Mayor Chris Koos is looking ahead to the next four years with continued vigor toward redevelopment. He won a fourth term after a count of absentee ballots on Tuesday widened his win margin to 11 votes.
During Sound Ideas, the Town of Normal Mayor discussed the close election, his narrow win, and the message he received from voters. Koos said he didn't read the results as a message to slow down or restrain growth. Much of the town's redevelopment efforts in Uptown have been financed. Challenger Marc Tiritilli ran a campaign pushing debt reduction. He did not immediately return a call from GLT News seeking comment.
"It's not the council doesn't listen to constituents. They listen, but they make decisions based on their philosophies and a series of conversations not just one person's conversation," said Koos.
Instead of pointing to specific projects or broad initiatives he'd like to undertake in the next four years, Koos said he'll stay focused on the community's vision and the town's plans. He quoted Tom Murphy with the Urban Land Institute who spoke in Normal in November of 2015 who said communities can't be transactional with projects, they have to be strategic.
"The overall strategic plan for the community is to continue to make a sense of place where people want to be," said Koos. "Hopefully Illinois State University students find an environment that they want to live in when they graduate and job opportunities."
Murphy and other development consultants say creating a place where people want to live is more effective than landing the one big thing."
Koos said as projects arise or are developed he said the town will assess them based on how they fit into the town's plans.
WGLT depends on financial support from users to bring you stories and interviews like this one. As someone who values experienced, knowledgeable, and award-winning journalists covering meaningful stories in central Illinois, please consider making a contribution.
Editor's note: This story was updated on April 18 to indicate no comment had been received by GLT News from Tiritilli.