BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Tuesday night, March 23, the McLean County Republican Party hosted an open forum for Bloomington alderman candidates in Wards 3,5, and 9.
Held virtually over Zoom, candidates were able to tell viewers about themselves, and answer questions from the public concerning issues faced in their respective wards, and in the City of Bloomington as a whole.
When asked about important issues Ward 3 faces, one topic Willie Hampton Halbert emphasized wanting to tackle was public safety. She said helping ease the jobs of police officers could improve public safety overall.
“If we look at the 911 calls, and we re-directed some of those calls over to mental health facilities, social workers, to address these calls, those that are non-violent, then they can get served,” said Halbert.
Her opponent in Ward 3, Sheila Montney, said one important issue she’d like to address, is continually rising taxes.
“I had one family tell me they had calculated down all the various taxes that were on utilities, and gasoline, and that sort of thing, and they had calculated that it was costing them $500 more a month than what they had previously experienced in years past, relative to another community that they had moved from,” said Montney.
When asked about important issues in Ward 5, Nick Becker also highlighting public safety. He said having the right resources for police officers is important right now.
“We need to support our police, we need to have our police available, to interact very closely with our district attorney’s office, and really work through together, a way to keep this city safe,” said Becker.
And in Ward 9, candidate Tom Crumpler said one thing he hopes to work on is economic growth in the City of Bloomington.
“Council really needs to work with businesses and community leaders to really accelerate economic growth, in this post COVID time,” said Crumpler.
His opponent Jim Fruin, saying one issue he’d work on, is coming up with a better system for fixing roads in Bloomington.
“We can’t address this a year at a time. We have to have a sustained program, perhaps $8 million a year… a sustained program that we’re committed too, rather than the yearly evaluation,” said Fruin.