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Waukegan mayoral candidates take to social media sniping

Wayne Motley (left) Terry Link

Wayne Motley (left) and Terry Link

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Candidate forums

Waukegan mayoral hopefuls will have an opportunity to square off Sunday, Feb. 3, at Fiamico Ristorante, 226 N. Sheridan Road, at a candidates’ open house from 1 to 3 p.m. According to a statement issued by Fiamico, the forum will feature a public question-and-answer session starting at 1:30 p.m.

A second forum hosted by AAUW Lake County, Lake County League of Women Voters and Park Place Senior Citizens Services Committee for Waukegan mayoral and city clerk candidates will be held Feb. 17 from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at Park Place, 414 S. Lewis Ave.

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Updated: March 30, 2013 2:16AM

WAUKEGAN ­— The 2013 campaign for mayor is taking on a sharper edge in the way such things might be expected in 2013, with Democratic rivals Terry Link and Wayne Motley taking aim at one another via social media.

“The next mayor of Waukegan will take on a great responsibility to turn things around, drive change, growth and community inclusiveness for a city in desperate need of help. How exactly do you expect to do this as a part-time politician?” Motley wrote in an open letter to Link posted at his campaign’s Web site.

“I have no doubt of your good intentions, but do you really think it is fair to ask the citizens to vote for a candidate who would be moonlighting as mayor and only willing to serve a single term?

“You already have a job that you were elected by the voters of Lake County to do in the state Senate. You should serve the city’s interests by sticking to it.”

The Committee to Elect Wayne Motley also posted a video on his campaign’s Facebook page that, in part, asks: “Is being the mayor of Waukegan a part-time job? Sen. Link seems to think so. He says he would keep his day job and moonlight as a part-time mayor, schedule permitting.”

When he filed two months ago to run in the Feb. 26 Democratic primary, Link announced that if elected mayor, he would not step down from his 30th Senate District post, to which he was re-elected Nov. 6.

Attempts to contact Link for a response to Motley’s latest statements were not successful, but in comments posted on his campaign’s Facebook page, he took aim at Motley.

“My opponent is spending a lot of time talking about things that are not relevant for a better Waukegan,” Link wrote, adding that he wanted to “clear up a few things so we can get back to the important topics,” which he defined as reducing crime, attracting business, creating jobs, reducing city spending and cutting property taxes.

Link went on to write that he would “not accept a pension or retirement package of any kind from the city, (I) will not accept or seek any health care or medical plan as mayor, (and) I intend to donate a good portion of the salary I’ll receive as mayor to community organizations that serve the people of Waukegan,” such as after-school programs.

In Motley’s letter to Link, he wrote that “in the very first month of the term of the next mayor, the State Senate will be in session 24 days, and on the very day the next mayor will be sworn in, you are scheduled to be in Springfield.

In fact, it averages out to more than two days per week that you will need to be at your State Senate office in Springfield.”

Motley, whose term as city clerk will end following the 2013 elections, added that he resigned his positions on the boards of the Waukegan Park District and Waukegan Housing Authority when he chose to run for mayor.

Link’s statements asked voters to “ask yourself why Wayne Motley has resorted to a campaign of distortions and frankly, lies about me?”

“I think that a good way to predict what someone is going to do is to look at what they’ve done,” he added.

“Wayne is distorting my candidacy and record because he wants to divert your attention from some very sobering facts about his candidacy.”

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