Only one of two Dundee Town Commission seats up for re-election will be contested

DUNDEE — Only one of two Dundee Town Commission seats up for re-election will be contested.

That is Seat 4, which will be between Rukhsana Harper and Timothy McLean, who qualified last week to run in the April 4 municipal election. Harper, 40, was appointed to the seat by a 4-0 vote of the commission last month following the resignation of Jeanne Irwin.

“I’ve been involved with the community for a very long time,” Harper said. “When the position became available, I thought I would throw my hat in the ring. I was pleasantly surprised when all four people voted me in.”

Harper is a full-time mother to two, the president of Friends of the Library in Dundee, and a board member and event organizer with the Dundee Area Chamber of Commerce. Harper and her husband, Joe, have been Dundee residents for seven years.

“This is a chance to serve in a different capacity,” she said. “As a commissioner, I’m very pleased with the direction the town is headed. I’ve enjoyed everyone’s support.”

McLean, 29, will be looking to unseat Harper. A husband to Tori and a father of three, McLean said he wanted to make sure the time was right for him and his family.

“I think the current (commission) is doing a pretty good job,” he said. “It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while, but now I have the time to devote to it. I wanted to run and see what happens.”

As an area manager for Wal-Mart, McLean works out of the relatively new E-Commerce Center in unincorporated Davenport. McLean has been a resident of Dundee for about eight years.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to run for the (commission)," he said. “I’m just hoping to make Dundee a little bit better.”

In terms of issues, McLean said he would like to see some upgrades in amenities for children and families like park improvements.

Harper said her primary focus is on economic development.

“It’s the utmost to me, because we are a small town,” she said. “I hope to continue the good work. I’m a very inquisitive person. I do a lot of research. I don’t take any decision lightly.”

Commissioner Steve Glenn will retain Seat 2 after no one qualified to run against him. Glenn, 47, was first appointed to the seat in 2012 and then elected in 2013. He works in Frostproof as a manager for Ferguson Enterprises. His wife is Vanessa and he's a father of one.

“I would like to follow through that Dundee’s finances as a whole continue to go in a positive direction,” Glenn said. “My main focus is continuing to beautify the town as a whole.”

Glenn’s focus on beautification includes the downtown vision plan. That’s a long-term project to improve the downtown area aesthetically and promote business and events. Glenn would also like to see an uptick in family-friendly events from carnivals to car shows.

“It has to be a group effort to make that happen,” he said of the beautification effort. “That’s going to take effort from us to business owners to the community.”

The municipal election will be held April 4. Commissioners serve four-year terms and receive $275 per month.

— Mike Ferguson can be reached at Mike.Ferguson@theledger.com or 863-401-6981. Follow Mike on Twitter@MikeWFerguson.