Belleville mayoral candidates, take note: Residents have strong opinions about the big issues of this race. Our reporter spoke with 50 residents about the three-way contest for the top job. That's not a scientific sample; however, their answers suggest that this election will have less to do with candidates' personalities and more to do with their vision for the city.
The people we interviewed are concerned about broad topics like crime and city spending priorities, but also close-to-home issues like potholes and sidewalks.
Residents don't want just promises from candidates but also how they would pay for their ideas in challenging economic times. The state has cut back on the money it sends to cities, and is often months behind with payments.
It's encouraging to see the high level of interest in issues; now the candidates have seven weeks to lay out their ideas and plans.
Belleville will benefit if the heightened interest translates into a high turnout on April 9.