I think ISU has a tenants advocacy office, and there is an off campus residents student group. The first thing would be to document the overcharge and bring it to the attention of these groups.
Yes, Chris, but Storm Water fees only make up about 5% of the water/utility bill.
What Victor refers to as our costs is actually our total revenues, and does not take into account population growth and business expansion.
No, those particular increases were a result of the increase of costs associated with the delivery of water. Higher chemical costs, system maintenance. We still have the lowest costs for water than any other comparable central Illinois community.
No, Chris, I've stated clearly my numbers do include population increases, and all my numbers come from Town of Normal and US Census data documentation.
OK, guys, let's move on to another question: What should the relationship between the mayor and the city manager look like? What are their roles in the operation of town government?
In response to the reader regarding apartment building maintenance: Remembering my recent years of being a student it was highly important to be proactive. Students should take photographs and video of the premises prior to and after exiting the property. Make sure the apartment is clean upon exiting... document the condition before leaving with ! It's harder for landlord's to dispute when there is so much documentation.
We have about 15 minutes left.
The mayor and council collectively decide policy and give direction to the city manager. It his job to implement that policy, to the best of his ability. In a council manager form of government, the council has one employee: the city manager.
not sure this posted the first time, but this is important: I would like to see increased competition amongst utility companies. There is a local monopoly that is occurring which makes it easier for companies to charge inflated rates, provided minimal service and poor payment arrangement opportunities for struggling families. Our residents deserve options!
It is very clear from the Town of Normal website. The citizens give their views to the mayor and council, and then the mayor and council should tell the city manager what is needed for the town. Of course, the city manager's main duty is to oversee the day to day operations of the town. Unfortunately, over the past ten years, this process hasn't been happening.
I disagree, Victor. That is exactly what is happening. Every two years the voters decide who will represent them.
It goes beyond the mayor and council... the town's residents must educate the council on what they want and need. WE must work together to provide solutions and, with me having a background in networking and communication, I feel that my ability to build relationships will be vital to the success WE will experience together
Chris, the voters are not being informed enough about the state of the town to make an informed decision. Less than 12% of the people old enough to voted for mayor in 2009 and you recieved just under 7%.
the voters vote for who will represent their voice. We hire the city manager to provide us direction on how to best make those voices heard through actions! We have to hear from the residents and students using the latest technology available to us. I also foresee working with the university’s School of Communication and Politics and Government Department to assist with the Town of Normal’s civic engagement and communication measures. It will be this close relationship that ensures we move forward. I believe that Illinois State University's growth is directly correlated to the decisions we make on the council. The industrial development and beautification of Uptown Normal will display to prospective students and faculty the array of benefits available as a resident of our community. As we grow our town, the city manager, mayor, residents, students ALL WORK TOGETHER!!!
Whoops, I hit enter prematurely. And Normal Voter, the town has been acting also like business investors, using the taxpayer's as a silent backer/banker/investor. Unfortunately, the taxpayers get no direct profit or interest from theses investments, and, in fact, must pay interest on the bonds our town are borrowing to pay for these business developments. In my opinion, this is not the way to run a town government.
Voter turnout in local elections is dismal, I agree, and it is a national pattern. Having said that it does not reflect a pattern of ignoring the citizenry. One could just as easily say, people don't vote because they are generally satisfied.
Jane's question will be the last one because were are about out of time. If we go past 11 a.m. by a few minutes that is OK AND I want to allow each candidate the opportunity to post one final message to voters on April 9.
Those who seek to invest in the community should be given as much information as they need... this information would be information that is readily available for all citizens. If there is a grocery chain wanting to know if Normal is in need of their services, they should invest in the study and NOT the town!
Jane, for me this is a question that requires a lengthier answer that time allows. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll make my answer available to anyone who would want a follow up.
Chris, JeVaughn, Victor -- any final comments?
As a community, we can preserve that which best serves and benefits us, and we can improve that which ought to be changed, rebuilt, revitalized and repaired. Let's push ahead onto the next level of progress! Together, let's all get involved and get engaged in the growth and success of our town! Let's all get to the polls and vote for a mayor who will communicate directly with you, listen to you, and value the voice and unique perspective of every member of our diverse and dynamic community! For more information about me and my vision for our town, please contact me at email@example.com, on Facebook under "JeVaughn Martin" or on Twitter @jvmproductions
We have a lot of work to do to make things better and it will take serious study, serious effort and serious behavior changes to accomplish this. Thanks, all!
I am proud to call Normal my home and I am proud of what we; the council and I, the town employees and a supportive community have accomplished. I am as invigorated as I was twelve years ago when I ran for council and I will always strive to make Normal a better place to live!
Good discussion, everyone. Thanks to everyone who participated. Have a good rest of the day.