Bloomington mayoral candidate Tari Renner speaks to campaign supporters June 4, 2012, at Franklin Park. (Photo by Ryan Denham/WJBC)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
BLOOMINGTON - It's been two months since Tari Renner announced a run for Bloomington mayor, and since that time, two more candidates have announced their intentions.
One of those is former Alderman John Hanson, who said the mayor shouldn't set policy but set the tone. Renner said he doesn't feel that way at all.
"If I believe that we should not wait for crisis-like conditions, drought-like conditions to produce a situation where we have to solve our regional water issues, then I should speak out, and I will," Renner said. "And, I think those are critical issues. I don't think most voters want a caretaker mayor."
Renner said he thinks it's central for the mayor and council to make policy.
As for his other two opponents, Renner said he's seen Lex Green and Alton Franklin at the council meetings but doesn't know much about their thoughts.
Miller Park Zoo plans
The Bloomington City Council is mulling what to do for funding the Miller Park Zoo master plan. Consultants said the draft master plan for expansion and upgrade will cost about $16 million over 15 years. The group recommends a private-public partnership of 60-40 funding.
Renner said the zoo should be funded by taxpayer dollars, private dollars and tax funds. But, he said a study should be done on what value the zoo has to the community.
"No firm out there, no matter how much you pay, is going to give you a precise dollar amount. All you can do is get some ballpark," Renner said. "And, that's why I think they're going to allow us to make some educated decisions. It doesn't mean it's precise, it's just going to give us some more information."
Renner said he thinks instead of paying some consultant, the review should be done by Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan researchers.
Stephanie Pawlowski can be reached at Stephanie.Pawlowski@Cumulus.com.