The Public Square

The Urbana Mayoral contest is the focus of three Public Square commentaries submitted by advocates o

The Urbana Mayoral contest is the focus of three Public Square commentaries submitted by advocates of the three candidates: Nicole Roberts for Tod Satterthwaite

This is Nicole Roberts, a Democratic Precinct Committeewoman In Urbana, with a comment about tomorrow's Democratic Primary election in Urbana.

Mayor Tod Satterthwaite's campaign for re-election is being opposed two candidates.

Those of you who have read the campaign literature from those two campaigns, or who have listened to the candidate forums, will be aware that neither candidate is offering a distinct vision for the future of Urbana that varies from the one Mayor Satterthwaite has been implementing in his tenure as mayor. Thus, the only way Laurel Prussing's campaign can gain any traction is through smear tactics, and that is what her campaign has been attempting to do.

One claim of Prussing's supporters is that she is in some indefinable way more "progressive" than Mayor Satterthwaite. I am a "progressive" too, but ever since I learned the meaning of the term and recognized I was one, I have thought that being progressive was about ideas and strategies to move society forward. The people on the other side of this race seem to think "progressive" means to destroy the integrity of anyone who deviates in the tiniest bit from their own idea of the day.

Another claim of Mayor Satterthwaite's opponents is so far from the truth as to be laughable. They claim that Mayor Satterthwaite opposed the library expansion.

The history and facts show that claim to be silly. The mayor introduced a line item in the city budget in 1994 (that would be more than ten years ago) that set money aside for future expansion of the library. This is a fact.

The annual contribution to the library expansion fund ranged from $500,000 to $800,000 per year, once the city's expenses for City Hall renovation were paid. Before the library expansion even began the city had accumulated over $5 million dollars in its library expansion fund. This too is a fact.

The mayor worked with the Urbana Free Library Foundation to contact potential private donors to raise money for library expansion. Check out the Library Foundation's website list of donors. Tod and his parents Helen and Cameron Satterthwaite donated over $35,000 to the library fund. This too is a fact.

The mayor applied for grant funding from the State of Illinois resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars for library expansion. This too is a fact.

The mayor's opponents would have you believe that because he favored a different approach to dealing with cost overruns than the plan eventually adopted, that he opposed library expansion or in wilder versions, that he hates books or even that he hates the Urbana Free Library. These are obviously lies.

Once the decision was made to fund the cost overruns, Mayor Satterthwaite went to work to help raise the money to fund the additional costs. This too is a fact.

If you want a city government that turns every policy difference, no matter how minute, into a personality clash, then vote for one of Tod's challengers.

If you want a mayor who will work hard every day to continue making Urbana a better place to live and work, then reward Tod Satterthwaite with your vote tomorrow.

I want to continue Urbana's momentum in a positive direction and my vote tomorrow will go to Tod Satterthwaite. Please join me in voting for Urbana's future.