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Normal Council Hopeful Hopes Town Can Preserve History

Karyn Smith
Eric Stock
Karyn Smith says she's seeking a seat on the Normal Town Council to help ensure a safe and healthy future for her 18-year-old daughter who is developmentally disabled.

A Normal Town Council candidate said she supports the town's economic development efforts but is concerned about the town's recent decision to raze historic buildings in Uptown for the Trail East project.

Karyn Smith, an assistant professor at the lllinois State University College of Business, said when she collected signatures to get on the ballot, some residents expressed concern about the town losing historic buildings.

“The Town of Normal is handicapped in that it has a finite number of historic buildings in their Uptown space,” Smith said. “I think it is rather precious to hold on to those buildings whenever possible.”

She said she largely supports Normal's economic development efforts but added she wants to make sure the town doesn't go too far over budget.

“The Town of Normal has done a lot of things right. I just want to make sure that the ongoing development stays in a good trend,” Smith said.

She says economic incentives such as those given to Rivian and Brandt Industries should be done "cautiously," and not helping existing businesses at the same time can lead to resentment.

Smith noted she's seeking a seat on the Normal Town Council to help ensure a safe and healthy future for her 18-year-old daughter, who is developmentally disabled.

“She will be spending the rest of her life in this community and I want to make sure the future plans for the community at least consider the needs of her and her peers as they make their developmental plans for the future,” Smith said.

Smith is seeking one of three open seats on the council April 2. R.C. McBride and Kathleen Lorenz are seeking re-election. Jeff Fritzen is not. Other announced candidates include Stan Nord, Dave Shields, Joel Studebaker, and Pat Turner. McBride is also the general manager at GLT.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.