Gary Westbrook is a man of faith, a devoted husband for 40 years, father of three and grandfather of six, an East Moline alderman who cares for his community and now he is also a candidate running for Mayor of the city of East Moline. The residents of East Moline will cast their vote during the primary elections on February 28 of 2017.
Gary Westbrook comes from a family of 11 children. He has called East Moline his home all his life. He attended East Moline public schools. After graduating UTHS and “a brief college experience”, Mr. Westbrook went to work for John Deere Harvester, where he worked until his retirement in 2004. As it turned out he was not about to settle into lazy retirement days. A new path laid in front of him waiting for him to start a journey.
“Some people choose a path in life and for some the path chooses them, I am one of the latter,” Mr. Westbrook explained. “I have always been proud of my hometown and concerned about its growth and development, but my greatest passion is for the citizens.”
In 2005 Mr. Westbrook was chosen to serve in the East Moline City Council. He has served as the 7th Ward Alderman for the past 12 years and all these years he served his community with a lot of “pride, dignity and integrity.”
“After the first two years in office I knew that the path to the mayor’s seat has chosen me and I wanted to serve my city in a greater capacity with the same pride, dignity and integrity,” Mr. Westbrook said.
While serving as alderman, Mr. Westbrook thought many times over that his hometown East Moline should be a better place to live and work for every resident. The best part about this is that Mr. Westbrook is passionate about improving the city. Mr. Westbrook felt that he was quite limited in his alderman position; therefore he decided that it is time to take this path and run for the mayor office.
Candidate Westbrook has experience of 12 years as 7th Ward Alderman and while representing the residents of Eats Moline in the city council, he also served on different committees.
“It [experience] includes services on several internal committees over the years including the Park Board of which I am most proud of in terms of the strides that were made by the board in terms of quality of life issues in the city,” candidate Westbrook explained.
He also is involved in such organizations as Watertown Neighborhood Watch, WCEC, One by One Glenview Middle School, and Community Outreach Worship Center. After years of working with these organizations he picked up important skills such as bringing people together in order to achieve a common goal, which also would be a great asset for someone in the mayor position.
“Over the years I have developed a keen sense of understanding and openness to diversity and dialogue, developing cooperation through open and honest communication, which I believe to be essential to the progress of our city,” Mr. Westbrook explained why his candidacy would be a good choice for the city of East Moline.
Mr. Westbrook believes in bringing change.
“I think we all know the change must come to East Moline, but before we can change what we do and how we do it, we must first change how we view ourselves,” Gary Westbrook said.
This candidate believes that residents of East Moline need to remember that this is not Chicago or any other big city and at the same time this is not Moline or Davenport.
“We are not even the Quad Cities; what we are is East Moline and we are great in our own right,” Mr. Westbrook said with pride.
He added that the greatest asset of East Moline is the people who reside in it.
“East Moline is great because of the people, the diversity of our people, our neat small business community and our cohesive, proud and inviting nature,” Mr. Westbrook described his vision of the city of East Moline. That is why this candidate’s plan for improving the city of East Moline revolves around finding ways for the city to be more efficient, so it, in turn, can provide improved services to their residents.
In order to foster relationships to work together towards a common goal, Mr. Westbrook believes it is important to work with labor unions. “It is critical that our unions and staff realize that we must work together to achieve the goals that are important to us all. Shared sacrifice is the order of the day! I truly believe that here in East Moline we can revolutionize relationship and become solution oriented with honesty and integrity as the hallmark of the alliance,” Mr. Westbrook told.
As to a question of lack of development in East Moline that might worry many residents of East Moline, Mr. Westbrook said the following, “I truly believe that primary cause of our lack of progress in terms of economic development is due to the fact that there is no one at the helm. In addition to that we need to take a different approach to economic development by providing an attractive place for business making East Moline interesting and thereby reducing to some degree enormous incentives currently required to attract new business.”
Mr. Westbrook’s promise that he would work proudly, with dignity and integrity towards a change that would make East Moline a better place for every resident might just be the change that East Moline needs to move forward.
Elections for Mayor of East Moline are on February 28.