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Mwilambwe to run for 2nd term as Bloomington mayor

Bloomington Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe
Charlie Schlenker
Bloomington Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe is seeking a second four-year term.

Bloomington's mayor wants four more years.

Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe has been informally telling friends and people who have asked him for a couple months that he will seek a second term in the municipal elections of 2025. It's now official.

"My plan is to run again. That is for sure. And that's a decision that I made. So, you're getting the scoop," Mwilambwe said Monday during an interview on WGLT's Sound Ideas — when he also said the city council has settled on a successor to departing city manager Tim Gleason. An announcement on the choice is expected on Thursday.

Mwilambwe said he wants to see the city continue on what he calls an "upward trajectory."

"We've developed a lot of plans. The downtown streetscape is something that is very exciting. We have a lot of infrastructure we need to continue to repair," he said.

Downtown TIF district

The streetscape plan also may include a Tax Increment Financing [TIF] district to offer incentives to redevelop downtown.

There will be a public meeting to review the downtown TIF plan on Monday, April 29. Tax increment financing uses increases in real estate taxes created by new development. The increase in value of properties improved or redeveloped can pay for certain redevelopment projects costs, instead of going to taxing bodies. The largest such bodies are school districts, in this case District 87.

Mwilambwe said it's likely a TIF district would include considerations for District 87. The area of the TIF, he said, would include at least the downtown inside the buckle, or inside the north-south one-way streets. He said it could be larger.

"What is even more exciting to me is that we put this plan forward to be a little bit more aggressive in seeking funding from grants and our congressional elected officials and also at the state level," said Mwilambwe.

In a second term, the mayor said he also wants to more fully and aggressively address the Twin City housing shortage — an issue he said that could be an impediment to further economic growth in the city.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.