Bloomington City Council Candidates Exchange Positions

City_Council_Candidates.jpgThe six candidates vying for seats on the Bloomington City Council met in September in a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters. The candidates, as pictured left to right above, are Jenna Carter and Brian “Clem” Clemens (At-Large), Dwayne Lowman and Al Noard (District 1), and Shawn Nelson and Susan “Hofmeister” Woodruff (District 2)

The candidates were first asked for their two prime reasons for running:
• Al Noard: Keeping property taxes in check and reviewing ordinances and zoning to attract businesses to the city
• Dwayne Lowman: Focus on renewal and economic and environmental sustainability
• Sue Woodruff: Hold city budget in check and protect neighborhoods
• Shawn Nelson: Focus on basic services and encourage small businesses to locate in the city
• Clem Clemens: Target transportation (check loss of traffic lanes) and fiscal responsibility
• Jenna Carter: Bring a holistic view to government and push community engagement in setting priorities

How would the candidates encourage small business in Bloomington?
• Nelson: look at ordinances and regulations
• Woodruff: Treat businesses as customers, ask how we can help them.
• Carter: Through collaboration, citing housing ordinances
• Clemens: Come up with a 3-5 year plan so businesses can operate while upgrades are made
• Lowman: Manage services and educate workers
• Noard: Advocate for small businesses, make allowances in zoning ordinances

How would the candidates approach homelessness in the city?
• Clemens: Supports mixed income housing vs 100% affordable
• Carter: She is running because of homelessness and the need for a comprehensive answer
• Woodruff: Supports bridging efforts to help people move from homelessness to stability

Views on diversity in Bloomington
• Carter: Our leaders should reflect our diversity
• Noard: City needs to reach out and make people aware of what is going on

Opinions on incidents of violent incidents involving police
• Woodruff: Need mental health training for police
• Noard and Clemens: Training for police in handling mental health crises is key.

Should the city adopt minimum wage/paid family leave policies?
• Clemens: Needs to be more fully explored, but should be addressed
• Lowman: Wants to be outfront, not wait for action by the state
• Noard: Against city action on $15 minimum wage. Should be left to the state. Paid family leave should be market driven
• Woodruff: Against it because it may reduce employment
• Nelson: Wages are not keeping up with costs

What is your opinion of the C.O.V.E.R. Program?
• Of all of the candidates, only Sue Woodruff knew it was a new initiative by the Bloomington Police Department. Woodruff said that surprise release of the "Crisis or Violent Extremist Reporting" program highlighted the lack of enough transparency or public notice in the creation and issuances of new plans, particularly ones dealing with anonymous tip lines that have raised questions about privacy and shielded accusations.

To listen to a more complete record of the candidates’ positions on the questions raised by the forum, you may view the podcast on the League of Women Voters web site or as a TV program on the Bloomington Cable Access TV.

CLICK HERE and scroll down to find contact information for the Bloomington City Council candidates.