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GLT's coverage of the municipal election on April 2, 2019. Voters will elect members of the Bloomington City Council and Normal Town Council.Learn more about the candidates with our 2019 Voter Guide.

Schmidt To Run For Sixth Term On Bloomington Council

A photo of karen Schmidt in the WGLT studio.
Charlie Schlenker
If Bloomington Alderman Karen Schmidt wins a 6th term, she will serve 24 years on the city council.

The longest currently serving alderman in Bloomington said she wants four more years.

Ward 6 Alderman Karen Schmidt said Tuesday during a GLT interview she will run for a sixth term.

"I think we have some tough decisions ahead of us and I have enough history and enough passion for this community that I'd like to keep it going," said Schmidt.

Schmidt said the city faces deficits that require a deep understanding of municipal programs and budget and a willingness to make difficult choices.

“Bloomington is in the midst of significant economic changes with the restructuring at State Farm and the loss of Mitsubishi and its support businesses,” said Schmidt. "We cannot continue to raise fees and taxes to balance our budget."

"I don't know what specific areas of service we provide that might be more cheaply provided to our citizens by the private sector, but I think we should look at that as well," said Schmidt.

Schmidt also called for better coordination of economic development efforts and perhaps an investment in internet technology downtown to encourage tech firms to locate there.

“I am proud of my record of service to Bloomington residents. Through respectful communication with individuals and listening to diverse opinions, we become a stronger community. My work with residents and neighborhoods is driven by my belief that when we work together, our community thrives," said Schmidt.

Schmidt's likely opponent is community organizer Jenn Carillo, who announced her candidacy earlier this year. The two have differed on the approach to welcoming immigrants. Schmidt has suggested a sustained initiative to make the community welcoming to immigrants. Carillo supported a Welcoming City ordinance.

You can also listen to the full interview:

GLT's interview with Karen Schmidt.

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