LOVES PARK (WIFR) -- Public safety was just one of several hot topics brought up at tonight's mayoral debate in Loves Park.
Nearly one hundred people packed into the city's civic center to watch candidates running for Machesney Park and Loves Park mayor talk about some of our most heat issues.
Loves Park Mayor, Darryl Lindberg's opponent, Alderman John Pruitt, didn't make it to the debate because of a scheduling conflict. The two disagree on the city's 5% utilities tax.
Pruitt wants to repeal it, but Mayor Lindberg says that tax revenue allows the city to pay for a number of services, including public safety. Lindberg says getting rid of it would be a mistake.
“There's no way, especially now, all you have to do is look around and see what's going on...there's no way that I want to reduce our capabilities as a police force to keep the boots on the street,” said the mayor. “I absolutely will fight that every step of the way."
Alderman Pruitt says he's against the utilities tax because the residents didn't have a chance to vote on it and he feels the tax is an unfair burden on the public.
As for the elections themselves, those will be held on April 9th.