Springfield Ward 5 Answers

Mar 27, 2019

A group of Southeast High School students participated in Illnois Public Media’s Civics Youth Engagement Summit in March. They came up with ten questions to ask.

Illinois Public Media emailed questionnaires to the candidates for city council.

Below are the submitted responses from Ward 5 Ald. Andrew Proctor. Candidates Lakeisha Purchase and Sam Cahnman did not submit answers.

This post may be updated.

What are you going to do to bring more businesses to the East Side?

Proctor: Now that CWLP is on better financial footing the city should leverage that asset to its maximum potential by providing electric rate incentives to new businesses that come to Springfield with good paying jobs. Manufacturing companies utilize large amounts of electricity and if the city can lower their costs to operate in our area, that would help attract them to our city and grow jobs. As alderman I supported the city utilizing sales tax rebates to businesses relocating to Springfield which has helped reduce development costs and I think this practice should continue and expanded as it has proven to work and new jobs have been created. I also supported re-authorizing the Far East Side TIF District to provide incentives for businesses to locate and expand in the East Side.

What are you going to do for the East and North sides of cities?

Proctor: I would like to continue moving forward with the city's land bank that is in the technical process of being developed to revitalize many of the vacant/abandoned structures and vacant lots. I would also like to continue community involvement on the future of the Benedictine University campus to make sure it is revitalized and actively used for a purpose that fits the neighborhood.

How would you try and unite the residents of Springfield?

Proctor: Change starts within. When we can start having a more positive outlook ourselves on our community then unity can take place. Looking forward with vision of what we want to see as well as setting realistic goals we can unite and move forward. I intent to do this continuing to focus on the positive and sharing hope for future generations in our community.

What are your plans for the downtown area?

Proctor: I would like to see the city finish developing and implementing an adaptive reuse policy for the renovations of older structures in Downtown Springfield. Lowering the costs to rehabilitate the older buildings by implementing an adaptive reuse policy that lowers the costs associated with regulatory burdens while still maintaining safety, will encourage development and business and residential expansion in Downtown.

Will you create more space for UIS to expand?

Proctor: Yes, because I am very much in favor of UIS locating in Downtown Springfield. I am currently working with the chancellor and the school administration on trying to make that happen.

How can we get more people to move here and into our schools?

Proctor: The number one thing we can do is improve the quality of life in Springfield and create opportunities for job creation in Springfield. If people have good paying jobs and enjoy where they live they will stay and most likely their children will stay when they are older.

How are you going to make more people care about city council?

Proctor: The best way as alderman for me to help more people care about city council is to continue to be pro-active at sharing what is going on at city council on a regular basis. I do this by making regular posts to my Facebook page on issues coming before city council and/or items we have acted upon. I am also a regular attendee to neighborhood association meetings, city events, and public gathers where I regularly discuss city items and take questions.

Do you think there is too much video gambling in Springfield? If so, what would you do to protect people from it?

Proctor: I do believe we have hit a point in Springfield were any expansion of video gaming needs to be done with caution and balance the need for further expansion on how it matches the business requesting it. Video gaming provides approximately $1.5 million a year in revenue to fix our streets, sidewalks, and alleys which is import for Ward 5. In Springfield you can not have video gaming terminal if you don’t have a liquor license. Anytime I approve a liquor license I check to make sure whether or not the owners have plans for video gaming and if so, is it a good fit for the surrounding neighborhood. If there is opposition from the neighborhood I weigh that heavily on my decision on whether or not to support the liquor license.

Do you think there is too much video gambling in Springfield? If so, what would you do to protect people from it?

Proctor: As alderman for the past 4 years I have included young people in government by bringing them to city council sessions, attending scout meetings to talk about local government, and have had them involved in my campaign by writing speeches and researching policy.