Stop Competition in Economic Development
When either Bloomington or Normal attracts or loses a business, all residents feel the impact, whether positive or negative. For example, when Mitsubishi closed, State Farm downsized, and Electrolux left, our entire community felt it.
Bloomington and Normal must not compete as they seek to attract businesses, nor should they attempt to poach businesses from each other. These actions do nothing more than waste taxpayer dollars and create a divisive attitude.
Combine Projects and Resources to Keep Costs Down
Municipal projects and services of all kinds are necessary to maintain the quality of life in our community. Projects and services cost money. We should be careful and smart with taxpayer funds, ensuring that funds are spent where they are really needed, and we want to make sure the decisions we make are in the best interest of the entire Bloomington-Normal community.
As with economies of scale, if we combine efforts or purchasing, we may bring lower costs to the entire community while maintaining or even improving the level of service.
If we consider partnering on projects or services where it makes sense to do so, we may lower costs for the entire community while maintaining the level of service we expect—this is the basic economy of scale. As our community’s needs grow, and thus as expenses increase, we will need to consider all options to keep tax increases down.
Carefully Consider the Benefits of Combining Services
The Bloomington-Normal community already has services that cross town boundaries. Here are a few examples:
- The public bus system
- The water reclamation plant
- Unit 5 school district
We have made these services work. I believe we should look at doing more, where possible.
Foster Good Relationships Between Councils
I have great relationships with current Bloomington council members, and I plan to likewise establish relationships with any newly elected council members. All council members should share the Bloomington-Normal community view. If our councils are on the same page and make the effort to work together, Bloomington-Normal can be a much better community and accomplish far more for our residents than what just one town can do on their own.
In the past couple years, the Normal Town Council has thrown some serious, harsh barbs at the Bloomington city government in response to decisions Bloomington has made:
- Town of Normal statement on Bloomington Metro Zone action
- Koos: Legal action 'still an option' in Metro Zone dispute
These public displays of scolding and threats have not helped to foster good relationships between the councils.
Neither has the recent decision by the Normal Town Council to move forward with the Trail East project—this project is using incentives (taxpayer money) to poach businesses from Bloomington. The three businesses the Normal Town Council claims are so necessary for the $12M taxpayer incentive are all currently located in Bloomington—there is no net benefit to our community. Actions like these further perpetuate divisiveness at the expense of both Bloomington and Normal taxpayers.
As a council person:
- I will take a community view when making decisions. I firmly believe any decision the Normal Town Council makes must take into consideration the impact it may have on the entire Bloomington-Normal community. We must not make decisions that benefit only Normal, at the expense of Bloomington.
- I will carefully consider our economic development approaches. We need to determine how we can best benefit both Bloomington and Normal in how we attract new businesses and grow our local businesses.
- I will be open to partnering on projects and shared resources. There may be practical and cost benefits when we partner with Bloomington on municipal projects and share resources.
- I will foster good relationships between councils. I will communicate with the Bloomington City Council when decisions will impact our community. I will take a rational and careful approach in situations where our two councils disagree. We can’t expect all relationships to be perfect, but we can work on improving our collective relationship with Bloomington, rather than one council trying to seek gain at the expense of the other.