Wednesday, February 16, 2011

City Council Essays

In case you missed it, last week's Carbondale Times had a set of 900 word essays from the 16 city council candidates on their motivations, qualifications and views of the city. At least they got essays from 13 of the candidates. Much as they did with the questionnaire sent out by the Shawnee Green party, Lance Jack, Rich Jackson and Earl Czajkowski opted not to submit an essay.

Don Monty's main qualification is his 35 years of service as a city employee, ending as Asst. City manager. He doesn't offer any specific programs to solve Carbondale's problems, referring to the Comprehensive Plan as a guide.

Candle Wester-Mittan has only lived in C'dale for 4 years, employed in the SIUC Law Library. Her interest in local/regional politics dates to back last year's election. She believes she brings "a new voice and new perspectives", wanting to positively contribute to the community. No specific recommendations, though.

Lee Fronabarger has been active in the community for a number of years, currently on the Planning commission and on advisory boards for a number of civic organizations. He actually makes specific proposals, calling for the relaxation of Carbondale liquor ordinances.and insituting foot and bike patrols by police in certain parts of town.

Mike Riley manages the local Sherwin-Williams store since 2004. He believes the town is a good place to raise a family and would like to focus on encouraging alternative modes of transportation, i.e. making the city more bike friendly. He also advocates beautification of the Strip and is the only candidate to drop Spanish into his essay.

Montana Goodman has lived in the 'dale for 1 year and is the only SIUC student running. Originally planning to stay for only 1 semester, she now doesn't expect to "leave anytime soon". She wishes to bring the student point of view to the council and would encourage the city to offer internships to SIUC and JALC students.

Hugh Williams, along with John Holt, is running because he feels the city has not shown enough fiscal responsibility in past actions. Two things Williams especially wants to accomplish are repealing the recently instituted property tax and giving the Human Relations Commission subpoena power, empowering it to investigate misconduct by city employees.

As mentioned above, John Holt is not happy with the city's spending, believes the city is business and development unfriendly and that the council has passed ordinances "where the council abdicates it power to the mayor to make deals on its behalf" and has made too many decisions with a 4-3 council vote, rather than striving for consensus.

Another ex-city employee, Tom Grant (former building inspector and division manager) wants to ensure the city continues to provide a high level of services and seek out tenants for the under-utilized industrial park properties, utilizing the student population in the process. Grant also wants to implement and incorporate renewable energy systems and green roofing downtown to continue the "Cool Cities Initiative".

Jane Adams, much like Fronabarger, has been active in the community for a number of years and is retired from SIUC. Adams believes, like Don Monty, that the Comprehensive Plan serves as a good guidepost for the future of the community. Among other items, she wishes to create a non-profit housing redevelopment corporation to renovate and build affordable housing, relax restrictions on beer and alcohol sales, and develop parks, including dog and skateboard parks.

Jerrold Hennrich is a student at SIUC and serves in the Illinois National Guard. He has lived in the city since 2005 and finds it "a wonderful place to live" and has a "sense of duty to the community". His essay doesn't cite any specific proposals, aside from cleaning up and maintaining the Strip.

Janet Donoghue works as the development director for the Fuller Dome. She says that a number of her friends wished to put down roots in the community but, due to the lack of jobs, had to leave the area, so economic development and livability are high on her agenda. As an active organizer in the community and a mother of a young child, she feels she brings a unique perspective to city problems.

Craig Anz is a professor of architecture at SIUC and active with the Hickory Lodge Task Force and on the board of Carbondale Main Street. He doesn't advance any specific proposals, calling for more empowerment and involvement by city residents in bettering downtown.

Finally, Jessica Bradshaw, works at SIUC and is active in a number of civic organizations s well, including CAPSOIL and Non-violent Carbondale. She wishes to make Carbondale a more livable and sustainable community by revitalizng downtown and supporting local non-profit organizations such as I Can Read and Keep Carbondale Clean. Like Adams, she would like to see the community create a dog park, however, Bradshaw advocates converting the old football field on the west side of town into one.

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