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Mayor works to retain and create jobs

Published: Saturday, May 31, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST

I want to respond to a [May 21] letter criticizing me for my comment that losing the Dixon Anchor Coupling plant would not be catastrophic to the city economy.

I can understand that, without further explanation by me, it does appear to be insensitive to all the good Anchor employees and plant managers in Dixon and Sterling, which is not the case.

I know several individuals and a few relatives not at Anchor who have lost jobs, which is an emotional experience and catastrophic to those persons and their families.

My remarks were in the context of the consequences to our Dixon economy only of a plant closing, not the consequences to the employees. Anchor has been in Dixon for decades and is an important asset to the community, 

More than 2 years ago, I was involved in non-publicized, low-key efforts to entice Caterpillar to expand the Anchor plant when it was considering an expansion, which did not develop. When I was notified months ago that the company was evaluating its Dixon and Sterling facilities, I immediately informed company officials in Peoria that all city resources were available to retain their plants.

But I can tell you there are many levels of decision-making and unknown factors in the management level of multibillion-dollar international corporations that no outsiders or insiders are ever privy to. 

Many components determine the quality of life of any community and its level of economic vitality.

None are more important than jobs for its residents.

In closing, I assure you as mayor, I will continue to do everything in my power to retain and create new jobs and grow our city for the benefit of our citizens.

Thank you. 

Note to readers: James G. Burke is mayor of Dixon.

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