Rock Island Setting New Goals - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Rock Island Setting New Goals

Updated: Sep 15, 2012 10:44 PM CDT

Updating the vision for Rock Island.

City leaders there facing the same challenges as those across the Q.C.A. working to find ways to encourage growth while keeping the budget under control.

Its finances have only become more complicated as Illinois continues to wrangle with its own budget problems.

City leaders say they want to keep the budget balanced over the long term.

But they're faced with aging infrastructure.

And more and more demands from the residents who live there.

20 year Rock Islander Patricia Kraus says "I want to see more stop signs especially on these long stretches like 14th, where people speed through there everyday."

Kraus wants to see the city put more money into public safety. Looking for more street lights and police patrols. Because she feels crime still defines Rock Island.

"It's like a roller coaster, it'll go down for a while, and then somebody will have a beef and it'll go up for a while."

It's a perception the city is trying to fight. Saying it knows the District causes some of those issues. But Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley says people need to break down that vision.

"It's a perception, it's not a reality, it's a perception, you can say that about any community anywhere that they have a few problems here, a few problems in pockets, but for us it is an image indeed."

Third ward alderman PJ Foley says improving the city's image falls to its residents.

"It's neighbors working with neighbors to combat crime, to work with the police, and better that neighborhood, it comes from the constituents."

And while the city has identified crime as a weakness, it's not yet ready to develop a policy to meet the goal of fighting that perception.

"That comes into this later on in the process, we haven't gotten down to the local ward level area," says Pauley.

But once it does, Kraus has a few more suggestions for her elected leaders.

"More basketball things for the parks, they need to open up some kind of community center, some place where children can go especially, the kids between the ages of 13 to 16 that really have nothing to do," says Krause.

Lofty ideas to try and make Rock Island, better.

The city will send its final list of goals to city departments.

Those include improving infrastructure and lowering the cost of living.

The plan to use employees at the ground level to help achieve those goals.