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|Infrastructure and Quality of Life Topics at City Council Forum
|How to improve quality of life in the City of Galesburg without raising property taxes might be easier said than done, but the candidates for the four open seats on the Galesburg City Council in next month's election all have ideas on it anyway.
5th Ward Candidate Peter Schwartzman says he thinks local parks can be improved without a dime of the city's money.
"I know people who work for local lumber companies who are willing to donate some lumber, I know carpenters who have maybe a weekend who can get out and build a child center, complex, whatever it is, but they're not asked."
Opponent Steven Shearer says he's not quite ready to make any recommendations yet.
"When it comes to the budget aspect that you're talking about right there, you know, I really don't know the truth and I don't know what the answer is to that, but I know if the quality of life suffers because we haven't redone a street in 70 years or 60 years, then that needs to change."
Incumbent Karen Lafferty also suggested that improving streets will improve quality of life -- problem is, last she knew, the city was four years behind in maintaining roads.
"We haven't had the money generated from motor fuel tax fund to implement a lot of repairs to streets and the sidewalks, that was the reason the one and a half cent sales tax went up on the city gasoline and it goes strictly into the street."
Jeremy Karlin is technically unopposed in his bid for a seat on the council on the 7th Ward, though his opponent will remain on the ballot despite dropping out.
Karlin says the city needs to show that it's willing to make an investment in itself, and nowhere could that be more important than in a facility that's been in the news a lot lately.
"We need to be spending money to improve our library, for a new library because we're about to celebrate the silver anniversary of our temporary building for the library, we need a new library."
Karlin also called for a bike path, and other items on what he says are worthwhile causes, and have a plan to do it.
Like other candidates, First Ward Aldermanic Candidate Jim Hartshorn says infrastructure needs to be top of mind, and the city can pay for road repairs.
"I'm under the understanding that the city of Galesburg has about $44 million in reserves in different bank through out the state and if that is true, which I think it is, I think we ought to be using some of that money."
First Ward Incumbent Ken Goad says quality of life issues are going to be hard right now with one big problem hanging over the city's head: underfunded police and fire pensions.
"We have been given an underfunded thing to do and if we don't get the money that we're supposed to have, how can we fully fund them?"
The candidates met in a forum broadcast live on WGIL Thursday night and organized by Galesburg Planet and the Register-Mail.
|03 25 11 by Newsroom
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