Normal Town Council member Jeff Fritzen said Monday he won't run for another term.
After 32 years on the council with a four-year break in the middle, Fritzen said it is time to look for other ways to serve the community. Fritzen says the joy of the council has been working with people.
"We have a great town, a great citizenry that is engaged to probably a greater level than many communities have. Our administrative staff over the years has been wonderful, very professional. I have learned so much from them over the years and, of course, from my colleagues from the elected body," said Fritzen.
Fritzen said he is proud to have been involved in so much change for the Town of Normal, from the Ironwood upper end development and golf course, to Champion Fields at Maxwell Park, the Constitution Trail, and the Fairview Aquatic Center.
"Early on when I was first on the council the Mitsubishi-Chrysler endeavor of Diamond Star Motors came and man, my head was spinning. I was new to everything and here comes the biggest economic development project in the history of the county," Fritzen said.
Fritzen said he is not done with public service, but will take a break and look around for other opportunities. He said he wrestled with the choice whether to run for another term, but decided his heart was just not in it enough for him to focus and do the job that needs to be done for another four years.
Fritzen once ran for mayor against Mayor Chris Koos and lost. Fritzen initially opposed Uptown redevelopment plans, but later voted for many of the initiatives after public debate and planning changed his opinion.
"He has been stalwart in supporting the community and what's best for the community," said Koos.
Koos said he will miss Fritzen's valuable voice on council. Koos said Fritzen offered counterpoint that was thoughtful and reasonable on the occasions when he disagreed with an initiative.
"He never let that opposition get in the way of considering what would be best for the town of Normal and moving forward," said Koos.
Former Mayor Paul Harmon said Fritzen was a voice of moderation on the council and when he spoke on an issue, people tended to listen carefully. Harmon said when Fritzen commented on problems, he came up with a positive solution.
"When I became mayor he came forward and said we really needed an ISU Student-Town Liaison committee, because we were having problems with parties which were disruptive to the community. He felt by having students involved we could work on problems in a positive manner," said Harmon.
Fritzen's departure will leave one of three seats up in next year's municipal elections with no incumbent.
WGLT depends on financial support from users to bring you stories and interviews like this one. As someone who values experienced, knowledgeable, and award-winning journalists covering meaningful stories in central Illinois, please consider making a contribution.