Question 1: What are your ideas or plans to help the downtown strip and town square stay alive?
Answer 1: The strip should be more than bars and restaurants. I would suggest trying to get more businesses that appeal to the broader community and supporting those businesses.
Question 2: How can the city show local business owners that Carbondale is a good place for their businesses?
Answer 2: Make sure that regulations are business friendly and guidelines are followed.
Question 3: Do you have any ideas for the several empty lots downtown where old buildings were torn down?
Answer 3: Those lots could be used for green space if not used for development of new businesses or extension of current businesses.
Question 4: Do you have any ideas on how to resolve the differences between SIU’s population and our town’s population?
Answer 4: I’m not sure what differences exactly are referenced here. But I see SIU’s population and our town’s population as the same, we are all citizens of Carbondale and should have more things in common than we do differences. We should all work for the common good of Carbondale.
Question 5: What is your stance on animal control and the city’s often ignored leash law?
Answer 5: Animal control and leash law are a matter of enforcement and priorities. With cuts to Code Enforcement I’m not sure where enforcement of the leash law is on the priority list.
Question 6: What is your opinion on community plastic bag bans or programs in which businesses implement a charge on plastic bags? Would you support such an effort in Carbondale? Why or why not?
Answer 6: I would need more specific information on this but would probably support as long as this did not impose a hardship on the elderly and those on a fixed income.
Question 7: Do you support a strong lighting ordinance? Are you familiar with research that finds that more light does not necessarily equal less crime?
Answer 7: I would need more specific information on this but would probably support it. Yes I’m familiar with some of that research and the research that suggest there should be less artificial light at night.
Question 8: The Northwest Carbondale Neighborhood Association board of directors has proposed creation of a Traditional Neighborhood District within our zoning code as a way to encourage reinvestment in our older neighborhoods. Would you support the creation of such a district, either as a stand-alone district or as an overlay on our existing districts? Why or why not?
Answer 8: I would need more specific information on this before I can say if I would support or not support.
Question 9: Is there a role for the city government to play in Carbondale’s park system, or should the parks be left entirely to the Carbondale Park District? If you believe the city government has a role, please explain what the city government’s role should be.
Answer 9: The City and the Park District could possibly share employees for some positions. But at this time the parks are and should remain under the Park District.
Question 10: Is there a role for the city to play in improving Carbondale’s schools, or should the schools be left entirely to the school districts? If you believe the city government has a role, please explain what the city government’s role should be.
Answer 10: The City’s role should be to financially assist in the funding of schools if economically possible.
Question 11: Many streets within the Northwest Carbondale Neighborhood Association’s boundaries lack sidewalks, or curb and gutter storm water drainage, or both. Do you think investment in this infrastructure is a priority and, if so, how would you propose funding these expensive projects?
Answer 11: There are several areas within Carbondale that lack sidewalks, or curb and gutter storm water drainage, or both. I think this should be a priority for the City and that it would be an excellent use of fund received from the TIF district.
Question 12: The city recently created a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district on Oakland Avenue. How do you think the city should spend its share of the increment generated by successful redevelopment in that area? How would you approach possible rezoning within the city’s newly created Oakland Avenue TIF district, especially properties such as the old National Guard Armory, the old High School buildings, and the old Coca-Cola warehouse that now houses the Oakland Auto Shop? Please be as specific as possible.
Answer 12: I think TIF funds should be used to improve the sidewalks, or curb and gutter storm water drainage, or both within this area. I would need to see the specific plans for the rezoning request before making a decision.