Had the opportunity to ask councilwoman Corene McDaniel a few questions about the election. Her answers are below:
Why are you running?
I've been on the council for eight years and there are still a few things I'd like to have involvement in. I think we have a little ways to go with economic development. and making sure that small businesses have some help for the city and helping entrepreneurs have some help from the city the city in getting started. I don't think a lot of of people know that there are funds out there to help them. I don't think realistically we can bring factories to Carbondale, so we need to encourage small businesses.
What do you bring to the council?
Experience. I've been there 8 years. I bring a listening ear and people feel like they can talk to me.
What are some of the issues people you talk with are concerned about?
The number one thing on their mind is economic development and where the city is going. Are taxes going to be raised? The recession is affecting Carbondale as much as it is the country and people are concerned. People are also asking about recycling but the number one thing they're concerned about it is the economy and jobs.
Saluki Way was one of the most controversial items to come up before the council. Do people still talk to you about it?
Yes and that was one of the questions asked last night at the (NAACP) forum. I don't think a lot of people realize that the city is only paying SIUC a percentage of the sales tax. If the tax only raises $50,000 a year, that's all SIUC gets. We haven't started making payments on it, the first payment to SIUC isn't made until 2010. Also, though I didn't vote for it because of this, it's providing a lot of jobs for the area. I see it as an investment in SIUC and the city rather than an expense. It's not just paying for the football and basketball stadium but for a student services building and new fire and police stations.
What would you like to see happen in Carbondale over the next two years?
I would like to see us providing jobs. I'd like to see the city providing more jobs so that we have a stronger economic base.