Sunday, December 12, 2010

Brent Ritzel Speaks

Jennifer Fuller interviewed Brent Ritzel about his candidacy for mayor Dec 9th. Summarizing his comments:

Born in Carbondale in 1968 at Holden Hospital, located where Old National Bank's parking lot is now. Talks a bit about his time growing up in the community.

Big supporter of the comprehensive plan, comments that it's the work of hundreds of Carbondale residents and organizations and sets out an "operating manual" for the city. Adds that the mayoral candidates that spoke earlier in the week appeared unfamiliar with the comprehensive plan as there are no ideas they discussed that are not already covered in it.

Need to focus on quality of life in Carbondale, not just economic. We need a walkable, bikable community. Sees focus on brining businesses in from outside as not a sustainable economic model because the community is dependent on what is going on outside of the city. Need to focus on factors such as shopping locally, viewing waste as a resource, and encouraging energy efficiency. Not in favor of raising property or sales taxes.

Need to be creative to address financial problems the city is facing, such as pension shortfalls, then shifts to discussing Washington D.C.'s plastic bag tax. If implemented, could generate $10,000 a month for the city.

SIUC and Carbondale are interrelated. There isn't necessarily a difference between the two but Carbondale needs to step up and create a better quality of life to encourage students to come.

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