Normal Mayor Chris Koos is seeking a third term in office. (B. Corbin/WJBC)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
NORMAL - There are three candidates running for mayor in Normal and the two challengers criticize incumbent Mayor Chris Koos for putting too much attention on Uptown Normal.
JeVaughn Martin and Victor Connor said Koos has not given other parts of town, especially the north side and west side, the same attention as Uptown. Koos said he won't accept that argument.
"(When I started) as mayor, College Hills Mall was empty," Koos said. "We helped them to tear that development down and build the Shoppes at College Hills. On the west side of town, we've done a rigorous water main reinvestment program."
Connor has also criticized the mayor and council for building debt with the Uptown Normal project. Koos said the town was debt free, but said former Mayor Kent Karraker realized that being debt free could put the town in the position to start Uptown.
"Debt free is a good thing, but it's not the only thing. If you can manage your debt responsibly, then why not?" Koos said.
If he is reelected, Koos said he would like to focus on building general reserves over the next four years.
"We've got a lot of infrastructure projects we'd like to complete. We've got water lines that need replacing through out the community and we're undertaking that right now. So, those are some of the nuts and bolts things," Koos said.
He also is focused on job growth, navigating the town through the rest of the recession and building the economy. Koos said there is some interest right now in the former Wildwood Property on the north end of town, but wouldn't go into details.