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“Meet the Candidates” Sparks Conversation

Written by on March 6, 2019

BLOOMINGTON – The Bloomington-Normal Association of Realtors hosted a “Meet the Candidates Forum Tuesday night to introduce the potential Bloomington City Council members to the community.

This event was an opportunity for residents to put a name to a face and gain a better understanding of where the candidates stand on certain issues, including affordable housing and property taxes. It was a race against time as each of the six candidates were given only seven minutes to allow the audience a deeper look into their personality and what they could bring to the table if elected.

Jeff Crabill is running for a seat on Ward 7 of the Bloomington City Council and believes that affordable housing is an issue that affects a growing and diverse number of people.

“For instance, college students… what’s the reason that they don’t stay in Bloomington? It’s because they can’t find affordable housing. You have people that have more minimum wage type jobs that can’t find affordable housing… I like the idea of mixed income developments,” said Crabill.

The mic was open to the public which gave residents an opportunity to interact directly with the candidates and express their concerns in a safe and friendly environment.

One audience member asked if Bloomington would be willing to collaborate and share resources, such as public safety and education, with their neighboring town, Normal. Almost every candidate agreed that this should be something to consider to help make Bloomington and this community as a whole the best it can be.

Most residents came out to get a better idea of who they want to vote for, but some of the candidates are running uncontested. Bloomington resident and real estate broker Derek Mead still found this forum to be useful.

“My ward is actually unopposed so there’s only one choice.” said Mead. “But, I can say that I was pleasantly surprised by what I did hear from Mr. Crabill that will be running in my district. I don’t think we agree totally on policy, but some of the business things that he mentioned, I can definitely get on board with. It was definitely beneficial for me to be here.”

The political road show will continue March 12 as residents will have the same opportunity to meet their potential Normal Town Trustees. Early elections are already underway, with election day being April 2.

Grace Barbic contributed to this story.


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