Peoria city staff, City Council members and others interested in government gathered at Fire Station No. 1 Lucidi Distilling Co. on July 9 to support Peoria City Councilwoman Denette Dunn’s election campaign.
Dunn took office after Pine District representative Carlo Leone resigned due to illness. The council appointed her to the role, and a special election will take place August 27 to determine who will carry out the rest of Leone’s four-year term to 2022. She is running against Randal “RJ” Rains.
She carries a long-time business background, including many years working for nearby Republic Services. The other council members appreciate that business acumen, and Dunn believes it could prove crucial to making change in the city during her term.
“I worked with county officials and the city in my past career,” Dunn said. “So, I already have a lot of good relationships with people in Glendale (and) some of the surrounding cities. And we need that to accomplish things here and see what some of the other successful areas are doing, too.”
When searching for who could slide into the role after Leone’s resignation, Mayor Pro Tem Vicki Hunt said Dunn was a popular selection among the council.
“She called each of the council members and introduced herself. Her way of being and presence on the council, with her solid business background, made her a good fit,” Hunt said.
Among Dunn’s goals if re-elected would be to work on public health and safety in the Pine District. She was a leader in putting “friendship benches” in each of the district’s elementary schools to work against bullying and reinforce interpersonal relationships.
Another goal is the city’s infrastructure. Among the concerns are public transportation — or almost a lack thereof in Dunn’s district — and keeping roadways safe.
Nothing she hopes for the city or her district can be accomplished, in her mind, without solid relationships in the council. She has focused heavily on maintaining those and hopes to continue as such.
“I want all of us to get along, even if we have disagreements from time to time, because otherwise nothing is going to get done,” Dunn said.
Walking around the distillery to shake hands and meet with interested citizens and officials, it was clear Hunt made a good impression on city staff. All six other members of the council endorsed the event, something Hunt said is not often the case.
“I’d say it’s pretty rare that all of us do something like this to support a particular person,” Hunt said.