spending, tax policies (Peoria Journal Star, 2/23/17)
At-large council candidates talk about ways Peoria can spend and save money (Peoria Journal Star, 2/17/17)At-large City Council candidates view problems of racial equality and abandoned homes (Peoria Journal Star, 2/15/17)
At-large council candidates address Peoria’s sewer overflow problem (Peoria Journal Star, 2/14/17)
More candidates file for at-large seat on Peoria City Council (Peoria Journal Star, 11/25/16)



Amr Elsamny was eliminated through the Primary Election and was not on the General Election Ballot on April 4, 2017.

Amr Elsamny
Age 36
Current Employment Motivational Speaker,
President of a global non profit outreach organization
Education Bachelor’s
Residence 3rd District
Endorsements
Why do you want to be a Council Member? To help make our beautiful city a better place!
What are your top priorities, if elected? Jobs and economic development, crime, poverty ,taking care of our retirees, disabled and elderly, education , bringing our city together and uniting our community ,and showing diversity.
How will you use your power as a Council Member to advance these priorities? I’ll strive to achieve all of these goals using my power and vote on the council, propose solutions, ordinances and resolutions to be discussed and voted on,and I’ll do my best convincing my fellow councilwomen and councilmen to do the same.
What sets you apart from other candidates in the race? 
Campaign Website: http://www.amrforpeoria.com/
Campaign Contributions: N/A
Related Media:
Peoria candidates’ topics include Caterpillar, water, Riverfront Park (Peoria Journal Star, 3/1/17)
Peoria council candidate: Combine city, county policing to ‘streamline’ operations (Peoria Journal Star, 2/27/17)
City candidates address need for change with Peoria landlords (Peoria Journal Star, 2/26/17)
Peoria council candidates spar over spending, tax policies (Peoria Journal Star, 2/23/17)
At-large council candidates talk about ways Peoria can spend and save money (Peoria Journal Star, 2/17/17)
At-large City Council candidates view problems of racial equality and abandoned homes (Peoria Journal Star, 2/15/17)
At-large council candidates address Peoria’s sewer overflow problem (Peoria Journal Star, 2/14/17)
A news conference without questions? Unacceptable (Peoria Journal Star, 11/27/16)
Motivational speaker Amr Elsamny running for Peoria City Council (Peoria Journal Star, 11/21/16)
Imam, Civil Rights Advocate Files for At-Large City Council Seat (Peoria Public Radio, 11/21/16)