Ed “Perk” Perkins has thrown his hat in the Shenandoah mayoral race.
Perkins and his wife Connie have always lived in Shenandoah and have raised their children here, as well. Perkins said, “I have lived all my life in Shenandoah and ran an appliance business in Shenandoah for 55 years. I know the people in our community, and they know me.”
As for his campaign slogan, he added, “Everyone knows me as Perk. I got that nickname in kindergarten, and it just stuck. So, ‘Let’s Perk up Shenandoah’ just made sense,” Perkins said.
Perkins is a U.S. Army veteran who served for a short time in Jackson, South Carolina, and then spent three years active duty in the Iowa Army National Guard. Perkins also served three years, inactive, in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Perkins was an active member of the Shenandoah Jaycees, and besides the years he spent serving on his church board, he worked with youth groups within his church for many years. As senior commander of the Full Gospel Tabernacle, he spent several years taking youth to camps and winning a variety of awards.
Not new to public service, Perkins was elected to the Shenandoah City Council, Ward 1, for a term from 1973-76 and got a feel for city government. He felt it was his turn to give back and made decisions based on what he felt was best for the young people of our community. Perkins served on the Shenandoah School Board from 1983-92 and was board president for three of those years. He said, “I also drove a school bus for 10 years. That really gave me an inside view of education.”
When asked where we could expect him to excel as Shenandoah mayor, Perkins said, “I can sell Shenandoah. I’m from here, I have lived here, and I love Shenandoah; I’ve always loved Shenandoah. I’m a people person and will be able to talk to anybody.”
The part of the job that he felt would be challenging for him is dealing with negative people who want to complain but who don’t help with solutions.
He added, “I also have a lot to learn. I will have to hit the ground running.”
Perkins sees his role as mayor would be as a giver and a taker, someone who is a communicator that can look at both sides and weigh them to determine the best options.
“I want to listen to everyone and see what they have to say. I want to discuss options and make the right decisions for what is best for Shenandoah.”
As far as the needs facing Shenandoah, Perkins said, “We need to improve our housing. People need to drive through a few of our streets and check them out. It seems it takes years to get something done, and that shouldn’t be. We also have to bring in more industry here, but we have to improve housing before that can or will happen. The third need is that I feel we need to enforce the ordinances that are already on the books before making new ones.”
Perkins had only good things to say about the Shenandoah Community School District when talking about the best aspects of Shenandoah.
“The most positive aspect of Shenandoah is our school system. We’ve had businesses come to Shenandoah because of our school. Great teachers, great students. We need to keep them in Shenandoah.”
Perkin’s vision for Shenandoah is growth. “I just want us to grow. We have a beautiful school system, and we have people who have kids here.
You can’t beat our school system to educate their kids. We just need people to come here, and we need their kids to stay here and work in Shenandoah. So, we will need the industry for jobs, and then we will have to have housing for them. It all works together. It’s not going to happen overnight; it will take years to do it. But, it’s on my bucket list.”