Buragas Declines To Run In Bloomington Fourth Ward | WGLT

Buragas Declines To Run In Bloomington Fourth Ward

Nov 26, 2018

Bloomington Alderman Amelia Buragas said she is not running for a second term. Buragas said job and family requirements are growing and she lacks the time to run again, but is pleased with her service.


I think we have covered a lot of ground. If nothing else, we managed to pass balanced budgets and that is something to be proud of and something that cities have to do. We were able to be financially responsible. At the same time, we were also able to invest in our community," said Buragas.


Buragas said she was not always satisfied.


"I would not describe myself as a patient person. And the pace of progress can sometimes feel agonizingly slow, especially in places like downtown Bloomington where the need is apparent and the rewards are so close," said Buragas.


She said initiatives such as a downtown catalyst project, bus transfer center, new library, and downtown investments are all still going through due diligence.


Alderman Buragas said she might run again for public office someday, but not next year.


That leaves Julia Emig and Don Frank as the two candidates in the 4th ward next April.


Frank announced some time ago. Emig announced her run on the heels of Buragas announcement. Emig is an instructional assistant professor at Illinois State University.


Buragas said she did not recruit Emig, but was aware of Emig’s interest and her values and that made it easier to step aside.


Emig said she wants Bloomington to retain upward momentum.


“Bloomington is a great place to live, work, and play,” Emig said. “I want to make sure that it not only stays that way for the next generation of residents, but also seeks ways to improve so that all of us can move beyond the status quo.”


Emig said she intends to focus on economic development, financial stability, and strengthening private-public cooperation. She also said she wants to see the city council place an emphasis on actions that strengthen neighborhoods and communities. 

“This includes strong oversight of rental properties, facilitating collaborative initiatives to strengthen social services, as well as continued support for preservation of historic neighborhoods,” said Emig in a statement.

Emig noted she would like to see prioritization of taxpayer dollars based on need so all residents can enjoy the same basic level of infrastructure and quality of life.

“Our neighborhoods are the foundation upon which this community is built,” Emig said. “A failure to adequately fund the aging infrastructure in our historic neighborhoods weakens the entire city.”

Emig’s previous service includes acting as Youth Exchange Officer for the Bloomington-Normal Sunrise Rotary Club, service on the Strategic Planning Committee for the YMCA, the Boards for the Ecology Action Center and BCAI School of Arts.  She graduated from the Multicultural Leadership Program in 2018 and completed a community service project on a door to door for the Bloomington Public Library.

Emig said she lives with her partner, Mary, in the White Place Historic District where the couple is raising their three-year-old daughter.

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