My view – Election on Tuesday

In a recent email, Mayor Fritzler took the unusual step of endorsing four candidates for City Council. The four candidates would, he said, “have the necessary skills to work together with other council members, the city manager, and Carbondale residents.”

In general, unless a group publicly runs as a slate, I think it is inappropriate for an elected official, like the Mayor, to attempt to pick his associates.

On the other hand, I do believe its important to note the positive qualities of City Council candidates that you, the voters, will select. I regard the following candidates as worthy of your consideration: Lee M. Fronabarger, Carolin Harvey, Navreet S. Kang, Brent Ritzel, Jessica C. Bradshaw and Tony Holsey. 

I have high regard for all the Council candidates whom I have had the opportunity to hear at forums and whose positions I have read. These six have struck me as the candidates who have the necessary depth and breadth of knowledge and experience with Carbondale’s governance to represent the all citizens of Carbondale. All six have positive attributes and experiences that they would bring to Council.

I urge voters to learn as much as they can between now and Tuesday in order to vote for the individuals you believe will best represent your interests and aims for this city.

Here is my impression of these candidates’ positive qualities. Additional information is available on the sites linked below. This not an endorsement. In terms of my priorities for the city, I favor some candidates over others. I fully expect to have disagreements on policy and enlightening debates with all of these prospective council members. That is how it should be in a robust and substantive democracy.

Lee M. Fronabarger has been an excellent member of City Council, always prepared and ready to enter into the discussion at Council. Crucially, he has been supportive of the Carbondale Neighborhoods including opposition to Neighborhood Business Districts as the issue came before Council. Lee has long been an advocate for the proposed aquatics center. He initiated the new city program that offers savings on prescription drugs for city residents who lack full coverage. He lives on the southeast side of Carbondale.

Carolin Harvey has strong skills in accounting and an interest in balancing the City’s budget. She currently serves as the chair of the Planning Commission. She is a long time professional at the university, has been active in a number of civic organizations, and lives on Carbondale’s far west side.

Navreet S. Kang is a naturalized citizen who has achieved the American dream. He owns his own business and is a long time member of the Carbondale Planning Commission as well as a past elected member of the Park District. Carbondale has a large and growing immigrant community that has not achieved the recognition that it deserves. Navreet lives in the area between West Freeman and Murdale Shopping Center.

Tony Holsey is a builder and contractor in the construction industry. As such, he is deeply knowledgeable about the condition of housing in Carbondale. Through his work he has achieved familiarity with our housing codes and ordinances. He is also a minister at Greater Gillespie Temple Church and a leader in the African American community. He lives in the Northwest neighborhood

Jessica C. Bradshaw and Brent Ritzel share many of the same attributes. They are both Carbondale natives and attended local schools. They are both focused on environmental issues and sustainability. Also and very important, they represent a young cohort of candidates in Carbondale. Both live in the Northwest neighborhood and are active in the Northwest Neighborhood Association.

Information in other sources:

The Daily Egyptian recently published short statements with candidate biographies and positions of all the candidates they could contact, as well as a round-up of some candidates’ positions on housing, the economy, SIU enrollment, and safety.

The Southern Illinoisan provided thumbnail descriptions of 10 of the12 Council candidates in an April 5 story.

Four candidates responded to the Northwest Neighborhood Association’s questionnaire, including Jessica Bradshaw, Carolin Harvey, Lee Fronabarger, and Navreet Kang.

In February, WSIL-TV conducted interviews with Jessica Bradshaw, Lee Fronabarger, Carolin Harvey, Jerrold Hennrich, Pepper Holder, Tony Holsey, Navreet Kang, Brent Ritzel, and Blain Tisdale.

The League of Women Voters held a one-hour candidate forum at City Hall on March 18. Attending were Karim Abdullah, Jessica Bradshaw, Lee Fronabarger, Carolin Harvey, Jerrold Hinnrich, Pepper Holder, Tony Holsey, Navreet Kang, Brent Ritzel, and Blain Tisdale.

The Chamber of Commerce held a 45 minute candidate forum at City Hall on March 19. Attending were Jessica Bradshaw, Lee Fronabarger, Carolin Harvey, Jerrold Hinrichs, Navreet Kang, and Brent Ritzel.

The City website lists the candidates by placement on the ballot, with their home addresses. The candidates (with linked website) are:

1. Blaine Tisdale, 1101 East Grand Avenue, Apartment E-4

2. Brent Ritzel, 810 North Springer Street

3. Carolin Harvey, 109 South Tower Road

4. Lee M. Fronabarger, 1140 Morningside Drive

5. Jessica C. Bradshaw, 512 North Carico Street, Apartment A

6. Navreet S. Kang, 613 South Terrace Drive

7. William Graham, 403 West Elm #3

8. Jerrold Hennrich, 610 West Sycamore

9. Luke L. Adams Jr., 809 West Walnut Apt. 4

10. Karim H. Abdullah, 915 East Cindy Street

11. Tony D. Holsey, 1010 N. Almond Street

12. Pepper Holder, 410 East James & Thelma Walker Avenue


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