, 2023-03-31 16:22:56,
Streator’s two longest sitting council members are vying for the mayor’s seat in the April 4 election.
Tara Bedei, who was appointed mayor in January 2022, is opposed by Brian Crouch, who has served on the council for nine years. Bedei has served on the council since September 2013.
Crouch is part owner of ABC Exteriors in Streator, which has been in business for two decades. In that capacity, he said he works with a budget on a daily basis and handles project management regularly.
Bedei, who has 23 years working in manufacturing, said she tries to give back to the community as much as possible by volunteering for several organizations and events. She cited winning the Maxine Wargo Volunteer of the Year in 2019 and chairing the 2018 Walldogs event that brought 200-plus artists to Streator to paint 17 murals were among her proudest moments.
What is your vision for the city? How will you go about bringing that vision to fruition?
My vision is simple – “Keep Streator a safe and affordable place to live and work.”
I believe in doing this by promoting the long-term economic viability of the city; supporting and enhancing our economic development initiatives, including the downtown revitalization; enhancing the city’s quality of life through improving safety, neighborhoods, and parks; engaging with our youth and young families; and attracting visitors and tourists through activities, events, festivals, and overall promotion of the community.
You have been on the city council for a significant time, how will your role change when you become mayor? Why is it important to you to have that role (in regard to your vision for the city)?
I have had a firsthand experience on this for the last year. Being the mayor is much more intensive in time and effort than being a council member. There are two big changes. First, as the mayor, you are the main liquor commissioner. I have learned a lot about this role and have worked with both our attorney and the Illinois Liquor Control Commission on various items. Second, the role requires a vision, strategy and leadership to set the tone of the council and to move us forward. For example, I created a plan for each month’s meeting agendas for this year to cover topics from our strategic plan. I also have been giving updates on that strategic plan at the monthly committee of the whole. I review what actions are being completed to achieve the goals, ranging from infrastructure to economic development.
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