Below are my views on some of the issues which need to be addressed. If you would like me to comment on an issue that is not here, please send it to me via the Contact Page.
My values are fiscally responsible, and I understand there are many different views and positions on each subject. I am not afraid to go against the status quo and point out when something is not right, regardless of how long the process, practice, view or opinion may have been used. I firmly believe just because something is legal, it does not always make it right.
I will make decisions that are in the best interest of the citizens of Normal.
Over the last few years, our community has felt the trickle-down impact of State Farm’s downsizing and the loss of Mitsubishi. These businesses have been the “economic engines” that have driven the economy of Bloomington-Normal. Without them, our smaller businesses cannot survive.
To reestablish a healthy economy, we must focus on attracting new “engine” businesses and growing our current ones. Economic incentives—offered through careful cost benefit analysis—are a primary method of encouraging engine businesses in our community, but these businesses are also attracted to municipalities that help them cut through the red tape. That is, we must make it easier for them to locate in the Town of Normal—we must remove the barriers to establishing a business here and make doing business in Normal an attractive option.
The current council’s focus has been on providing incentives to businesses that state up front it is not profitable to operate in Normal. This is corporate welfare. We must shift this focus. We must instead identify the key issues that make it unprofitable to operate in Normal in the first place.(Read More)
Parks & Rec and the Arts
Normal has some of the best Parks & Rec facilities and program offerings in Illinois! We are very lucky to have many parks throughout our town and numerous activities for all people, both young and old. We are also fortunate to have a community that loves the arts. This is one of the reasons my own family loves living in Normal.
I believe our government should focus much more of its attention on our Parks & Rec programs, as well as programs geared towards the arts. I would like to see more activities offered to our children and seniors.(Read More)
The local government has made a habit of giving certain “choice” companies financial incentives in the form of property tax abatements or reductions. In doing this, they are giving away huge dollar amounts, which robs our schools of badly needed funding. This is one habit the council needs to break.
Town Budget - Becoming more Efficient
The town budget is ever increasing. Our taxes are continually being increased to meet this exorbitant spending habit. I believe government is by nature inefficient. I believe if we look and evaluate our town processes, inefficiencies can be identified and new technologies and changes in processes will reduce town expenses without reducing the services we have come to enjoy. Just because we have been doing something the same way for decades does not mean there is no other, more efficient way, it can be done.
As Council Person, I will advocate to create a program which provides incentives to directors and/or staff who come up with and implement ways to reduce expenses resulting in lower taxes while providing the same or better services to our community.(Read More)
It’s frustrating to feel you are not being heard. It’s especially frustrating when your local elected representatives will not listen to you and represent your issues and concerns.
As your council person, I want to—and I expect to—hear from the citizens of Normal.
Repeatedly, I have witnessed situations where the town council has blatantly ignored the concerns of citizens. Or worse, the council has heard them, but has minimized them and belittled those who have brought the concerns.
They’ve publicly treated citizens this way…in public meetings, in the council chambers, and in the press.
One glaring example of the council ignoring the concerns of citizens is the way the council pursues, seemingly at all costs, the Uptown plan, in spite of repeated concerns residents have brought to them about it—this demonstrates the council’s relentless pursuit of their WANTS over the Town’s real NEEDS.
Recently, I’ve seen other examples, as well…with entire groups being denied representation. Read on for the details.(Read More)
Bloomington and Normal are twin cities, but we are one community. We live, work, shop, dine, and go to church without regarding whether we are Bloomington or Normal. Like many, I live in one town and work in the other. What Normal does effects Bloomington and vice versa. Also, like many, I equally love both towns. It only makes sense for our local governments to work together:
- Economic Development must be done at the community level. We must not compete for businesses. When a new business comes to our community, some of their employees will choose to live in Normal, and some in Bloomington. They will shop in both of our towns.
- The Normal Town Council should make decisions that are in the best interests of the entire community, not just what is best for Normal at the expense of Bloomington.
- We should consider partnering with Bloomington in areas where the combined effort would benefit the entire community.
- We must put behind us any negative history and foster good relationships between the Bloomington and Normal councils.