Steve Campbell is seeking his first election to the McLean County Board. (Photo by Eric StockWJBC)
By Eric Stock
BLOOMINGTON - A 35-year Caterpillar employee is making his first venture into political life by seeking a seat on the McLean County Board.
Steve Campbell, a Democrat, works at Caterpillar's global purchasing operations in East Peoria. He and his wife, Terry, have lived in McLean County for 25 years and have three children.
Campbell, 60, and fellow Democrat Sally Pyne are challenging Republican incumbents William Caisely and Ed McKibbin in District 4 which covers western portions of Bloomington and Normal.
Below you'll find where Campbell stands on some of the key issues facing the McLean County Board.
Campbell said he was driven to run in part by a desire to serve, but also a concern over the county's water supply, which he said was exposed during the summer drought to be at risk. He said the county needs to take a leadership role in those discussions with local governments in finding additional water sources.
"I think we need to take a consolidated effort with that. We need to have a large front and I think that the county needs to chair that," Campbell said.
Because of his concern over the water supply, Campbell said he's reluctant to embrace hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract gas or oil. He said any company blasting underground would have to demonstrate that they can so it safely.
"What plan do they have? If they don't have a plan ahead of time, that tells me the company isn't interested in the long-term effects. I think we need to understand what is their recovery plan, what is there contingency plan in terms of funding any cleanup?" Campbell asked.
East Side Highway
Campbell said he sees the value in the proposed east-side highway.
"Something is going to be have to be done. So, in the board sense, I'm in favor of an east-side highway, (but) where it's located, the length of it, is it two-lane, four-lane? Those things are going to have to be looked at and studied first," Campbell said.
Campbell said the county has done a good job handling a tight budget, but he said everyone is having to tighten their belt.
"We might not be buying the pens and pieces paper that we normally would. You could scale that before you actually have to start laying people off, but companies do this all of the time," Campbell said.
Eric Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.