Livingston & McLean County Labor
Bloomington & Normal Trades & Labor Assembly / Livingston & McLean Counties Building & Trades Council
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  • Local candidates endorsements & responses to labor's questions - April 2 election
    Updated On: Mar 08, 2019
    A full house of union members and friends came out to here local candidates for Bloomington & Normal council, District 87, Unit 5 and Heartland College candidates.

    On February 26, local candidates spoke before a mass meeting of local unions, answering three questions. Endorsed candidates are marked; in some cases, the Trades & Labor Assembly and the Building & Trades made separate endorsements -- those are so noted. The candidates were also requested to share their answers in writing, which are printed here:

    Town of Normal – 7 candidates, elect 3

    Alex Campbell – No response

    Kathleen Lorenz ENDORSED

    Biographical statement: I have lived in Normal for 25 years with my husband. We raised our two children here, Steven (23) and Kate (21). I hold a Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial Engineering from Purdue and a Master’s in Business Administration from Illinois State University. My professional career has included jobs as a process improvement specialist, front line manager, manager of customer service, and currently leading a small not-for-profit organization called Leadership Illinois. I have also worked part-time as a consultant for area businesses, including the Birth Center of Bloomington-Normal and United Way of McLean County. I have served 4 years on Town Council (2015-2019), 8 years on the Planning Commission (2008-2015) and 4 years on the Zoning Board of Appeals (2004-2008) for the Town of Normal. My husband and I enjoy taking time away to travel throughout the United States.

    Do I support publicly funded construction project, including TIF or other tax funded development, require a Project Labor Agreement between the local trades and the developer or appropriate unit of government? 

     I support construction projects that are made possible through publicly funded incentives, and I support the idea of utilizing Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) to ensure the hiring of local labor. A 2011 study showed that the local economic impact of employing local workers is eight times higher than non-local work. 

    PLAs can help projects meet deadlines by guaranteeing a steady supply of highly skilled labor and therefore assure timely completion. One of the more complete studies of PLAs was completed in 2011 by Cornell University, and it concluded that PLAs benefit everyone involved – construction industry, owners, contractors, workers, local communities and tax payers. The Cornell report stated that PLAs provide value for public and private purchasers of construction services, producing the best work for the money with on-time, on-budget performance.

    If I was on the Council on October 15, 2018, would I have voted “yes” or “no” on the Uptown Trail East multi-story office building?

    I voted yes! Trailside East is a good example of the good things that come from policies designed to attract developers to make investments in a community. It will convert publicly owned land to private ownership, construct a building using local trades and labor, and create a place for local businesses to bring over 200 people to work in our Uptown district.

    Do I support public employee collective bargaining?

    I support collective bargaining agreements for the purpose of ensuring proper compensation and fair labor practices for work that involves skill, risk and public safety. Collective bargaining agreements are beneficial when they provide a critical check and balance on the labor practices, and a career development framework for advancing the skill and expertise of its members.

    What is the most vital thing a unit of government (Town Council) can do?

    Local government is there primarily to ensure public safety – police, fire, roads, water, waste removal, and safety of public records.  It also is there to serve as an agent for ensuring the community’s long-term viability for its residents to have places to work, live and play, for generations to come.  A council’s role is to set policies that allow these functions to occur, to be good stewards of the Town’s resources, and to make policy decisions that will hopefully leave the place better than they found it.  

    RC McBride ENDORSED

    R.C. is finishing his first term on the Normal Town Council. Prior to his election in 2015, he served on the Normal Planning Commission for 9 years. His full-time job is at Illinois State University, where he is general manager of NPR-affiliated public radio station WGLT. He also works for the Missouri Valley Conference as a play-by-play broadcaster, is an avid reader, and coaches BNGSA in-town softball. He and his wife Christy have three daughters attending Unit Five schools.

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project (including TIF and other tax funded developments), require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    It’s vital the Town’s historically strong relationship with local labor continue. When taxpayer money is used, there’s an expectation as much as possible directly impacts the local economy. I would support a PLA anytime we sense pushback about using local labor from a developer receiving significant public funding.

    If you were on the Council on October 15, 2018 would you have voted “yes” or “no” on the Uptown Trail East multi-story building?

    I voted yes. There’s little Town financial investment or risk, the developer has a good track record working with local labor, the project has 80 percent committed occupancy, will create 200 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs, and will create a substantial taxable property when the TIF expires.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    Yes, unequivocally.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    Two things: First, build a community culture where everyone is welcome and has an opportunity to succeed. Second, plan. Investing in infrastructure, services, and amenities requires long-range financial planning, input from and communication with residents and stakeholders, and responding to changes in needs, expectations, and external forces.

    Stan Nord

    I am a townie. I grew up farming, working at the landfill and hauling waste and recyclables. Having cattle, it may have been too cold or I may have been too sick to go school, but I was never too sick or it too cold to take care of the animal’s. I was raised into this work ethic. I also grew up heavily surrounded by those in medicine. Their values of always helping others was instilled on me. I know the value of hard work and helping others.

    In my business, I meet many union workers at their jobsites along interstates, at windmill farms, outside of factories or at construction sites. I understand why road work is so dangerous. I understand unions provide a depth of skilled workers for large projects, which few, if any private companies can match. Unions teach necessary skills which our colleges do not.

    I want to represent all in Normal. I have a very diverse background and realize I do not know what is best for everyone. I need to listen to you, to understand your needs.

     Would you support that any publicly funded construction project (including TIF or other tax funded development), require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    If a PLA is included, I would support the agreement require local trades be used, if local funds are used. Normal’s current PLAs allow outside workers to be brought in. This leaves our local union workers, who are paying for the project through their taxes, be left out

    If you were on the Council on October 15, 2018 would you have voted “yes” or “no” on the Uptown Trail East multi-story office building?

    The Trail East project requires many millions of taxpayer dollars for one structure. The construction work is temporary. There are no new permanent union jobs coming to the community when complete. I would rather see that money spent attracting and building manufacturing and industry, where union jobs may be permanent.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    If the grievances in public employee work require collective bargaining, I would be open to the conversation. With so many public jobs and areas, I would need more clarification on the issues to be more definitive. I would not be surprised if representation is required when dealing with the government

    What the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    The infrastructure. Roads, water and sewer. These are often the least exciting. It is more exciting to work on a new shiny project. But the infrastructure is the most critical thing government is responsible. Without good roads, water and sewers homes and business are unsafe and the economy stops

    David Shields ENDORSED

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project (including TIF or other tax funded developments), require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    Yes, I would support a PLA between local trades and the developer or government body. I believe that investments should be made in the local workforce alongside investments in the local economy. They should go hand-in-hand. Investments in the local economy that do not forward job opportunities for local workers are not looking at the long-term impact they will have, and should have, on the Town of Normal.

    If you were on the Council on October 15, 2018 would you have voted “yes” or “no” on the Uptown Trail East multi-story building?

    I would have voted yes on the Uptown Trail East building. I believe in the direction Normal is headed in and in the importance of continuing to make smart decisions to grow. The Trail East Project is not just another step toward completing the planned redevelopment of that part of Uptown, but it will also be extremely beneficial for the local labor force, and then an ongoing source of tax revenue for the community.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    I do support public employee collective bargaining. It’s legal, requires two groups of people to come to an agreement, gets issues of concern out on the table for free and open debate. The process also shows respect for the people doing the work and those overseeing it.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    Communicate effectively. Communication is a two-way street, and as elected representatives, the Town Council is both the voice of the community to the City Manager, and the voice of the town to the community. If people feel they aren’t receiving information or that their voice is not being heard, those are problems. I intend to guard against this by being open, responsive, and proactive in communicating to constituents.

    Karyn Smith

    My name is Karyn Smith.  I am an adjunct faculty at Illinois State University where I teach accounting in the College of Business.  I hold an MBA with a concentration in accounting from Indiana University.  I hold designations as a Certified Financial Planner and Certified Public Accountant.  I am running for Town Council because my daughter, Bella, is cognitively impaired and will most likely spend the rest of her life in this community.  I want to be sure that her needs and the needs of her peers are factored into any future planning for Normal. 

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project (including TIF or other tax funded developments), require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    Yes, I would support a requirement that any publicly funded construction projects use union labor to complete the project.

    If you were on the Council on October 15, 2018 would you have voted “yes” or “no” on the Uptown Trail East multi-story building?

    [I think this question is unfair to the incumbents as I cannot be held accountable for this decision and they will be.]  I think this project has too much forward momentum to be stopped now.  I would commit to clearly disclosing the underlying costs, occupancy forecasts, and monitoring progress to avoid cost overruns.  I would require that no additional TIF projects advance without first requiring a study comparing actual costs of past projects to their original forecasts.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    Yes.  I am an active member of the ISUEA union and was a member of the collective bargaining team that negotiated our recent contract with the University.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    I believe the most vital role of the Town Council is to represent the interests of all town residents and to be wise stewards of town resources.  I also believe it is important to clearly communicate its decisions and the information used to make those decisions.

    My name is Karyn Smith.  I am an adjunct faculty at Illinois State University where I teach accounting in the College of Business.  I hold an MBA with a concentration in accounting from Indiana University.  I hold designations as a Certified Financial Planner and Certified Public Accountant.  I am running for Town Council because my daughter, Bella, is cognitively impaired and will most likely spend the rest of her life in this community.  I want to be sure that her needs and the needs of her peers are factored into any future planning for Normal. 

    Joel Studebaker

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project (including TIF or other tax funded developments), require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    Absolutely. In addition, we should develop guidelines for requiring PLAs on private projects seeking permits and/or zoning variances.

    If you were on the Council on October 15, 2018 would you have voted “yes” or “no” on the Uptown Trail East multi-story office building?

    No.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    Absolutely. Additionally, union-busting tactics should be grounds for immediate cancellation of any public incentives for private projects/businesses.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    Prioritize the development of mixed-income, mixed-use housing.

    Patricia Turner

    My name is Pat Turner and I am running to serve as your next Trustee on the Normal Town Council.  I have nearly 30 years of experience in leadership, advocacy, and agency management as the executive director of the Center for Hope Food Pantry.  I earned a master’s degree from Illinois State University in Politics and Government with emphasis on Community and Economic Development. My bachelor’s degree, also earned at ISU was in Foreign Languages and Cultures. I have received many honors for my contributions and service in the Twin Cities including the Illinois Municipal Human Relations Humanitarian Award, a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for Community Service, and three YWCA Women of Distinction nominations. I look forward to addressing our town’s affordable housing challenges, to pursuing sound economic development opportunities, and to creating a more representative Council for the Town of Normal.

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project (including TIF or other tax funded development) require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    I would be supportive of the policy that calls for publicly funded construction project including Tif or other tax funded developments to have a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between local trades, developer or appropriate unit of government.

    If you were on the Council on October 15th 2018, would you have voted yes or no on the Uptown Trail East multi-story office building?

    Given the current state of our budget, and in light of other more urgent projects including those already indicated in the original Uptown re-development plan, I would likely have voted “NO” or at least sought to postpone the Uptown Trail East multi-story office building project.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    Yes, I have and will continue to support public employee collective bargaining.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    As the Normal Town Council determines overall Town policies and enacts local laws, ordinances, and resolutions, the most vital thing we can do is to value, understand, build relationship and collaborate with citizens, institutions, organizations, and other stakeholders across all sectors to ensure that fair, beneficial and representative policies are enacted.

    Bloomington City Council

    Ward 2 – Donna Boelen vs. Georgene Chissel

    Donna Boelen

    I’m a retired medical professional.  I was a department supervisor responsible for training personnel and budgeting.  Being able to collaborate is an absolute necessity in a hospital setting.

    Raising my children here and being an active community volunteer for 26 years has provided me with “institutional knowledge” of the community.

    I’ve regularly attended Council meetings for the past 5 years and have spoken at Public Comment more than 20 times, primarily regarding fiscal responsibly and the negative effects of raising taxes and fees on business growth and the poor. Additionally, I served on a Budget committee.

    Would you support that any publically funded construction project (including TIF or other tax-funded developments), require Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    The role of the City Council is to be vigilant Stewards of taxpayer dollars, which is of benefit to the entire community.

    By referencing former President Obama’s Executive Order 13502 regarding awarding of a PLA in connection with a large-scale government construction project, a Council member may, on a project-by-project basis, require the use of a project labor agreement by a contractor where use of such an agreement will advance the City’s interest in achieving economy and efficiency in procurement, and ensuring compliance with laws and regulations governing safety and health, equal employment opportunity, labor and employment standards, and other matters, and be consistent with law.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    I support fair labor practices, which include the right to fair labor negotiations.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are funning for can do?

    City Council is a policy making board whose major role is good stewardship of taxpayer dollars.  Policies promoting fiscal responsibility are a requirement to ensure that quality basic services are provided, which promote quality of life to the entire community.

    Georgene Chissell ENDORSED

    I am Georgene Chissell and I am a longtime resident of Bloomington with 10 years in Ward 2 and I value what our community stands for. I have started my business here (Divine Cleaning Services of Central IL), went to college here (ISU), and raised my family here. I have studied what makes Bloomington tick, and I am running for Bloomington City Council because I want a government that works for everyone.

    Would you support that any publically funded construction project (including TIF or other tax-funded developments), require Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    Yes, I support the Project Labor Agreement. I believe that all public funded construction projects including TIF should require a PLA between the local trades and the developer.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    Yes, I do support public employee collective bargaining. It is essential for workers to improve their wages and working conditions, for example our Fire and Police Departments. My father was a union man for 35 years at CPC International in Argo, IL, which afforded us to live a middle class life. 

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are funning for can do?

    The most vital thing the Bloomington City Council can do is be responsible for keeping our citizens safe by keeping the city on a sound financial footing. I will work to be sure we fulfill these responsibilities.

    Ward 4 – Julie Emig vs. Don Frank

     Julie Emig - ENDORSED

    For the past 25 years, Julie has worked in public education.  Her first job was as a high school English teacher in Boston, Massachusetts, and some 20 years later, she was the Director of Literacy for the Evanston/Skokie Public Schools.  She is currently a professor for the School of Teaching and Learning at Illinois State University.  Throughout her career, her primary role has been to build bridges across diverse groups of people.  She brings a wealth of experience in developing coalitions to achieve results, managing budgets (she was the associate director for a 20 million dollar research grant), and generating policy that is responsive to constituents.  Julie marched with teachers during the Chicago Teacher's Strike of 2012, and her father has regaled her with stories of Grandfather Benjamin "Dado" Marshman, a Federal Labor Mediator during the 1920s and 30s.  Julie resides in White Place Historic District with her partner and their four-year-old daughter.  

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project (including TIF or other tax funded developments) require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government? 

    In Bloomington, our ability to improve infrastructure, develop the economy, and ensure strong neighborhoods for families is predicated on our ability to treat all residents fairly.  Specifically, we need to be careful about how Enterprise Zone and TIF projects are approved and managed.  It is incumbent on city leaders to determine what qualifies, how the development will take place, and how the community will ultimately be served with increased revenue.  I support the regulatory Resolution put into place by City Council in June of 2018 to demand such oversight, and I will advocate for passage of a Project Labor Agreement. 

    Do you support public employee collecting bargaining?

    Yes. My campaign for Bloomington City Council is based on advocacy for all constituents regarding a higher quality of infrastructure, economic development, and strong neighborhoods.  I believe that this advocacy is realized through the tenets of Organized Labor.  As a public school educator, I marched in the Chicago Teachers' Strike of 2012.  Our goal was twofold.  We wanted to ensure equitable treatment for all employees, but we also demonstrated to advocate for a higher quality of services to meet the needs of our students.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    I am running for Bloomington City Council because I believe we can and must do better for our constituents.  We have a strong tradition of working towards common values in our community, but all too often, we stick to the status quo.  Organized Labor is about creating reasoned change and growth for individuals, families, and the community writ large.  I would be honored to serve as a leader who believes in and advocates for these ideals.  

    Don “Chip” Frank

    I am a fourth generation Bloomington native and have lived in Ward 4 most of my life, other than my years at Indiana University.   I consider Bloomington to be one of the best cities in the Midwest, so returning after graduation was an easy decision.  At that time Bloomington was a vibrant, developing community that nurtured and promoted business growth and family values, and continues to do so today.  I have been married to my wife Debbie for 36 years and raised three children here.  I have one grandchild and another on the way.

    I am a product of the Bloomington public school system as were my great-grandfather, grandfather, father and three children.  I am the owner of Capen, Frank, Proctor & Bowles, Inc., an independent insurance agency which dates back to 1876.  This history has played a great part of my decision to run.

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project (including TIG or other tax funded developments), require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    I would be open to the idea of using Project Labor Agreement (PLA) especially for the larger, publicly-funded projects which would allow for a highly qualified labor force.  I am very much in favor of using local talent for all public funded projects (buy local).  I would even suggest that we highlight our preferred vender program that could help reinforce that edict; we want to keep those jobs in the community.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    I see no issues currently in the collective bargaining with the city of Bloomington and their employees.  I would say that all negotiations with public employees should be an open and transparent process when possible.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    As alderman first and foremost we need to have a strong understanding of our city’s finances.  We need to insure that the resources for public safety, infrastructure and future pension liability are available while also providing opportunities for decent and well-paying jobs.  Less emphasis should be put on expensive consultants but working to promote the growth of local businesses.

    Ward 6 – Jennifer Carrillo vs. Karen Schmidt

    Jennifer Carrillo ENDORSED by Trades & Labor only

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project (including TIG or other tax funded developments), require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    Yes. Unlike my opponent, who has allowed projects to advance without securing PLAs, I am absolutely committed to ensure that any project funded by taxpayer dollars requires a strong PLA that guarantees local, union, prevailing wage jobs.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    As an organizer who has worked alongside unions for the past decade, I understand that a worker’s power lies in his union and in his right to be able to collectively bargain for the best possible conditions. I will always be on the side of workers, and support their right to organize and collectively bargain.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    The council has the power to set forth a vision for Bloomington and to put taxpayer dollars to work in order to achieve it. I'm running to ensure that our city grows those resources by investing them into efforts that lift up the working class and into economic development that benefit our entire community.

    Karen Schmidt ENDORSED by Building & Trades only

    Karen Schmidt is alderman for ward 6. She is university librarian at Illinois Wesleyan University. Karen is a founding member of the West Bloomington Revitalization Project, serves on the Board as Treasurer and manages the Book Bike program. She is actively involved in Boys & Girls Club and the Downtown Bloomington Association. She and her husband John Elterich have 2 sons, Jacob and Jonas.

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project (including TIF or other tax funded developments,) require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    Yes. PLAs should be required for all projects that receive public money, whether

    through TIF or tax incentives. Research shows us that the benefits are clear: projects are completed on-time and on-budget; support our local economy; and connect to and strengthen our community’s commitment to workforce development and apprenticeship programs. 

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    Yes. Collective bargaining provides for safe working conditions, allows for the negotiation of fair wages and benefits, respects the skills of our union workers, and ensures parity and a system to air grievances. A well-negotiated collective bargaining contract is built on strong communication and mutual respect.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

               

    Hire local, buy local, and work closely with our unions and skilled trades. Support

    our apprenticeship programs and provide for workforce development. Enforce our codes, including truck lettering requirements.

    Jeff Crabill Ward 8 ENDORSED

    Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to address your organization. I currently serve as an attorney at State Farm and have lived in the community for seven years. I grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana. My grandfather served in the Army in WW2 and my Dad was a Marine.  After his service, my Dad started a career as a tool & die maker.  He started out as an apprentice. Through this blue-collar job he was able to afford to send me to college and law school.  My parents always taught me the importance of union labor, especially after Ronald Reagan was elected. I have two beautiful daughters and my wife and I have been married for 21 years.  Giving back to the community has been important to me.    I graduated from the Multicultural Leadership Program and have represented indigent clients for Prairie State Legal Services receiving their Lifesaver Award in 2018.

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project (including TIF or other tax funded developments), require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    Yes. A PLA makes sure that a project receives quality, timely work through union employees. Those union employees receive a fair wage. Those union employees live locally so the money they earned gets spent in the local economy creating a multiplier effect that positively impacts the rest of our community.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    Yes. There is no legitimate reason that public employees should have less of a right to collectively bargain than other bargaining units. We should not forget that when public employees receive a fair wage, benefits and safe working conditions, that places pressure on private employers to do the same.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    As a City, Bloomington should make sure that everyone is treated fairly and has an opportunity to succeed. That means strong infrastructure, investing in areas such as the west side that have been neglected and pass ordinances that make sure to protect the most vulnerable in our community.

    UNIT 5 School Board Candidates Meta Mickens-Baker and Michael Trask are running unopposed for a two year term; Four candidates will be chosen from the five candidates running for a four-year term, Lanell Greenberg, Barry Hitchens, Alan Kalitzky, Kelly Pyle and Amy Roser.

    Meta Mickens-Baker ENDORSED

    Meta Mickens-Baker is a 15-year member of the Unit 5 Board of Education, and two-time President of the Board.  She is also a 30-year State Farm employee and a former middle school science teacher.  Meta and her husband, Keith Baker, are parents to two Unit 5 graduates. 

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    School board construction projects are subject to Illinois School Code. Unit 5 Procedure (4.60-AP1) indicates that all contracts must include provisions required by State or federal law.  I support the consideration of Project Administrative Labor Agreements for individual projects, in accordance with federal and state law.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    I respect the right of public employees to participate in collective bargaining.  Unit 5’s three bargaining units include Laborers 362, our operations and maintenance employees.  I appreciate their work and the positive working relationship between each bargaining group and the board and administration. 

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    The most vital thing Unit 5 can do is provide a high-quality Pre-K-12 education, so each student can achieve personal excellence in school and after.  Unit 5 students should graduate high school prepared to successfully pursue the college, trades and/or career direction that they have set for themselves.

    Barry Hitchens ENDORSED

    Barry Hitchins is running for reelection to the Unit 5 Board of Education.  He currently serves as the President of the Board.  Barry has been a resident of Bloomington for 17 years.  He is a software developer at State Farm.  His wife, Angela, is a Teaching Assistant at Brigham Early Learning Center and his daughter, Amber, is an 8th grader at Evans Junior High.

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project require a PLA between the local trades and the developer/unit of government?

    Board Policy states "contracts should provide for good quality products and services at the lowest cost, with consideration for service, reliability, and delivery promptness, and in compliance with State law."  This limits our ability to put additional requirements such as a PLA on any third party we may contract with.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    Yes, I support public employee collective bargaining rights.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    The most vital thing Unit 5 can do is achieve our mission of educating each student to achieve personal excellence.

    LaNell Greenberg ENDORSED

    I worked in the district for 12 years, with 4 of those years as the Clerk to the Board and the Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent. I understand the role of a Board member and the importance of supporting Unit 5 students and families, and the community. I serve as the secretary to the Parkside Elementary Promise Council to help insure students in need get their basic needs met (clothing, supplies, food).

    Currently, all incumbent School Board members represent the NCHS area. I represent the NCWHS area. Both areas of the district should have a seat on the Board.

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project require a PLA between the local trades and the developer/unit of government?

    YES. It is important to our community that Project Labor Agreements are put in place because government funded projects should include unionized contractors and tradespersons. It holds the institution and the contractors to pre-agreed upon terms of work and pay.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    Absolutely. Collective bargaining helps set standards of wages and working conditions for employees. Unions give workers a strong voice and a seat at the table.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    The School Board sets the annual budget and decides on infrastructure projects to be completed each year. Most vital is protecting state and federal dollars and insuring they are spent wisely. Over 73% of the Unit 5 budget comes from local property taxes, and that local investment must be used to benefit the community.

    Alan Kalitzky ENDORSED

    I have made it an objective in my life to contribute to the advancement of education for all of our community’s learners. During my time in Bloomington, I have been an active member of the PTO at Benjamin Elementary, including chairing committees specifically targeting revenue generation. I have proudly served on the Unit 5 Citizens Advisory Council (CAC) as a delegate and board member. I also assisted in the development and creation of the district’s previous Strategic Plan. I am an active member within Junior Achievement, providing basic level economics education to K-1 classrooms and volunteer for other organizations such as serving on the Alumni Corporation Board for Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity and maintaining several coaching engagements through, Prairie City Soccer League, Bloomington Normal Girls Softball Association, and the YMCA.

    Professionally, I have been employed with a local automobile insurance company for the past 8 years, where I currently serves as a Relationship Manager within their Technology Vendor Management Office. My work requires me to develop strategic action plans for the governance and cost effectiveness of our organization’s technology initiatives. This includes developing and implementing risk management and training plans, and create/enforcing organizational policy. Previously, I worked for seven years in outside Business to Business sales, primarily within the IT staffing and consulting industry.

    From a personal perspective, I am the son, brother, and husband of educators at varying levels and the father to 4 amazing Unit 5 students.

    Each of these situations above, has given me the ability to collect a lot of valuable feedback and perspective. I have listened to our students, parents, educators, and citizens as they discuss what they enjoy about our schools and programs, but also what they seek to improve upon for the future. I believe my strengths through these opportunities include they ability to take advantage of a dual sided viewpoint that can create a strategic vision that benefits all. My professional role has enhanced my abilities for critical thinking which allows me to analyze complex circumstances and develop uniformed efficiency. Lastly, my ability to forge strong relationship can be utilized to better determine needs but also leverage partnerships in finding unified solutions.

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project (including TIF or other tax funded developments), require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    I support the utilization of union labor for publicly funded efforts, to encourage competition in the marketplace and sharing of economic growth. The use of a PLA would further that aim, but should only be considered in specific circumstances as to not limit the flexibility of the contracting party.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    The organization of Bargaining Units is important to ensure consistent/fair treatment of their members, with the expectation that they understand the realties and impacts of their targeted goals.  CBUs are beneficial to any employer as they are more likely to be informed, and operate confidentially in their role. 

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    Student success remains the most critical part of any school district and truly determines its performance overall.  This can only be accomplished with the support and advocacy of the community, and through the hard work of our educators and staff to provide an environment that promotes student growth.

    Kelly Pyne ENDORSED

    Kelly was appointed to the Unit 5 school board in August of 2018.  She and her husband, Eric, have lived in Normal for 10 years and have two sons in Unit 5 schools. Kelly has worked as a clinical educator and instructor at Illinois State University for more than 10 years and currently works as an academic advisor, assisting new freshman and transfer students, as they transition to college.  Kelly has been endorsed by both teacher and support staff unions.

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project (including TIF or other tax funded developments) require a project labor agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate units of government?

    Yes, I would support the PLA.  Unit 5 has maintained a very collaborative relationship with the labor union and has worked with our local unions on numerous Unit 5 projects.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    Yes, I support unions’ right to collective bargaining. My candidacy for school board has been endorsed by both the teacher and support staff unions.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    The school board sets the vision and goals for the district, oversees the annual budget, and manages the collective bargaining process for employees. The school board supports the teachers and staff, so that students receive high-quality education, while also balancing the financial impacts to the students, parents and community members.

    Amy Roser ENDORSED

    Amy and her husband, Randy have been married for 14 years.  Their two girls, Paige (11) and Miranda (9) attend Colene Hoose Elementary School.  As first-generation college students, Amy attended Illinois State University.  Since college, Bloomington-Normal is home.  Amy has worked at Illinois State University for over 24 years dedicated to supporting students in their education. Amy has been an active community volunteer including her appointment to the Unit 5 School Board in July, 2018.  Amy is passionate about public education.  She gained this appreciation for education from her father, who dropped out of high school to assume responsibility of the family farm.


    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project (including TIF or other tax funded developments) require a project labor agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate units of government?

    I support Project Labor Agreements as they aid in ensuring a smooth completion of a project benefiting all parties.  My understanding is that these agreements benefit employees, contractors, communities and taxpayers by facilitating a project that is completed on time and on budget. 

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    I support public employee collective bargaining rights as it promotes workplace justice.  Because of the collective bargaining process union employee gain safer working conditions, better benefits, and higher wages.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    Unit 5 is vital in providing a quality public education to each student that aids in reaching their full potential and aids in developing long term career goals and interests.  Simply put, public schools are the economic engine of our community. 

    District 87 schools – James Almeda, Tammy Houtzel, Mark Wylie running unopposed.

    James Almeda ENDORSED by Building & Trades only

    Tammy Houtzel ENDORSED by Building & Trades only

    Mark Wylie ENDORSED by Building & Trades only

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project over (including TIF or other tax funded developments), require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    District 87 has abided by the prevailing wage act for many years. By doing so we have had almost all of our work done by union contractors. We have had quality work done by these contractors and will continue to specify prevailing wage be used.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    District 87 currently uses collective bargaining when our various unions. This has worked well for all groups.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    3. District 87 continues to serve our community well by helping not to just educate our children but also helps the entire community by serving as one of the best Districts in the state.

    Heartland Community College Trustees

    Lupe Diaz

    Lupe Diaz, 42, married with two children.  Moved to Bloomington at 11 from Chicago where I was born.  Graduated from NCHS class of 1994, went on to Heartland Community College, and Illinois Central College.  I work in the LTL Carrier Industry, at Estes Express Lines, as an Operations Manager at our local terminal.  I’ve ran twice for Bloomington Alderman 2015, and 2017.  When I was 19, and 23, I ran for McLean County Board against a Republican incumbent that was in office 22+ years, I started to volunteer at the Democrat Party headquarters when I was 15 years old made phone calls and went door-to-door.  I plan to work on Senator Kamala Harris’ Presidential Campaign locally this year.  

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project over (including TIF or other tax funded developments), require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    Yes, I would fully support that any publicly funded construction project be required to use a Project Labor Agreement.  Our local trades are highly trained to handle any project, and are reliable to keep us all safe before, during, and years after the project is completed.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    I support public employee collective bargaining.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    The most vital thing Heartland Community College can do is build a College Level program that we could partner with the local trades and labor to offer an apprentice a 2-year Associate Degree in their trade, or even advance training in leading and supervising people.

    Jeff Flessner ENDORSED by Building & Trades only

    I live in Normal am married and have three grown children two of them attended Heartland.  I have a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Insurance from ISU.  I spent my career working in the Corporate Benefits field in the Bloomington area for over 40 years.  I was initially elected to the Board in April of 2013 and am running for another six year term.  I currently serve the College as Chairman of the Board Finance Committee and Vice Chair of the Board.  I recently Chaired the Committee to hire our new President Dr. Keith Cornille.    

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project over (including TIF or other tax funded developments), require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    Yes

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    Yes

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    The most vital thing Heartland Community College can do is provide high quality accessible education to all the communities we serve.  This includes degree programs and certifications, adult education, career training, and youth enrichment programs.

    Patrick Hardesty, UA Local 99 business manager ENDORSED

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project over (including TIF or other tax funded developments), require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    I support PLA on all construction projects that have any type of tax money included. These PLAs will ensure the people, who pay the taxes that are rebated, work on these projects.  The money they earn is fed back into the community to help pay for first responders, fire and police, teachers and city workers thru paychecks, health care, and pensions. 

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    Every worker should have the right to collective bargaining. It is collective bargaining that helped create the middle class.  It gave us health care for our families, pensions for retirement, the 40 hour work week and other benefits we have today. Working under a collective bargaining agreement helps build a strong economy by providing a living wage for these employees.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    As a board member of Heartland College a few of the most vital tasks we can accomplish is to continue to provide the best education possible to the people of this area at an affordable cost, provide training for the jobs of tomorrow and the future, and to keep this area educated for the upcoming jobs in this area.  This will enable us to attract the business’s needed to keep our communities growing and successful. 

    Janet Hood ENDORSED by Building & Trades only

    Janet M. Hood, 69, Normal: Coordinator, Operations & Planning, Advocate BroMenn Medical Center/Advocate Eureka Hospital; AA, Heartland Community College; BA, Eureka College; MBA, Indiana Wesleyan University; Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives; selected to fill a vacancy on the Heartland Community College Board of Trustees in 2017 and have served as a Trustee and member of the Finance Committee for the past two years. Additionally, I was appointed to the Town of Normal Zoning Board of Appeals and served on the Board for nine years. I serve on the YWCA McLean County Board and the Central Illinois American College of Healthcare Executives Board of Directors.

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project (including TIF or other tax-funded developments) require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    I support Project Labor Agreements. Heartland Community College has a history of entering Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on specific construction projects. Negotiating a PLA in advance of a construction project start-up creates an effective pathway to address work stipulations for all contractors working on a major project.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    I am supportive of Heartland Community College’s history of participating in employee collective bargaining, and I would expect that practice to continue.

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    Heartland serves as a platform for partnerships and innovative educational programming.  While continuing the current level of educational excellence, the College should strengthen vocational/technical training programs on all campuses throughout the district. Further, the College must maintain a strong financial base.

    Thomas Whitt ENDORSED

    I'm 51 years old and work as a CT Technologist at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington. I've lived in McLean County since 2014 and am also an active member of the McLean County Democratic Party and a Precinct Committeeperson for Precinct 22 in Bloomington (Founder's Grove.)

    Would you support that any publicly funded construction project (including TIF or other tax-funded developments) require a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the local trades and the developer or the appropriate unit of government?

    We need to support our local tradesmen and tradeswomen--especially when taxpayer money is involved. It only makes sense to hire and pay our own and keep these dollars in Central Illinois whenever possible. I would be open to PLAs as part of these efforts.

    Do you support public employee collective bargaining?

    I support the right of public-sector employees to unionize. We should strive for collaborative relations between workers and government agencies and unions can play a vital role in these efforts. 

    What is the most vital thing the unit of government you are running for can do?

    Heartland Community College is one of our greatest resources. As a Trustee, I want to help HCC continue to thrive and find new ways to increase the knowledge and skills of our residents. 


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