Mayor Mike Inman visits SGA to hold an open forum

Marc Ramirez, News editor

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Mayor Mike Inman joined the members of the Student Government Association Tuesday evening to field an open discussion and show community support for Western Illinois University.

Inman opened up the floor by discussing Macomb’s annual Town and Gown event where members of the Macomb community typically gather to discuss accomplishments that have taken place over the past year. Inman described the 12th annual event as a success with around 180 people in attendance at The Macomb Dining Company; however, there was more than just celebrating happening on Nov. 15. Western also announced the cut of $5 million.

According to a letter written by President Jack Thomasaddressed to the University Community, the $5 million expenditure reduction was made to address immediate needs. It was also announced that the University’s FY20 annual budget would be cut by $21 million.

Among other discussion Mayor Inman opened the floor for questions from Senators in the room about things ranging from the development of downtown Macomb to gaining help from students to help run the next census.

After being asked about downtown development, Inman brought up that Kristin Terry, Downtown Development Director was working to hopefully revamp the old Hardee’s location and creating a new franchise which they have not yet publicly announced. Vice President of the Student Government Association Madison Lynn brought up that the Mayor’s Roundtable would be meeting at the Go West Transit facility located at 701E Pierce Street. With this being brought up discussion consisted of how Go West gets its funding from student fees and grants from the state in addition grants by the federal government.  This is a prime example of rural mass transit. Inman also discussed that Go West will be receiving new busses that would be more fuel efficient and won’t be as harmful to the roads with starting and stopping as people get on or off.

Enrollment and the worries of it declining affecting local sales as much as anticipated was also discussed and Inman said it won’t be as significant as everyone feels. It’s not a good thing that enrollment is on a steady decline, but it won’t be detrimental to the surrounding community.

To help combat this, it is also a thought that that bringing wind farms north of Macomb would help generate revenue surrounding the University community. This is also a factor in attracting new businesses to settle in Macomb.

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