ALTON, Ill. – Alton’s former pastor turned mayor spoke out about his journey since taking office.

David Goins gave up being a pastor at Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church to run for the city’s top job, which he won in 2021.

After nearly two years as Alton’s first African American mayor, he said he’s making progress but has not accomplished all he set out to do.

“If there’s any failure, it’s just that we have not been able to address all the streets that we would like to address,” Goins said. “If you want to try to consider that a failure, there are still a lot of derelict homes.”

He said Alton is dealing with a $1.6 million budget shortfall. However, Goins said it was $3.8 million when he took office.

When the city received $21.2 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, it gave the city a big boost, Goins said.

Alton spent $7 million of the ARPA funds to upgrade the HVAC systems in the city buildings. The city bought a fire truck, two ambulances, and just over a million dollars to upgrade the field in the city park.

Goins said he’s got a lot of economic development projects coming.

When asked if he missed being a pastor, Goins said, “I’m glad I took this job. I can see a lot of similarities to this job and comparing it to my role as a pastor. Similarities is that the city is like a church; it’s a bigger congregation.”