News Local/State

Urbana Alderwoman Marlin Plans Mayoral Run

Urbana Ward 7 Alderwoman Diane Marlin, who's announced her candidacy for mayor.

Urbana Ward 7 Alderwoman Diane Marlin, who's announced her candidacy for mayor. Della Perrone Photography

Urbana Alderwoman Diane Marlin says part of the reason she’s running for mayor next year is to adopt a positive tone, and dispel myths about the city.  Marlin says too many believe Urbana is anti-business, and are focused solely on the city’s fight over property tax exemptions with its two hospitals.

"People keep saying we're anti-business, and they kind of look down on Urbana, and they talk about property taxes," she said.  "But what they don’t talk about are the wonderful attributes of the community.  You know, we have great schools, we have wonderful parks, we’re a walkable, bikeable community, we’re very accessible to the university (U of I) and to other places. There are so many resources that don’t get much attention.”

Marlin admits the hospital exemptions are hitting Urbana’s finances hard as the city waits on a resolution from the Illinois Supreme Court. But she says the city needs to rely more on other revenue sources, and grow its tax base.

Marlin also wants Urbana needs to be ‘more welcoming’ to new business, and upgrade infrastrucuture, including the city streets.  She suggests Urbana may have to look for revenue sources beyond the local motor fuel tax for the backlog of street repairs.

"I want to become the city's biggest cheerleader," she said.  "I really think we need to adopt a positive tone, and promote the city, and dispel some of the misperceptions that I run into out there." 

Current Mayor Laurel Prussing says she'll decide in September if she plans to seek another term. If she does, the two would face one another in the February primary. The general election is April 4th.

Marlin was first elected to the city council in 2009.