Dr. Victoria Harris is a newcomer to politics with a strong interest in environmental issues. (photo courtesy of Victoria Harris)
By Zach Dietmeier
BLOOMINGTON - A retired Illinois State University professor is hoping to join the McLean County Board out of District 7.
Dr. Victoria Harris taught in the English department at ISU for 31 years and has resided in District 7 for 40 years. Her run is motivated by a desire for McLean County residents to stay environmentally conscious.
"I'm not a politician so much as a citizen very interested in the environment, in protecting the environment, and expanding things without causing any hazard," said Harris.
Harris believes in more green spaces to help promote increased business. Consequently, she doesn't believe in hydraulic fracturing.
"I'm very much against fracking," said Harris. "There's a horrible impact on the environment and on the water. There's water pollution, there's radium that's been exposed in the air from fracking. It's depleting our water resources."
As for the water supply, Harris says more communication between governments will help.
"We need some collaboration among the local communities with regard to water," said Harris. "I think we can have our water sources coordinated and not run into drainage or severe drought problems."
While tax levies and bases are being presented around the county, Harris wants to remind voters that taxes supplement quality of life.
"We want the public parks, we want the bus routes, we want a lot of things that tax dollars pay for," said Harris. "I think economic decisions must be guided by quality of life."
Furthermore, Harris added that quality of life must be maintained for the betterment of the community.
Meanwhile, quality of life could also be affected by a proposed Eastside Highway.
"We need to listen to what the homeowners are saying," said Harris. "We also need to inform them on the projections of traffic jams in the future. There is a balance there that we need to make up."
Talks still are far from any action on the proposal, and Harris believes much more discussion should still come.
Victoria Harris is running against incumbent Bette Rackauskus and former Bloomington Mayor Rich Buchanan for two open spots.
Zach Dietmeier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.