Candidate Surveys on Transportation

Transportation is a key topic that our elected officials have to deal with. A huge chunk of any municipal budget is devoted to streets and infrastructure, and rightfully so; if the city wouldn’t pave the street to your house or workplace, who would?

We think it’s important for voters to understand where candidates for local office stand on transportation issues, so we partnered with the League of Women Voters of McLean County to conduct a survey of everyone running for Bloomington and Normal Council and Mayor’s offices. Bike BloNo did the same thing two years ago, with great results; we felt pretty good about the response rate, and after we assigned letter grades based on the candidates’ responses, everyone we rated ‘A’ ended up being elected.

Just to be clear – we grade candidates solely on their responses to the survey. We aren’t endorsing anyone; we’re just making it easier for busy people to browse the candidates’ perspectives on transportation issues. This year, we had a team of independent reviewers read anonymized versions of each candidate’s responses and grade based on the survey alone (not taking into account the candidate’s opinions on any other issues). You can consider the letter grades an indication of how closely the candidate’s perspective on transportation issues aligns with the best interests of people who get around outside a car.

We were thrilled to learn that the League of Women Voters of McLean County agreed with us that it’s important to educate the public about candidates’ views on transportation issues. Their goal is to promote the education of voters, and they seek every avenue for the voter to learn about candidates running for office. This survey is an opportunity to do just that. While happily co-sponsoring this survey, the League had no involvement in the assignment of grades; that was solely on Bike BloNo’s side of things.

Who didn’t respond

While seventeen of the 23 candidates for Bloomington and Normal Mayoral and Council races did choose to respond, six didn’t.

Ian Bayne and Kevin Lower, both running for Mayor of Bloomington, chose not to respond. Lower, the current Alderman for Ward 1, voted against the Complete Streets ordinance and frequently comments about how he thinks the push for street safety is a socialist agenda. From his Facebook page:

This is the socalistic agenda being pushed upon Bloomington by those who believe in ” New Urbanism ” . This is the ideology of government control of all facilities of local society.

Fact not fictional opinion.

Mr. Bayne seems to also hold a negative perspective on sustainable transportation. From the “Issues” page on his campaign website:

When the city spends too much money, your taxes go up.

It’s really that simple.

Bike paths, expensive sidewalks, renovations to government buildings no one uses. These things have been a priority with the current mayor and city council.

Susan Feldkamp, a candidate for Ward 1 Alderman, also chose not to respond. We were unable to find any written statements one way or another on transportation issues, other than a vague pledge to fix the streets.

The final two Bloomington candidates not to respond were Gary Lambert and Bob Clay, both running for Ward 3 Alderman. Neither have made written public statements on Complete Streets, to the best of our knowledge – though Lambert is a frequent speaker during the Public Comment period at City Council meetings and we did not have time to review all of the footage to see if he has spoken on this issue.

The only candidate in Normal who chose not to respond was Ronald Ulmer. Like many of the others, we didn’t find any public statements from this candidate with regard to transportation issues.

The candidates

For each candidate below, we’ve linked their survey responses (if they chose to respond). We strongly encourage you to read through the actual responses for each candidate on your ballot. The Bloomington Mayoral primary will occur on February 28, 2017, after which the field of candidates will be narrowed to two. All of the other races (and the vote on the two remaining Bloomington Mayoral candidates) will occur April 4, 2017. If you’re not sure which ward you live in, you can check this map of Bloomington wards.

Ian Bayne, candidate for Mayor of Bloomington, did not respond to the survey.

Ian Bayne, candidate for Mayor of Bloomington, did not respond to the survey.

Tari Renner, candidate for Mayor of Bloomington, received an "A" rating on the survey.

Tari Renner, candidate for Mayor of Bloomington, received an “A” rating on the survey. You can read his full survey here.

Robert Fike, candidate for Mayor of Bloomington, received a "C" rating on the survey.

Robert Fike, candidate for Mayor of Bloomington, received a “C” rating on the survey. You can read his full survey here.

Kevin Lower, candidate for Mayor of Bloomington, did not respond to the survey.

Kevin Lower, candidate for Mayor of Bloomington, did not respond to the survey.
 

Diana Hauman, candidate for Mayor of Bloomington, received an "A" rating on the survey.

Diana Hauman, candidate for Mayor of Bloomington, received an “A” rating on the survey. You can read her full survey here.


Jamie Mathy, candidate for Ward 1 in Bloomington, received a "B" rating on the survey.

Jamie Mathy, candidate for Ward 1 in Bloomington, received a “B” rating on the survey. You can read his full survey here.

Susan Feldkamp, candidate for Ward 1 in Bloomington, did not respond to the survey.

Susan Feldkamp, candidate for Ward 1 in Bloomington, did not respond to the survey.


Gary Lambert, candidate for Ward 3 in Bloomington, did not respond to the survey.

Gary Lambert, candidate for Ward 3 in Bloomington, did not respond to the survey.

Mboka Mwilambwe, candidate for Ward 3 in Bloomington, received an "A" rating on the survey.

Mboka Mwilambwe, candidate for Ward 3 in Bloomington, received an “A” rating on the survey. You can read his full survey here.

Bob Clay, candidate for Ward 3 in Bloomington, did not respond to the survey.

Bob Clay, candidate for Ward 3 in Bloomington, did not respond to the survey.

J Balmer, candidate for Ward 3 in Bloomington, received an "A" rating on the survey.

J Balmer, candidate for Ward 3 in Bloomington, received an “A” rating on the survey. You can read his full survey here.


Lupe Diaz, candidate for Ward 5 in Bloomington, received a "B" rating on the survey.

Lupe Diaz, candidate for Ward 5 in Bloomington, received a “B” rating on the survey. You can read his full survey here.

Joni Painter, candidate for Ward 5 in Bloomington, received an "A" rating on the survey.

Joni Painter, candidate for Ward 5 in Bloomington, received an “A” rating on the survey. You can read her full survey here.


Scott Black, candidate for Ward 7 in Bloomington, received an "A" rating on the survey.

Scott Black, candidate for Ward 7 in Bloomington, received an “A” rating on the survey. You can read his full survey here.


Kimberly Bray, candidate for Ward 9 in Bloomington, received an "A" rating on the survey.

Kimberly Bray, candidate for Ward 9 in Bloomington, received an “A” rating on the survey. You can read her full survey here.

Greg Rodriguez, candidate for Ward 9 in Bloomington, received a "D" rating on the survey.

Greg Rodriguez, candidate for Ward 9 in Bloomington, received a “D” rating on the survey. You can read his full survey here.

Sheheryar Muftee, candidate for Ward 9 in Bloomington, received an "F" rating on the survey.

Sheheryar Muftee, candidate for Ward 9 in Bloomington, received an “F” rating on the survey. You can read his full survey here.


Marc Tiritilli, candidate for Mayor of Normal, received a "C" rating on the survey.

Marc Tiritilli, candidate for Mayor of Normal, received a “C” rating on the survey. You can read his full survey here.

Christopher Koos, candidate for Mayor of Normal, received an "A" rating on the survey.

Christopher Koos, candidate for Mayor of Normal, received an “A” rating on the survey. You can read his full survey here.


Ronald Ulmer, candidate for Normal Town Council, did not respond to the survey.

Ronald Ulmer, candidate for Normal Town Council, did not respond to the survey.

Scott Preston, candidate for Normal Town Council, received an "A" rating on the survey.

Scott Preston, candidate for Normal Town Council, received an “A” rating on the survey. You can read his full survey here.

Chemberly Cummings, candidate for Normal Town Council, received a "B" rating on the survey.

Chemberly Cummings, candidate for Normal Town Council, received a “B” rating on the survey. You can read her full survey here.

Kevin McCarthy, candidate for Normal Town Council, received an "A" rating on the survey.

Kevin McCarthy, candidate for Normal Town Council, received an “A” rating on the survey. You can read his full survey here.

Candidates’ Survey – Kathleen Lorenz

WGLT’s Good to Go initiative partnered with Bike BloNo to create a Candidates’ Survey to inform voters on the candidates’ positions on bike policy. WGLT wrote the questions and Bike BloNo created a rubric to grade each of the candidates; that rubric is published here. Neither organization endorses any individual candidate.


Based on her survey response, Bike BloNo gives Kathleen Lorenz an “A” on bike issues.


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Candidates’ Survey – Jeffrey Fritzen

WGLT’s Good to Go initiative partnered with Bike BloNo to create a Candidates’ Survey to inform voters on the candidates’ positions on bike policy. WGLT wrote the questions and Bike BloNo created a rubric to grade each of the candidates; that rubric is published here. Neither organization endorses any individual candidate.


Based on his survey response, Bike BloNo gives Jeffrey Fritzen a “B” on bike issues.


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Candidates’ Survey – Diana DeSio Hauman

WGLT’s Good to Go initiative partnered with Bike BloNo to create a Candidates’ Survey to inform voters on the candidates’ positions on bike policy. WGLT wrote the questions and Bike BloNo created a rubric to grade each of the candidates; that rubric is published here. Neither organization endorses any individual candidate.


Based on her survey response, Bike BloNo gives Diana DeSio Hauman a “B” on bike issues.


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Bloomington/Normal Council Candidate Surveys

A photo of Kim Alcorn wearing a Bike BloNo t-shirt and holding an "I voted" sticker.

Kim Alcorn voted early and shared this picture to demonstrate that people who bike, vote.

Right or wrong, I’m feeling a sense of accomplishment after looking over the latest batch of candidate surveys. Bike BloNo, in cooperation with GLT’s Good To Go sustainable transportation initiative, sent questionnaires to all Bloomington and Normal council candidates. All of the candidates who responded – a majority of those in contested races – are being rated as “bike friendly.” All of the candidates received a “B” or higher! I’d like to think Bike BloNo’s efforts at raising the profile of bikes as transportation has helped to build awareness of some of the issues raised in our questionnaire and that we’re helping to inform the candidates that some of their constituents are bicyclists who care deeply about the safety of everybody using our community’s streets.

We received responses from all of the candidates in contested races except for Bloomington Ward 5 candidate Lupe Diaz and Ward 8 candidate Alton Franklin. They received an “incomplete.” Their opponents took the time to respond and scored favorably. We also didn’t get a response from Ward 2 alderman David Sage, who is running unopposed. He previously voted in favor of creating the bicycle master plan that will soon be considered by the city council. Thanks to all of the candidates who responded.

Mike McCurdy
President, Bike BloNo
Director, Good To Go


 

Bloomington

Not sure which ward you live in? Here’s a map.

Normal

Candidates’ Survey – Joni Painter

WGLT’s Good to Go initiative partnered with Bike BloNo to create a Candidates’ Survey to inform voters on the candidates’ positions on bike policy. WGLT wrote the questions and Bike BloNo created a rubric to grade each of the candidates; that rubric is published here. Neither organization endorses any individual candidate.


Based on her survey response, Bike BloNo gives Joni Painter an “A” on bike issues.


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Candidates’ Survey – R. C. McBride

WGLT’s Good to Go initiative partnered with Bike BloNo to create a Candidates’ Survey to inform voters on the candidates’ positions on bike policy. WGLT wrote the questions and Bike BloNo created a rubric to grade each of the candidates; that rubric is published here. Neither organization endorses any individual candidate.


Based on his survey response, Bike BloNo gives R. C. McBride an “A” on bike issues.


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Candidates’ Survey – Chuck Scott

WGLT’s Good to Go initiative partnered with Bike BloNo to create a Candidates’ Survey to inform voters on the candidates’ positions on bike policy. WGLT wrote the questions and Bike BloNo created a rubric to grade each of the candidates; that rubric is published here. Neither organization endorses any individual candidate.


Based on his survey response, Bike BloNo gives Chuck Scott a “B” on bike issues.


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Candidates’ Survey – Karen Schmidt

WGLT’s Good to Go initiative partnered with Bike BloNo to create a Candidates’ Survey to inform voters on the candidates’ positions on bike policy. WGLT wrote the questions and Bike BloNo created a rubric to grade each of the candidates; that rubric is published here. Neither organization endorses any individual candidate.


Based on her survey response, Bike BloNo gives Karen Schmidt an “A” on bike issues.


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Bloomington Ward 4 Candidate Surveys

I’m grateful to the candidates who took the time to complete and return our GLT-Good To Go/Bike BloNo candidate survey.  I think Ward 4 candidates Amelia Buragas and Jeremy Kelley are both bike friendly and I believe our organization could work with either of the candidates to make our community more bike friendly. However, as you’ll see, one candidate scored slightly better than the other.  I’d also like to express my disappointment that more candidates did not complete and return the survey. Those candidates have been graded with an “incomplete.”

Mike McCurdy
President, Bike BloNo
Director, Good To Go