Chuck Short lives at 409 Broadway. He is a life-long resident of Metropolis being born, raised and educated here. Since 1987, he is the co-owner of Short Courier Service and from 1994 to 2018 owned and operated Short Construction Co.
He has been Ward 1 alderman of the City of Metropolis since 2015 and chief of police and building inspector for the Village of Karnak since 2012. He serves on the Metropolis/Massac County E911 Board and Metropolis Police Pension Board; is chairman of the city council’s Ordinance Committee and Police and Fire Committee; and is a member of the city council’s Finance Committee.
He served on the Metropolis Police Department from 1985 to 2010 as an officer, an investigator, a sergeant, chief of police. While a sergeant at MPD, he was special deputy for Massac County. He served as volunteer firefighter for Metropolis approximately five years. A notary public of the State of Illinois since early 1990s, Short also worked at Missouri Portland Cement Co. and D&W Auto Parts. He has previously served on the Southern Illinois Drug Task Force board and Family Services board.
• What special qualifications or experiences have prepared you for the office of Metropolis mayor? — “I have a strong and experienced background in construction; government; management; supervision; bidding; purchasing; installing utility lines, sewers; roads, sidewalks, water culverts; ordinances; law enforcement; fire protection; contract negotiations; obtaining state permits; and a willingness and desire to work with everyone.”
• Why have you decided to run for this office? — “I decided to run for mayor years ago — my father went to work as an electrical lineman in the 1960s; my brother in late 1970s as a backhoe operator for the Water Department; then me in 1985 as a police officer. I’ve seen Metropolis with no money, and I’ve seen it with millions. I was a supervisor for the city before there was a riverboat and also after it came. I was elected alderman in 2015 to be better prepared when the day came.”
• What do you believe are the obstacles Metropolis faces? — “I don’t see obstacles, only opportunities; yes, we will have to think a little outside the box and challenge ourselves, but we had to do the same before the riverboat ever docked in Metropolis. Currently, we have already modernized our water filtration plant and our electric distribution system from 4Kva to 12Kva. These improvements are already maintaining or improving reliability and quality while reducing the cost of operation. We are also currently working on a metering system that will allow citizens to control their own usage and cost. This same system will also identify the source of outages and its locations — think how great this will be during weather events and outages.”
• What do you believe are Metropolis’ strengths and how are they an asset to its future? — “The hard-working and generous citizens have always been where the strength of Metropolis lies. For years they have hosted events that bring hundreds of thousands of people and their dollars to Metropolis and the surrounding area. This has generated revenue for our motels, restaurants, businesses, service stations and so forth. We have numerous organizations (fraternal, civic, church, educational and others) as your mayor I would regularly call upon you to be active participants in city government.”
• What are your top three priorities for the office of Metropolis mayor? — “My top priorities are: 1) to maintain a balanced budget without raising property taxes; 2) expand Metropolis’ tax base through annexation and business development; 3) market Metropolis through strategic partnerships with business and industry.”
• The city’s gaming revenue has declined steadily over the last few years. How can Metropolis continue to operate the departments if the revenue continues to decrease? — “Through annexation, we could accomplish a relationship with industry while offering city services such as water, sewer and electrical. We also have the economic tools to create an attraction that would complement Harrah’s. We could fund it with TIF. Current bonds pay out in 2024, after that we have three to four more years of collections at around around $850,000 (over $2.5 million). We would have to seek legislative action to extend the TIF for 15 more years — that would translate to an additional figure around $12,750,000 that has to be spent in the TIF District. We would want to expand that into the uptown area at the same time — that would be enough money to attract, build and subsidize the attraction or tourism draw. There are several things you can do. I know Metropolis, its strengths and weaknesses. I will be a full-time mayor working every day for the citizens, its businesses and industries.”
Jim HambrickJim Hambrick lives at 810 Metropolis St. He has four daughters — Karie, Jessie, Morgan and Jacqueline Hambrick. Originally from Los Angeles, Calif., he owned a housewares company with 300 employees for 23 years. He was a professional musician, and owned several other businesses in the wholesale
trade. He also booked bands and celebrity appearances and did management for more than 15 years. He had a mobile Superman museum based out of Los Angeles during that time.
Hambrick moved to Metropolis almost 30 years ago to pursue his lifelong dream of building a permanent museum dedicated to Superman in the hometown of Superman. He was involved with the Metropolis Chamber of Commerce for 25 years, including being its president for two consecutive terms. He has received the chamber’s Entrepreneur of the Year and Small Business of the Year awards. He recently received the Les Easterday Award.
• What special qualifications or experiences have prepared you for the office of Metropolis mayor? — “I was head of my own company. I’ve been an ambassador for Metropolis since before I moved my family here. Promoting Metropolis has always been what I do. I have good leadership skills, creative skills, entertainment skills and many goals I have set for myself, my business and the City of Metropolis. And to tell good jokes!”
• Why have you decided to run for this office? — “I am running for mayor of Metropolis because I love this town and our community. I want it to keep up with the changes of rest of the world; we have to catch up. I want to see our city grow and thrive. I want to see Metropolis become the ultimate tourism destination for the character Superman, and all our other many landmarks and historic points of interest for all the obvious reasons. There is a lot of potential here and it must be properly utilized. Other cities would give their left arm for the opportunities that Metropolis has to offer in tourism possibilities in a service economy. I believe Metropolis has so much to offer, and we are just waiting for the right leadership to sell it to the world. I want my family to have a reason to stay here after I am no longer here. I do not want my grandchildren to have to leave our community because there are no opportunities as so many have left already.”
• What do you believe are the obstacles Metropolis faces? — “High crime rates per capita. Lack of access to modern technology and programs to keep our local youth active in the community. Lack of new business and opportunities for those new businesses. Lack of events to keep locals involved.”
• What do you believe are Metropolis’ strengths and how are they an asset to its future? — “The word ‘Metropolis’ gives the city a very rare opportunity to promote around the world — perfect branding for a big city, which is what the word ‘Metropolis’ means. Metropolis is a very tight knit community, people help each other. We have a beautiful fort based on the Ohio River, our landscapes are beautiful, the oldest state park in Illinois, the Hope Light lighthouse, the Superman statue, the Super Museum, Harrah’s casino, bike paths.”
• What are your top three priorities for the office of Metropolis mayor? — “1) Education; 2) Neighborhood watch and community involvement; 3) Tourism growth”
• The city’s gaming revenue has declined steadily over the last few years. How can Metropolis continue to operate the departments if the revenue continues to decrease? — “There have been many new casinos popping up in our tri-state area. We must re-establish what makes Harrah’s and the city of Metropolis unique for visitors to our casino. Perhaps the casino should consider making it in the surrounding area more of a family friendly environment. As mayor of the City of Metropolis, I will do everything in my power to make sure communication with the Harrah’s remains open for better opportunities for our city and employees.”
Robert McDonaldRobert McDonald lives at 1617 Filmore St. and has lived in Metropolis for 18 years. He was an emergency responder for 29 years in Davidson County, Tennessee; a city counselor for 21 years; and worked in domestic violence for seven years. He is a member of the Church of Christ.
In a written statement, McDonald said: “I love and respect the Lord and do believe in him. I want to work for the people. I can make it grow. Metropolis needs a big change and I will do it. Because I am honest, I can do what I say. To make Metropolis grow, I believe Metropolis needs more people, make it bigger. If we don’t get a good mayor, it won’t work. We need other workers in this city, someone who cares. We will have a future. I will work with city police, sheriff’s department and city workers and fire department. I need Rick Abell back in office; he does good for Metropolis.”
For the his top three priorities in the office of Metropolis mayor, McDonald listed: “put in a community center for teenage kids; slow crime down; open up theater, have five workers will work volunteer.”
Donald CanadaDon Canada lives at 206 E. 10th St. He has been married to Kim Canada for 41 years. They have lived in Metropolis for 38 years. He has been employed for the last 12 years at Acee’s Inc. as
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the operations director overseeing the day-to-day operations at Quiznos, Huddle House and Acee’s convenience store. “Upon election of mayor, I will be retiring and working for the citizens of Metropolis.”
• What special qualifications or experiences have prepared you for the office of Metropolis mayor? — “In my current position, I deal with thousands of travelers and tourists visiting Metropolis or passing through. I have coached baseball and basketball, both in youth league and the school system, for over 20 years. I have served as alderman in Ward 2 for the last six years. I feel comfortable dealing with the public or citizens with any of their concerns. I have over 12 years’ experience dealing with large budgets and employees. Leadership/accountability is what I will bring to the mayor’s office.”
• Why have you decided to run for this office? — “My family and I love the community and the area. I want to see Metropolis recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and move forward. We need to be more pro-active in looking for new business; expand tourism, social programs; and reaching out and getting more community involvement. I believe Metropolis can do both keep its small town charm and still grow. I want to bring a sustainable change to our town.”
• What do you believe are the obstacles Metropolis faces? — “1) Declining gaming revenue; 2) High taxes on small business owners by the state; 3) Rising utility costs.”
• What do you believe are Metropolis’ strengths and how are they an asset to its future? — “The citizens of Metropolis, small businesses, local churches, Metropolis’ location to other cities. We have the ability to draw a large number of people from other areas to Metropolis for events.”
• What are your top three priorities for the office of Metropolis mayor? — “1) Health and safety of our citizens; 2) Help both business and citizens recover from COVID-19 pandemic; 3) Expand local businesses and bring in more retail business and tourism.”
• The city’s gaming revenue has declined steadily over the last few years. How can Metropolis continue to operate the departments if the revenue continues to decrease? — “If the revenue does continue to decline, budgets will have to adjusted. The goal would be not to cut the budget or programs, but to find replacement money from other projects and not to depend on gaming money so heavily in the future.”
Leah Michele Longworth (Ward 1)Michele Longworth has lived at 1805 McCrary St. since October 2014 after living at Spence Apartments for 14 years. The daughter of Rosemary B. “Mama Ro” Longworth, she grew up in Glendale and moved to Metropolis in November 2000.
A 1990 graduate of Pope County High School, she graduated from Murray State University with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism, with a minor in creative writing. Her first job was a summer job at the Pope County Circuit Clerk’s Office. For 21 ½ years, she was a reporter for the Metropolis Planet and for 16 years worked part-time as a receptionist at Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. In 2010, she started her own photography business, Fill the Frame Photography. Since March 23, 2020, she has been a medical records assistant at HealthWorks Medical in Paducah.
Longworth has been a member of the Massac Memorial Hospital Auxiliary since 2010. She received her HAM radio technician’s license in 2019 and tries to stay involved with Massac County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES). She attends Gospel Assembly in Paducah.
• What special qualifications or experiences have prepared you for the office of Metropolis alderman? — “I definitely feel my experience as a reporter in Metropolis has helped me immensely. By covering the Massac County Board of Commissioners and Massac Unit 1 School Board meetings, and occasionally the Metropolis City Council meetings, I have an understanding of how our government operates. As a journalist, I feel I have good communication, organizational and time management skills. From operating my own business, I understand how to stay within a budgeted amount and try not to overspend.”
• Why have you decided to run for this office? — “I decided to run for office because I would like to be a part of the council that helps build Metropolis into something better than it already is. I would like to see the city make positive changes, and I want to help to find ways to tackle the city’s problems and see all Metropolis residents and businesses thriving and succeeding. I want to be a representative for Ward 1, but also a voice for all of Metropolis.”
• What do you believe are the obstacles Metropolis faces? — “Metropolis has several challenges. It seems like the state often issues mandates, but doesn’t often provide funding. Trying to grow the local business economy after a year-long pandemic is another challenge, as well as finding ways to address crime, drug use and homelessness. Another obstacle the city has is trying to compete with the businesses across the river.”
• What do you believe are Metropolis’ strengths and how are they an asset to its future? — “One of the city’s biggest strengths is tourism, and Metropolis is lucky to have the Superman connection, which draws thousands of people to the town. We also have Fort Massac State Park, Mermet Lake and Mermet Springs, as well as the Shawnee National Forest, which surrounds us. We need to take every advantage we can to capitalize on tourism. Our city also has its own unique businesses, which draw people to Metropolis. We need to continue to support local businesses and, hopefully when things get back to normal, more of our local events can be held to help draw people to Metropolis.”
• What are your top three priorities for the office of Metropolis alderman? — “1) To make sure the City of Metropolis is operating efficiently and within its financial means; 2) To continue to help find ways to fight crime and deal with the drug problems; and 3) To help our local economy grow and thrive. Additionally, I would like to see a stronger working relationship with the city and county leaders.”
• The city’s gaming revenue has declined steadily over the last few years. How can Metropolis continue to operate the departments if the revenue continues to decrease? — “If gaming revenue continues to decline, the city would have to look seriously at exploring other ways to get revenue, or either look at the number of services being provided. Making cuts to services or personnel is never a popular topic. Public safety is important and a priority for me and is something which does not need to be cut. We need to ensure our city always has law enforcement and firefighters to respond to emergency situations.”
Dylan Chambers (Ward 2)Dylan Chambers lives at 705 Girard St. He is the son of Jeffrey and LaMeagon Chambers. A 2020 graduate of Massac County High School, he was senior class president, served as Student Council president from 2018-2020 and assisted with volleyball, basketball and track teams at Massac County High School and Massac Junior High School. He was a student correspondent for the sports website Section618.com. Last year, he was a summer intern for State Rep. Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis). He is currently a student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale where he is an assistant on the women’s volleyball team.
He is a member of One Shawnee. Since 2011, he has been the audio-visual director at Mt. Horeb Church and First
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Missionary Baptist. “Coaching helps keep me connecting with the community, but we need more than sports for our young people in Metropolis. As alderman, I want to create more areas for our youth to get involved.”
• What special qualifications or experiences have prepared you for the office of Metropolis alderman? — “Being a student leader and a coach has taught me a great deal about communication, creating plans and building for the future. During my summer internship with State Rep. Patrick Windhorst, I learned first hand about working with citizens and responding to their needs. I will do the same for Ward 2 and the City of Metropolis.”
• Why have you decided to run for this office? — “To create a better Metropolis now and for the future. While I want to make a difference, I really want to create a vision for the future that will change our path going forward. I want to give hope to my generation that wants to leave Metropolis rather than stay to help Metropolis get better. We can’t rebuild the past, but we can build our future.”
• What do you believe are the obstacles Metropolis faces? — “We have a lack of youth activities, a substance abuse problem and a lack of good-paying jobs.”
• What do you believe are Metropolis’ strengths and how are they an asset to its future? — “Being the Home of Superman is one of Metropolis’ strengths. We have an amazing potential for the future in growing a larger foundation for tourism and attractions across in Metropolis. The interstate can provide us with many opportunities to improve our small and large businesses.”
• What are your top three priorities for the office of Metropolis alderman? — “1) Controlling the substance abuse in the area; 2) Working on the foundation of youth programs: 3) Increase opportunity and lower unemployment rates through the gaining of updated stable and long-term businesses.”
• The city’s gaming revenue has declined steadily over the last few years. How can Metropolis continue to operate the departments if the revenue continues to decrease? — “Increasing tourism by starting to hold new annual events and concerts. Also, we can utilize our parks and recreation and tourism departments to develop a convention center for further expansion of tourism and sporting events.”
Penny Emery (Ward 2)Penny Emery lives at 1312 Girard St. After graduating from Metropolis Community High School, he served in the United States Marine Corps from 1970 to 1973 and then the Illinois National Guard. He obtained degrees from Shawnee Community College in 1974 and 1976. He worked at Massac Memorial Hospital as an EMT/A before spending the next 30 years with the City of Metropolis in several roles.
Emery has pastored two churches, helped with the implementation of Guardian Family Services and for a number of years has served on the board of The Cairo Women’s Shelter and Guardian Family Service’s Women Shelter.
In a written statement, Emery said: “Like others, I would like to see Metropolis grow. That said, the financial and political environment we have to contend with makes that extremely difficult. Frankly, we compete with Paducah and McCracken County — we cannot offer industry developers or large retailers what they offer across the river.
“Taxes are high in the State of Illinois, and they are not likely to go down anytime in the foreseeable future. Utilities will rise in cost as we move from fossil fuels to sustainable sources.
“So how do we take care of what we have? The local retailers and small businesses need us behind them, supporting by walking through their front door and doing business with them.”
Emery continued: “Our infrastructure is in fairly good condition, the electric system has been well maintained, as has the water system. The waste water and storm water systems may still need some attention still, but work has been done. Ditches and intermittent streams need to be addressed where they have been allowed to become obstructed with vegetation and other debris.
“Tourism is most likely to be where our future is headed; however, I do not believe we should count out small businesses or industries that employ 20 to 30 people. Many small businesses can employ more than one small-sized industry employing 100 to 200 people.
“I believe that I can do good for the city as an alderman in the second ward. I will not pretend to know all the answers, but I will do my best to find them.”
Chad Lewis (Ward 4)Chad Lewis lives at 1 Joann Drive with his wife Jessica and their two sons, Hudson and Holden.
A lifelong resident of Metropolis, he graduated from Massac County High School in 1997, then attended Shawnee Community College and West Kentucky Community & Technical College, studying graphic communications and marketing. He has worked locally since he was 16 — from small, locally-owned businesses to a large-scale corporation. “I’m very proud to say that I’ve always lived and worked in Metropolis.”
Lewis currently presides on the Massac County United Way board; is GMCVB (tourism) board president; is Massac Youth Soccer League board secretary and a head coach; business sector representative for MCDAC; a Metropolis Rotary member and past president; Metropolis Chamber of Commerce past first vice president and board director; and a Metropolis Elks Club member.
• What special qualifications or experiences have prepared you for the office of Metropolis alderman? — “I do not believe there are any specific qualifications that would necessarily make a particular individual a better fit as an alderman. I do, however, believe simply being involved in the community, getting to know people/organizations and having an open mind to receive input from constituents, citizens and business owners alike are probably the greatest qualifications anyone could have. At the end of the day, I think we all want to see our community improve and grow.”
• Why have you decided to run for this office? — “I’ve always wanted to give back to the community that raised, molded and shaped me. If you can’t put a little effort into making something better from when you found it, you may want to reconsider your actions. The last four years as a city council member have been a great experience overall. From seeing daily operations unfold to sitting in lengthy meetings trying to come up with the best overall decision(s) for our community, it has been a priceless learning experience.”
• What do you believe are the obstacles Metropolis faces? — “I believe the biggest obstacle Metropolis has is accepting change. If a change is going to make someone’s job better, if a change is going to help improve the lives and well-being of citizens, if a change is going to make a positive impact to our local economy, then a change should never be questioned.”
• What do you believe are Metropolis’ strengths and how are they an asset to its future? — “Overall, I believe the location of Metropolis is the biggest asset our city has. Being not only a river city, but also a border town along with easy interstate access and numerous railways, our city is staged in prime location and beckons for more industry, business and tourism. This alone provides so much opportunity to do so much more.”
• What are your top three priorities for the office of Metropolis alderman? — “First, I want to make sure the city is operated with integrity and an open mind, with no interruption of personal beliefs. An elected official should always have the overall best interest of others when making decisions, not one’s self. Second, I’m excited to see what Metropolis has in store for several years to come. I feel like we are moving in the right direction for growth and development. I really want to see more positive changes come to fruition. Third, I want the citizens of Metropolis to take back the pride and passion that once exuded and radiated from the homes and businesses alike. I want the perception of Metropolis to be a positive again.”