The two registered candidates for Bloomsburg Mayor shared their views on supporting business in the Town, flood protection, the relationship with Bloomsburg University, and other issues at a public forum held April 28th at Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. Incumbent Mayor Bill Kreisher and Council member Justin Hummel are both registered on the Democratic ticket for the May 18th primary election. The forum was co-sponsored by The Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Bloomsburg Inc (DBI).
Both candidates identified the need to generate additional revenue for Town operations. Kreisher cited flood protection as important to preserving property values and encouraging more people to live in the Town, while Hummel indicated that flood protection for the West end is not cost-effective. Instead, the Town should work to attract more events which would generate revenue from the amusement tax. He also noted that 68% of the property tax payers in Town pay less than $1,000 a year to Bloomsburg.
When asked about the priority issues for Bloomsburg, Kreisher cited a number of priorities outlined in the Blueprint for Bloomsburg comprehensive plan adopted in 2009 including updating zoning to encourage business growth, improving relations with the University, and being more visitor friendly. Hummel called for a new comprehensive vision that includes welcoming and encouraging more events and activities.
To encourage transparency and stakeholder engagement as well as municipalities up to date related to ordinances, zoning, and infrastructure, the Chamber and DBI developed a candidate pledge (link to attached) for all Council candidates. Kreisher has signed the pledge. While Hummel stated that while he supports the items within the pledge and feels the Town is already doing them he’s “not into signing arbitrary agreements.”
The audio recording of the forum is available at columbiamontourchamber.com/audio-video/.