On April 9, John Pritchard beat out incumbent Sal Garza in the Galesburg mayoral election. Pritchard is an alumnus of Knox College, where he majored in economics and business administration. He is the president of Galesburg Broadcasting and worked formerly as a publisher at the Galesburg Register-Mail.
The Knox Student: How have things changed since you’ve been elected?
John Pritchard: Well, scheduling my time has become much more of an intense proposition. Other than that, I haven’t been officially put in office until May 6, so it’s sort of the same. I’m in the preliminary process of trying to get in touch with councilmen and meet people. It’s very active. I’ve talked more in the last three months than I have in the last 25 years.
As a business operator, I meet around a lot and talk to clients and potential clients, and I’m accustomed to having a schedule that’s busy. This is a little different just because there’s a lot of requests to be in certain places in certain times.
TKS: What do you think, as mayor, you can bring to the table?
JP: I have an extensive business background and background in banking and finance, and so I think I’ll bring some skills in respect to the budgeting process and just economic development. I’m kind of a believer in team building and cooperation, and I hope I’m able to bring that talent there as well.
TKS: What was your experience at Knox College like?
JP: My experience at Knox was great, great profs, particularly in my department. I made a lot of lifelong friends with people I met there and overall, the experience was a great one. I was in the fraternity system. I played some sports in the intramural system. I have to say that at the time I was going to Knox É it was a very challenging time. I was the youngest publisher of a daily newspaper in the United States. Working full time and going to school full time and socializing all the time was busy. …it was a place to learn, to think. That was the priority. Economics and business administration.
TKS: Do you think there is an evident divide between the Knox community and Galesburg?
JP: I wouldn’t call it a divide. The Knox community is primarily folks not from around here, so just because of that, there’s kind of a separation. I’ve always found that there may be some elements of the community that kind of have that attitude, and there may be parts of Knox with that attitude, but I think people of Galesburg are proud that we have a liberal arts college like Knox here. I’m well connected to both [Knox and Galesburg], so I just don’t see that as an important issue. I just see people busy with what they’re doing so they may be disconnected, but its because they’re busy.