Q&A with Mayor Jim Burke

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I invited Dixon Mayor Jim Burke to answer some questions as part of a new series of guest interviews here on The Pulse. Today we have the first of two editions featuring the interesting responses from our Mayor.

– Dave
I am pleased to participate in this kind of communication
with KSB employees, and thank you for the opportunity.
What role do you think KSB Hospital plays in the
success of the City?
KSB Hospital plays a major role in the success of
the City and Lee County for several reasons. 
First of all, for the area to experience any serious population and
economic growth, it must be able to provide quality health care, including a
hospital.  KSB fills that need quite

KSB has truly developed into an economic and social
powerhouse in the area augmented by several satellite clinics established to
make local medical services available to several thousand residents outside
Dixon.  Dixon is called the Jewel of the
Sauk Valley and KSB has played a significant role in developing that image.
KSB and the City of Dixon have a 116 year history
of a mutually beneficial, positive partnership. 
What do you think are the biggest challenges for KSB and the City?
I think the biggest challenge for both KSB and
the City is population growth.  Healthy
sustained population growth puts many other challenges to rest.  Mayor George Lindquist said one time
“that a City is either going forward or backward.  There is no such thing as standing
still.”  And this is very true
whether it’s the City, KSB or any business or organization.  I was criticized  one time for pushing too hard for economic
development.  The writer said just let it
happen naturally.  Most things never
happen with that approach.

Unlike some congested communities in metropolitan areas,
population growth is the basic foundation for sustained and enhanced quality of
life in the Dixon area.  It broadens the
tax revenue base.  It increases State aid
to the school system.  It grows retail
development.  It grows the health care
industry.  And it means more employment
opportunities for young people wanting to stay in the area and raise
families.  The main key to growth is
attracting new industries and expanding existing industries that create
jobs.  We have the right ingredients to attract more job-producing

Permit me to enumerate as follows:
*A super geographical location roughly centered among the
four metropolitan areas of Chicago, Rockford, the Quad Cities and Peoria.
*Four state highways and I-88 crisscrossing through the
City producing an attractive transportation artery network.
*A state-of-the-art Wastewater Treatment Facility with
huge expansion possibilities built into it.
*One of the best, high quality potable water facilities
in the State.
*A labor supply known for its good work ethic.
*The land and infrastructure in place to accommodate
about any size and/or number of new industries.
*And a long list of other positive factors that are
scrutinized by prospective new industries, including having a hospital and a
broad-based health care industry.
In short, increased population directly benefits KSB and
the community at large.

Check back for the second half of the interview that will be posted in the next few days.

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