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InicioNewA look at your municipal ballot

A look at your municipal ballot

Municipal elections for Bloomington-Normal will be held on April 4, 2023. In Normal, elections will be held for three open trustee positions. In Bloomington, five seats on the city council are up for election in Wards 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8. Here is a brief look at the candidates that will be on your ballot.

Normal Town Council

Kathleen Lorenz

Lorenz is an incumbent seeking a third term on the Normal Town Council. She is currently employed as the Community Investment Director for United Way of McLean County. 

Lorenz is particularly engaged in issues surrounding debt reduction, public works and pensions. She supports growth opportunities for businesses as well as accessibility and compromise when it comes to interacting with Normal’s citizens. 

Karyn Smith

Smith is an incumbent seeking a second term on the Normal Town Council. She is a certified public accountant and certified financial planner as well as an educator at both Illinois State University and Olivet College. 

Smith is invested in advocating for programs and services for those with special needs and is actively involved in Normal’s Special Olympics.

Andy Byars

Byars currently serves on the Town of Normal Planning Commission.

Byars is employed as the director of Midwest Operations at Recall Strategies, a grassroots organization focused on renewable energy. He has repeatedly voiced support for the development of renewable energy infrastructure, especially wind energy. 

Stan Nord

Nord is an incumbent seeking a second term on the council. During his time on the town council, Nord has placed particular emphasis on curtailing overspending and decreasing inefficiency.

In the past, Nord worked in Chicago’s corporate environment as an information technology (IT) professional. He currently owns several local small businesses.

Marc Tiritilli

Former mayoral candidate Marc Tiritilli has historically focused on the importance of actively seeking public input on governmental proceedings. 

Tiritilli is an adjunct instructor in physics at Illinois Wesleyan University. 

Karl Sila

When Sila ran for Normal Town Council in 2021, he championed better representation of Normal’s residents by the council and better allocation of taxpayer funds.

Sila describes himself as a libertarian and free-thinker, which he believes will enable him to avoid partisanship if he was elected. Sila has previously served on the Normal Public Library Board, and currently works at ISU.

Bloomington City Council

Jenna L. Kearns, Ward 1

The election for Ward 1 will decide who will fill the last two years of former council member Jamie Mathy’s term. 

Kearns is a Senior Program Manager for Illinois JusticeCorps, an organization which trains volunteers to help those without lawyers navigate the legal system. She has been a member of the Illinois Bar Foundation since 2017. 

Donna Boelen, Ward 2

Boelen is an incumbent seeking a second term on the Bloomington City Council. Boelen’s campaign largely focuses on budgeting and financial planning. 

Boelen has been a resident of Ward 2 since 2011 and has been engaged with Bloomington’s city government since 2014. 

Steven Nalefski, Ward 4

Nalefski’s campaign rests on promises to champion fiscal responsibility as well as supporting law enforcement and public safety. Nalefski also voiced a desire to lower taxes for Bloomington residents.

Nalefski has lived in the same neighborhood, which has been incorporated into Ward 4, for the last 33 years. He currently serves on the Executive Committee for the Route 66 Association of Illinois. 

John Wyatt Danenberger, Ward 4

Danenberger previously served on the City of Bloomington’s Planning Commission. He has also adopted other leadership roles in the community. He plans to advocate for the city’s historic neighborhoods while maintaining a welcoming environment for those newly incorporated into Ward 4.

Danenberger currently works as in-house counsel for State Farm. Prior to this, he worked for the U.S. Army as a claims attorney. 

Cody Hendricks, Ward 6

Hendricks’s campaign rests on a commitment to providing equitable city services for Bloomington residents and developing downtown Bloomington to foster economic growth. 

Hendricks works as a history teacher in the Olympia School District. He served on the Pekin City Council for four years. He also contributed to committees in Bloomington dedicated to bettering the city. 

Jordan Baker, Ward 6

Baker was the Republican candidate for McClean County Board in District 8 in 2020. 

During his bid for the county board, Baker expressed support for local business owners. He also maintained that government intervention into people’s lives reduces their freedom and autonomy.  

Baker currently serves as a legislative aide to Republican state Sen. Jason Barickman. 

Kent Lee, Ward 8

Lee’s campaign emphasizes the importance of strengthening the economy in order to foster economic opportunity. Lee has also highlighted the importance of safety and infrastructure in the community. 

Lee has been a resident of Bloomington’s Ward 8 since 2009 and currently works as an analyst at State Farm.

ISABEL BRAICO is a News and Features Reporter for The Vidette. Braico can be contacted at icbraic@ilstu.edu. Follow Braico on Twitter at @IsabelBraico  

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