What is the importance of City Council to residents of Champaign?
Basic services, police and fire, zoning applications, and the very feel of the city depend upon policy direction given to a body of professional staff by the city council. The council weighs in on all policy matters governing the city.
Why are you qualified to be on the City Council?
I have been the longest serving council person ever, and spent six years as Deputy Mayor. My familiarity with issues of long standing facing the city gives me the longest view and the lowest learning curve.
If elected, what is something you want to accomplish on the City Council, and how long will it take?
Police and community relations could and should be shortened to "community relations." The Police Dept.'s commitment to Unconditional Respect under Chief Cobb should be a key element to a larger vision of intersectional approaches to personal safety in the community. Renewed efforts to promote affordable housing, and access to it by all citizens, is crucial . We should also revisit social services funding . The past few years have witnessed lurching, uneven commitment to efforts to serve the least fortunate , with shifting sources of funding. The city should be proactive in helping preserve assets that address homelessness, for instance. How long will an integrative effort like this take? It could begin with the first budget voted upon after the next election, but like all work performed by the city, this is work in progress.
Is there anything else you would like to say to an undecided voter?
As a City Council Member I worked on 30 budgets, each one of them balanced, even at the height of recession. Experienced stewardship and a holistic vision of the city is crucial. Balancing business interests with services to the disadvantaged, preserving quality of life for homeowners , helping our first responders be the best they can be, in the shared interest we nurture together, these are our goals, not just mine. Please honor me with the opportunity to put knowledge and experience to work for you.