How long have you been a council member?
Since May 2005.
Who or what inspired your desire to seek office?
People whom I admire, including former Councilwoman Camille Gibson, suggested that I run.
What’s been the most challenging issue you’ve faced as a Peoria City Council member?
Whether to buy the water company.
What’s your “pet issue”?
Returning full service to Firehouse 11.
What issue are you looking forward to tackling soon as a council member?
A full review of our taxes and other sources of revenue.
Is there a common misperception about you or council members in general that you’d like to clear up?
That serving on the council is a part-time job!
What are the keys to a successful future for Peoria? How can the council help?
Strengthening School District 150 and revitalizing older neighborhoods. The council is working very collaboratively with District 150 on a variety of things—from enhanced security to after-hours programs. The council is focusing a great deal of resources in residential areas with clean ups, enhanced code enforcement, enhanced policing, sidewalk and lighting programs, and assistance in forming and supporting neighborhood associations. The council and Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce are meeting regularly to discuss how to attract and retain neighborhood businesses. There are currently two special projects to this end: the Sheridan Road/Loucks Business Revitalization and the Prospect Road Business Revitalization.
What advice do you have for members of the public who want to be part of city decisions?
Volunteer to serve on a city commission—either a standing commission such as Zoning or a special commission such as the Heart of Peoria. And, by all means, contact council members and make sure your views are known.
What does your political future hold?
Just being the best representative of the Second District I can for the next three-plus years.
How do you balance your time between council work with your career and family?
I’m retired from the practice of law, so that helps. I still haven’t mastered balancing a personal life with council work, but I know I must find a balance because council matters can be all-consuming.
What’s surprised you most since becoming an elected official?
How very grateful people are when I’m able to help them.
Do you think televised meetings help or hinder council proceedings? Do you wish more people would attend council meetings?
I think being televised generally helps so people can see their business being done from the comfort of their own homes. Of course, I suppose it leads some members to engage in “grand standing,” which is tiresome. I think most people who attend find it quite interesting, so, yes, I wish more would attend. IBI