Evansville mayoral candidates profile (part 1/3): Lloyd Winnecke - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Evansville mayoral candidates profile (part 1/3): Lloyd Winnecke

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -

Mayor Lloyd Winnecke says the city of Evansville is on the cusp of great things, and he wants four more years to see them through.

During his first term, the city removed 50,000 tons of trash, the unemployment rate fell 3%, and ground will be broken on the downtown IU Medical School on Friday.

If re-elected, Winnecke says his focus will be on upgrading the EPA-mandated sewer system and getting rid of rundown homes.

“We’ve put together a very aggressive blight plan,” he said. “We’ve identified 1,800 properties in the city of Evansville."

He plans to raise rundown properties into empty lots to allow a developer to rebuild them, and eventually get the properties back on the tax rolls. 

Some of Winnecke's detractors accuse him of overspending across the board.

He claims the city is making smart investments, like the Hilton Double Tree Hotel project.

Winnecke says that project is vital to the downtown area. It is set to open next fall.

“Picture a 280,000 square foot convention center, and it has no convention hotel attached to it,” said Winnecke. “Our city needs a full service convention hotel, associated with its convention center.”

Opponents point to the city’s half-a-billion dollar debt. 

But the city controller, Russ Lloyd, says Evansville had a debt of more than $400,000 the day Winnecke took office. 

“I think it’s important to put the debt discussion in perspective, so two-thirds of that debt is related to the water and sewer utility,” said Winnecke. “That’s not immediately going to go away.”

Winnecke says he’ll reduce the debt through water and sewer rates. He will also have four new city council members to work with if he returns to office.

[CLICK HERE for part 2: Gail Riecken]

[CLICK HERE for part 3: Steve Wozniak]

Copyright 2015 WFIE. All rights reserved. 

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