Saturday, February 19, 2005

Musgrave for City Council
Hopefully I won't be history Tuesday after the city primary, so I need your vote. That is, if you live in Marion, Illinois.

I'm running to fill the remaining two years of the four-year term that had belonged to the late Jimmy Stewart who died last spring. The council got to appoint a commissioner to fill in the vacancy until the next election. Now we're here and it's the voters' turn.

Today's Marion Daily Republican has their candidate profile on me online. It's headlined, "Musgrave says more planning is needed in city."

Basically I call for a full-time city planner position to help Marion both deal with the existing growth and prepare for future expansion. Any city that's considering a special census to count its rapid population growth ought to be planning and preparing ways to deal with it.

For the most part Marion isn't. We've never had to deal with it before, but if Marion is growing as fast as the Census Bureau thinks and we keep up the rate of growth then the city would double in population by 2058, or in 53 years. No reason to hurry.

However, if Marion is growing as fast as the general consensus thinks it is, then Marion could double in population as early as 2023, or just 18 years. We're already experiencing growing pains at 16,025 people (as counted in 2000), what will it be like when we are 32,000-plus residents?

There's too much unemployment in the region to say Marion ought just to slow down. There are only a few hot areas in Southern Illinois and the highway system pretty well designates what those areas will be.

The polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday and close at 7 p.m.