What is the importance of City Council to residents of Champaign?
Since the Champaign city council members are the major decision makers for the citizens, the 9 council members have the tools to establish Champaign as the model Illinois city, with like-kind population. The city ought to be the "look to" model city. The city has a population of creative and "thinking outside the box," plus a big-10 university in the tool box to accomplish model city status.
Why are you qualified to be on the City Council?
I have used my urban planning skills and knowledge to be qualified. Here are several examples: just received from the Champaign County Farm Bureau (CCFB) the Urban Ag Leader 2019 Award; served on the Champaign County Board for 8 years, chair for 2 years; one of five founders of Preservation and Conservation Association (PACA) in 1981; one of several founders of Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) in 1978; and one of 6-8 who instigated the John Street Watershed Project, which has spun into 3 additional flood management projects and 3 more on the drawing board. All of these are still adding value to Champaign. In addition, I was elected a fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners in 2014.
If elected, what is something you want to accomplish on the City Council, and how long will it take?
First, I will continue to consider two questions before casting a vote: is the vote in the best interests of the Champaign residents and if tax dollars are involved, is this the best use of the tax dollars? Second, work regularly with public works on mitigating flooding in the city. Third, work toward "thinking outside the box" related to approaches to reduce violence. Fourth, work toward equity and equality in housing, including the issue of housing for those returning after serving a judicial sentence. All of these can be accomplished during a four-year term. One last goal, but long term, is to create a 25-year Champaign master plan, engaging community charrettes. Actually, Champaign could be the chrysalis toward an intergovernmental (IGA) agreement between major entities involved with the issue of mental health toward establishing a local mental health facility. Everyone agrees this is a major need, but so far none of the entities have stepped forward to lead a solution. Maybe, Champaign could take on the role to move the process forward.
Is there anything else you would like to say to an undecided voter?
As I have been talking to residents to learn about their concerns, ideas, positive views, etc., one resident made a very interesting comment to me. "I do not look for what a candidate is promising or identifying as issues 'to swing a voter.' I am much more interested in what a candidate has accomplished for the community, how the accomplishments have helped the community, does the candidate have the interest and skills to listen to and work with residents and colleagues, and last but not least can the candidate think outside the box several decades ahead." I believe my past accomplishments meet this voter's criteria. I appreciate your vote.