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Schwartzman to seek second term as Galesburg mayor

Galesburg Mayor Peter Schwartzman.
Galesburg Mayor Peter Schwartzman.

A Knox College professor who has been in public office since 2011 will seek a second term as Galesburg’s mayor.

Peter Schwartzman, former Ward Five Council Member, was elected mayor in a three-way race in 2021, defeating two-term incumbent John Pritchard and fellow challenger Kristine Crow with 47% of the vote.

In a release Wednesday, Schwartzman said he was excited to seek a second term as mayor.

“Over the past few months I have spoken to many Galesburg residents,” he said. “Based on those conversations and the many accomplishments of my first three years, I am very much looking forward to the prospects of a second term as mayor.”

Galesburg has operated under a council-manager form of government since 1956.

The city council is comprised of seven council members and the mayor, who is elected every four years.

The consolidated election is April 1, 2025. Wards two, four, and six will also be up for election in Galesburg.

Schwartzman said he is honored to represent the people of Galesburg and believes the city’s future is bright.

In the release, Schwartzman touted city accomplishments in his first three years as mayor, including expanding and diversifying police and fire department staff, creating a mental co-responder position, and tackling pensions.

Schwartzman referenced increased economic opportunities with the establishment of startup and urban ag grants, and a commitment to fiscal responsibility, citing record surpluses, right-sized budgets, energy aggregation, and water plant savings during his time in office.

He also cited beautification efforts, millions of dollars for improved parks and recreation, healthcare developments, and a new public library as key accomplishments for the city.

Schwartzman’s time as mayor has not been without trials. Turnover in the city manager role led to some turbulence in city government until Eric Hanson was hired late last year, and plans for a community center were stymied by opposition on the council.

But Schwartzman notes completion of a community center is a key opportunity for the city in the next few years, as are expanding new housing, public transportation, and renewable energy options.

In a second term, Schwartzman would also like to improve water quality, expand community policing, and improve mental health support.

He anticipates a number of big accomplishments for Galesburg on the horizon, from finalizing fundraising for the National Railroad Hall of Fame and plans for an outdoor music facility downtown to the completion of a walking path around Lake Storey.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Jane Carlson is TSPR's regional reporter.