Chris Koos’s Vision for Normal
Chris has been in office a long time, and his experience is just what Normal needs right now. Chris knows the community and understands local government. Chris has the leadership and expertise to lead Normal through the pandemic and begin the long road to economic recovery, stability and growth. With Chris at City Hall, Normalites can rest easy knowing that we will come out on the other side of this uncertain time stronger.
Chris’s vision for Normal in 2021 and beyond includes:
Public services such as maintaining roads, regularly picking up garbage/recycling/bulk waste, providing clean water, clearing snow and ice, and keeping our community safe with fire and police protection are Chris’s top priority day-to-day.
As your mayor, Chris’s responsibility is to safeguard these essential services.
Our community cannot enjoy new developments and improvements unless essential services are both funded and provided.
Normal is a town with strong and conservative financial discipline. It is why the Town holds a coveted AAA credit rating — a title few other municipalities can claim.
When we severely cut tax revenue, people lose essential public services.
We have long known our community is a Midwest oasis, but people all around the country are beginning to discover what we have known all along: Normal, Illinois is anything but average. Our town possesses strong educational options from elementary school through college, affordable housing for renters and owners, and access to transportation through several interstates and eight trains a day at our Amtrak station. These community attributes attract new residents and new businesses, and it is Chris’s continued goal to capitalize on these assets to continue growing and developing our town.
Normal is in an exciting position right now to capitalize on financial opportunities made possible by Rivian, the new electric vehicle manufacturing company located in the former Mitsubishi plant. When Rivian entered the local discussion years ago, Chris saw great potential. And years later, its potential is being realized. With a single automotive plant like Rivian, Normal has an opportunity to attract tertiary automotive suppliers—businesses which will also supplement our local economy. According to the Center for Automotive Research, for every one job created by automotive manufacturing, another nine jobs are generated within the community. In the long run, by attracting new businesses and supporting job growth in Normal, we can build the tax revenue base and lessen the stress on ordinary taxpayers.
Normal is the envy of the Midwest because of successes like the redevelopment of Uptown, investments of businesses like Rivian, reliable transportation, quality education, and so much more. We still have work to do, and Chris know our community can achieve more progress as we look ahead to Uptown 2.0 and expanding the Smart Cities initiative championing our environment. Chris is excited to hear your vision for Normal, too, and how we can work together.
Even though we’re all very weary of the COVID times we live in, our world, our nation, and our community are experiencing high uncertainty. In the midst of the global pandemic, millions have lost their jobs. Hundreds of thousands have lost their lives. And countless others have been affected in major, impactful ways. Our town and our town’s budget will inevitably suffer as well. Even with the vaccine rollout taking place, the all-important question still lingers in all our minds: when do we return to Normal? Perhaps even more importantly: how?
Chris’s main priority as mayor is to look out for the health and well-being of constituents like you—his neighbors. Next, we need to be extremely fiscally conscientious as we consider trimming the town’s budget. Chris is personally committed to freezing his salary if re-elected, so that on May 1, 2021 Normal taxpayers need not spare even one additional penny contributing to his salary. Instead, that money will be allocated to more pressing needs to better serve the people of Normal.
Chris also understands the stress of owning and operating a small business which is currently heightened because of COVID-19. That is why at the very beginning of the pandemic, one of his primary concerns was assembling the “Mayor’s Task Force on COVID-19.”
He wanted to ensure that small business owners and employees were represented in the (virtual) rooms where decisions were being made about community coronavirus restrictions. Chris focused on keeping open lines of communication between municipal government, workers, businesses, and constituents to learn more about the sorts of new town ordinances that could benefit these individuals directly. These conversations prompted Chris to sign off on relaxed ordinances so local restaurants could convert outdoor spaces to dining spaces. These conversations also yielded the sorts of decisions implemented to keep students and faculty at Illinois State University safe as the positivity rate spiked in their first semester back on campus.
Community-wide sustainability is a vision of Normal as a community that stewards all resources responsibly so our town will continue to thrive and grow for generations.
The critical components of sustainability include: social progress, economic vitality and environmental stewardship. Sustainably goes way beyond merely green initiatives.
Chris cares deeply about our planet. We only have one shot at cleaning up our act and preserving our environment so future generations can not only survive, but thrive.
During his tenure as mayor, Chris has taken steps to ensure Normal is headed down the right path toward environmentalism. Under his supervision, Normal participated in the Smart Cities Initiative. Our town became the first in the Midwest to get a Tesla charging station. Through his support of and the town’s partnership with Rivian, he strongly encourages the production and use of electric vehicles. In fact, Chris drives an electric vehicle daily in an effort to decrease his own carbon footprint.
As mayor, Chris works alongside the Town of Normal Sustainability Task Force and more than 100 community partners to champion the many projects necessary to promote and foster a healthy future for residents. Their work is not to be achieved individually, but to be embraced collectively as an investment in our future. And our future depends on community-wide sustainability.
Transparency among elected officials is something Chris takes very seriously. Chris decided decades ago, when he began his career as a public servant, he would make himself available to residents as much as possible.
Chris prioritizes responding to emails, missed calls, and mail as a key part of day-to-day duties. He intentionally sets aside time on sunny afternoons to walk around Uptown near his office to engage with the citizens of Normal. Chris knows being mayor in a town as close-knit as Normal means building close relationships with the people of Normal.
We are all collectively better prepared in times of uncertainty when we have access to timely and accurate information. Every day, Chris works to provide the clearest and most pertinent information so we can come together as neighbors to successfully face our challenges and pursue our opportunities, including fighting this pandemic—socially distanced, of course.