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Wednesday, March 14, 2007 09:53 pm

Davlin vs. Strom

A weekly look at where Springfield’s two leading mayoral candidates stand — or don’t stand — on the issues

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Mayor Tim Davlin
Untitled Document On a little bit of everything . . . From NIMBY mentality to racism to open government to the proposed Hunter Lake to the future of the city’s smoke-free ordinance and back to race relations, Ward 10 Ald. Bruce Strom and Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin parried and jousted Monday in the first of debate of this year’s mayoral campaign. At least two more debates are planned before the municipal elections to be held on April 17. Here are highlights:
Tim Davlin Minority report — Admits that increasing the number of people of color in the Springfield police and fire departments has been a challenge and credits Dr. Chris Miller, hired by the city to boost those numbers, with “making great strides.” For nontested positions, he puts the number of minorities he’s hired at 14.7 percent — but, citing unspecified legal reasons, the mayor says he can’t provide those individuals’ names. Potpourri — The mayor defended disbanding the Springfield race-relations task force, saying that its function was moved into the city’s Office of Community Relations, thereby combining two commissions into one. He says that a decision about the construction of a     second lake won’t be made with the current City Council but should come soon. Responding to questions about urban sprawl on the city’s west side, Davlin says there isn’t much room left for expansion to the north, south, or east but also says he won’t tell developers where they can and can’t build. 

Bruce Strom Cinderella story? — Sporting what appears to be a new haircut, Strom seems more relaxed, more self-assured, than he did at the start of his bid for mayor in January. Perhaps he’s realized, in the tradition of March Madness, as the underdog challenger, that all of the pressure is on the incumbent, Davlin. Ald. Stormed — Strom repeatedly raises the issue of nonstop controversy in the Springfield Police Department, calling the situation a “lightning rod.” He goes on to note that Ward 2 Ald. Frank McNeil, usually a Davlin ally on the City Council, recently raised questions about minority participation in the construction of city’s new power plant. And Strom    questions Davlin’s trustworthiness.
Citizens decide elections. For this reason, from now until Election Day, we will let candidates explain in their own words where they stand on issues that matter to you. Let us know your issues. Contact R.L. Nave at rnave@illinoistimes.com
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