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Local Election

Seneca mayoral: Rich Applebee

Rich Applebee
Rich Applebee

Name: Richard Applebee

Age: 51

Years of residency in city: 35

Occupation: I run my own IT Consulting Business

Previously elected positions: Seneca High School Board (10 years), currently Commissioner of Public Health and Safety in the village of Seneca (4 years)

Contact information for voters:,\electapplebee, 815-343-1024

Why have you decided to run for mayor and what goals do you plan to work toward? 

There are many reasons, but it comes down to three basic things:

1. I truly love my hometown. I have always loved Seneca and I always will.

2. I believe in Seneca and all it has to offer to people of all ages and backgrounds

3. And finally I am confident that my knowledge and experience in leadership positions is what the village needs right now.

My goals are spelled out in more detail on my website ( but I will summarize them here.

1. Safety: We will keep Seneca a safe community to live and raise a family.

2. Downtown development: I have a plan revitalize our downtown through a framework of support for our businesses and property owners.

3.Transparency: We will make video of council meetings available to the public and provide clear, easy to read information on the village website and social media

4. Review and Simplify: We will review each of the village codes to ensure they are up to date and effective. We will streamline our office procedures to better serve the public quickly and efficiently.

5. Teamwork: Teamwork is the glue that holds it all together. We will work as a team within the village government with the community and other organizations.

What sets you apart from your opponents?

There is not another candidate running that can match my experience in service to my country and community or my experience in proven leadership positions. My entire adult life has been dedicated to serving my country, community, family, customers, and all else around me. I have been a leader in US Air Force as a staff sergeant, Boy Scout Troop 100 Committee Chair, Seneca High School Board vice president, and commissioner of the largest department in the village of Seneca. My experience in proven leadership positions is one of my strongest qualifications to be mayor. I have 14 years of elected office and the knowledge of how government works, budgeting, and how to get things done. I have the discipline to weather the ups and downs of whatever the future may bring and the fairness to treat all with the respect they deserve. 

How is the mayor’s role different than a city commissioner’s?

In our commission form of government the mayor is the executive of the village and public affairs, but each commissioner is the executive of their assigned department. The mayor guides the village and helps guide the commissioners to work as a team to reach our goals.  

What is the greatest challenge the village faces? What is your strategy for addressing it?

The condition and development of our downtown is a major challenge the next council faces. I have laid out a downtown revitalization plan on my website that will be cost effective and set up the foundation for success for our businesses.  

Here are some key points of my plan:  

If I am Mayor we will form a Special Project Economic Development Task Force. 

The Task Force, using the data and information we gather, will build a framework of support for our business owners to succeed in Seneca.

We will build the foundation for that framework on matching property owners, entrepreneurs and investors.

We will provide events and attractions to help introduce or reintroduce our businesses and community members helping to spur the customer/business relationship 

We will provide increased parking space for customers of our downtown businesses

At the same time we will work within our budgetary realities to save for and accomplish our beautification goals.

We will not divert funds from other areas in our budget creating holes in our budget

What’s your vision for Seneca?

I have a vision of a Seneca that is vibrant and proud. A Seneca with great parks, a vibrant (yet relaxed) business district, and community involvement at all levels, and a great place to raise a family.

What asset would you like to see utilized more in the city? Explain your answer.

The village of Seneca is filled with wonderful, talented and smart people. I would like to utilize this great asset by getting our people involved. I would make sure the people are informed of what is going on, invited to talk to the mayor and commissioners, involved in helping us find answers to our common problems, and we will implement the people’s recommendations whenever feasible. Getting as much of the community involved with the village working together is my No. 1 goal.

How would you rate Seneca’s public services?

Excellent. But we always strive to do better.

How do you plan to make yourself available to the public?

My personal cell phone number is available. Our office personnel will always know how to get in touch with me. I will be available at Village Hall several days a week at minimum.

Since announcing your candidacy, how many City Council meetings have you attended?

As Commissioner of Public Health and Safety, I have attended all of them.

Other than for health reasons, why would you leave your position mid-term?

I can foresee no reason that I would ever leave early. 

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