Susan “Hofmeister” Woodruff, Candidate for Bloomington City Council, At Large, responded to our questions.
Bloomington is being advised that it needs more affordable housing and more housing for senior citizens. If you agree, what actions would you support to meet those needs?
The U.S. government regards housing costs at or below 30% of one's income to be affordable. Even in its most economically-challenged corridor of NE Bloomington, the Median Gross Rent is 20.2% of income. With access to jobs and availability to mass transit, perhaps our Planning Dept. should encourage the private sector to develop quality family-friendly affordable housing and related services closer to those jobs and transportation, much like it has done to help fill the need and desire for quality Senior Living.
Bloomington is a mature community that is essentially fully developed. What do you feel should be sustained, and what should be added/changed/redeveloped?
Bloomington has matured nicely. Our median age in the mid 40’s is a very enviable position for any community. We tend to be very stable, own and care for our homes, and put little strain on city services. We are also the ones that do the most volunteering in our community. There is a law that states “85% capacity is maximum efficiency of any organization, and when you try and grasp that additional 15%, you risk losing everything that got you there” There is wisdom in watching trends, and responding appropriately, however not to over react.
Should Bloomington gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 or ban cigarette sales to anyone under 21?
- There is a strong case to be made that an increase in the minimum wage actually has a negative effect on those it claims to help. Minimum wage is where you start your career and learn your job skills. As the cost gap between employee vs technology based workforces narrows, there is more incentive to eliminate those career starting jobs and replace them with automation. A prime example of this is with the fast food industry, where many get their first job skills. McDonalds will replace customer service staff with self-serve kiosks in over 1,000 locations by the end of 2017.
- Unless the age of tobacco sales is raised to 21 at the state level, local regulations will only drive those consumers to neighboring communities. While I am a non-smoker and would like to see our younger generation chose to be also, you cannot legislate morality. I would rather see efforts put into offering healthier alternatives, such as increased sports and rec. activities.
Provide your opinion on housing development on Hyland Greens
The Hyland Greens housing development idea, does not have the support of the residents in this neighborhood as witnessed by an overcapacity turn-out at the Public Hearing. Nor was it even a strong recommendation from the City Council-appointed Task Force chartered to study the situation. Bloomington has a long heritage of preserving our parks and green space. This is one of the reasons Bloomington is a desirable community to live in. By the city’s own statistics, this is not the corridor that is lacking in housing, nor is it likely to handle the increase in traffic, without a drastic decline in quality of life, and environmental impact.
What will you bring to the City Council if elected?
I am running for city council because it is time for a change down at city hall. I am a true citizen candidate with an obligation to the people of Bloomington only, win or lose. I have no allegiances, hidden agendas, or commitments except to you. I am a working class woman, a mother and grandmother with ties to Bloomington since birth. I can truthfully say that I am what I am. I will hear you, respect you and follow through for you if elected. Thank you.