Voters will decide a myriad of races across Monroe County in the April 4 election, with a key race being that for Waterloo mayor.
Voting on Tuesday, April 4, is from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at local polling places. Early voting ahead of the April 4 consolidated election is available at the Monroe County Clerk’s Office from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday through election day and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 1. Sample ballots are available online for the upcoming election. You can find a sample ballot in next week’s paper, or online at mococlerk.com/vote.
The Waterloo mayoral seat is up for grabs this election with two big names in the community vying for the position.
Incumbent Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith hopes to keep his seat after remaining unchallenged for over 15 years of service.
Challenging him is outgoing Waterloo Ward 3 Alderman Stan Darter, who has served in his position for eight years.
Smith, 70, was married to his wife, Pat, for 44 years, though is now a widower. He has four daughters and seven grandchildren.
Smith has previously worked as a city police officer in Sparta and a deputy sheriff. He also said he is a retired master sergeant from the Illinois State Police, served six years with the Missouri National Guard and is retired from the Waterloo Fire Department.
On top of his decade and a half as mayor, Smith also noted that he is a former president of the Waterloo Optimist Club. He has also worked with the Kaskaskia-Cahokia Trail Coalition, American Legion Post 747, Waterloo Sister Cities and Les Amis du Fort de Chartres.
Smith said he is seeking re-election because he values the community and its people and “would love to continue to serve.”
He said that some of his major goals, if re-elected, would include continuing with cost-saving infrastructure improvements and new business development.
Smith also mentioned promoting community efforts and finishing the new water treatment plant and water tower.
When asked what he feels the key issues in the mayoral race are, Smith simply said “personality.”
Smith added that he stands out from his opponent thanks to his love of Waterloo and its citizens and his support of the community.
Darter, 73, is married to his wife Linda. The couple has two daughters and sons-in-law as well as five grandsons, all of whom are local.
Darter has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and also said he has over 30 years of experience in programming, design and management.
Along with serving as an alderman for eight years, Darter has also been on the Human Support Services board for nine years and is a VFW Life Member, an American Legion Vice Commander and a Clifftop Nature Preserve Life Member. He also mentioned that he has been with the Waterloo Optimist Club for over 10 years.
Darter also said he is a U.S. Army Vietnam War infantry veteran.
Regarding his reason for running, Darter said that “after 16 years with the same mayor, it’s time for a change with fresh ideas.”
Darter offered a number of goals he would hope to accomplish, if elected. These include establishing an open door policy with the mayor’s office and rebuilding a working relationship with Monroe County and local agencies.
He also mentioned expanding the infrastructure update schedule, deploying new technology to help city employees better serve residents and expanding recreational opportunities by connecting walking paths and gaps in existing sidewalks.
Darter said the key issue in the mayoral race is providing accelerated infrastructure updates combined with recreational opportunities to ensure a “quality of life update for Waterloo.”
Darter said he stands out from Smith thanks to his proven leadership skills and ability to listen.
He added that Waterloo “needs a broad spectrum of talent and ideas to take us into the future.”