Candidates appeal to city council for vacant seat

The four candidates vying for the empty District 3 seat gave their statements to the Champaign City Council during its study session Tuesday. The seat had previously been held by Kyle Harrison, whose resignation took effect last Friday. The number of candidates anticipated to give statements dropped from five to four after Dustin Heuerman announced his withdrawal from the race in an email sent to the city. Only three of the four candidates — Lynn Anderson, Barbara Kenny-Langendorf and Tony Pomonis — gave statements to the council in person. The fourth candidate, Vic McIntosh, was unable to attend the study session due to a family vacation, so he left the council with a recorded statement.

Anderson was the first candidate to deliver her statement. She highlighted her experience with teaching diverse groups of people.

“I know I can meet the many challenges with my experience and knowledge,” she said. “I’ve worked with a very diverse group of people in education as well as in my volunteer opportunities over the many years I’ve lived in Champaign.”

Kenny-Langendorf was the next candidate to step forward. She said the experience she gained during her years as a business owner would be beneficial to the council.

“I’m a citizen. I’ve been here for 30 years. I’ve run a business for 17 years, successfully,” she said. “The last five years I’ve been hit hard since it was construction, so I know what it feels like to win and then to lose also. So I’ve been in a lot of

positions here.”

After Kenny-Langendorf’s statement, the council played McIntosh’s recorded statement. McIntosh drew attention to his years of public service and dedication to the City of Champaign.

“I have served on the Human Relations Commission for two years as vice-chair, two years as an at-large council member and eight years as a District 3 council member. Most recently, I served on your Stormwater Advisory Committee,” McIntosh said. “As a lifelong resident of the city, except for service in the United States Navy and Vietnam, I have never lost interest in the affairs of the city and remain dedicated to its service.”

Pomonis was the last candidate to approach the council. He underlined his experience in both the public sector and as a business owner in the private sector.

“Not only have I succeeded in the public sector by petitioning our local school districts to become financially transparent, I’ve succeeded in the private sector,” Pomonis said. “I know what it takes. I know the tension that you feel as a small business owner, to go to war every single day. … Three times in the last eight years I expanded my family’s business. On each occasion, I awarded employees the opportunities to become owners. I haven’t done this because of some altruistic goal or lofty ambition. I’ve done it because it makes sense to create opportunities. They symbolize investment in the future.”

The council make will make its final decision on June 19.