By Howard Packowitz
NORMAL – The 2019 race for three seats on the Normal Town Council is underway with an incumbent announcing she’s seeking a second term.
Kathleen Lorenz said she offers stability and leadership during a time of change and uncertainty, particularly at the community’s largest employer, State Farm Insurance.
Lorenz agrees with fellow council member Jeff Fritzen, who said the community needs to embrace change at State Farm even though there have been hundreds of job reductions there.
“They’re going through their changes. I hurt for some people who have been adversely affected by some of their changes. I wish them all the best that they land on their feet individually. Then collectively as a corporation, of course, I want them to thrive. I want them to still be here,” she said.
Lorenz also called for increased cooperation with Bloomington, including consideration of a shared sales tax to prevent each community from competing against each other to attract business.
“I was disappointed when we didn’t have a chance to even look into the details of it,” said Lorenz.
“I would advocate that we open that back up for discussion, (and) look at it. The devil is in the details. It may not be a good idea, but let’s at least explore it,” she said.
Lorenz favors what she describes as “thoughtful” use of economic incentive tools to broaden and diversify the town’s economic base.
She says the most difficult votes in her first term were whether to raise taxes and fees.
Council seats currently held by Fritzen and R.C. McBride are also up election next spring. They have not announced their intentions.
Howard Packowitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org