Five aim to unseat Carbondale councilmen - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Five aim to unseat Carbondale councilmen

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CARBONDALE, Ill. -- In April 2019, the City of Carbondale will have three seats up for re-election on its city council. Eight people are running, hoping to fill those seats. News 3 talked with the candidates, currently not on the council, hoping to be elected in 2019. 

Adam Loos, Tom Grant, and Navreet Kang are all up for re-election. All three hope to have another four-year term on council, but they have competition from five other people. 

Ted Gutierrez is hoping to fill one of the seats. Gutierrez says he's running because he feels like Carbondale isn't highlighting its strengths as well as it could, and hopes to change that. He also believes taxes are pushing people out of the community. 

"We overtax our citizens and I think that is ridiculous. I definitely want to pay my fair share of taxes and provide for those who need the assistance but to be overtaxed, I think it's just not common sense," said Gutierrez. 

Mark Chalem agrees taxes are too high and says the city is "uncreative" in finding new ways to generate revenue. Chalem says if Carbondale seeks to grow, they need to start by working to retain graduates of SIU. 

"One of the ways that you do that is by offering jobs, and so in that regard, you have to help the local businesses grow and you have to attract new businesses," said Chalem. 

Lee Fronabarger, a former councilman, hopes to once again sit at the table and further the re-development of the downtown area. He also wants to work to increase jobs in the city. 

"We need to expand job opportunities. When you have a growing community with new jobs, it creates a healthy community all around," said Fronabarger. 

Jerrold Hennrich is the Human Relations Commission chair, and back in September, the mayor attempted to fire him. Hennrich says he had every intention of running for council, but that encounter solidified his determination. If elected, he wants to help SIU increase enrollment and give citizens the access to city government he believes they deserve. 

"It's easy, if you're controlling the agenda, to make everything look a certain way but if the citizens have the ability to force their council to vote on issues, then they can't hide behind discussion items and they have to be forced to make decisions and actually be responsive to the needs of the people," said Hennrich. 

Hennrich filed an objection against Greg Knoob's nominating petition. Knoob couldn't be reached for comment. He's a Carbondale bar owner who sued the city in 2009 claiming unfair treatment of his businesses. 

The Carbondale City Clerk says none of the candidates are officially on the ballot yet, because ballots aren't certified until the end of December.

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