FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
New Chauncey Neighborhood Political Action Committee Endorses John Polles for West Lafayette Mayor, and Steven Dietrich and Gerald Thomas for At-Large City Council.
West Lafayette, IN – Tuesday, November 1, 2011 – Community Homeowners and University Neighbors Committee PAC (CHAUNC-PAC) endorses challenger John Polles for West Lafayette Mayor and incumbents Steven Dietrich and Gerald Thomas for at-large city councilors.
Mr. Polles advocates a strong proactive role for the city in planning for development in the New Chauncey neighborhood. He cites the Wang Hall project on Northwestern Avenue as an example of the current city leadership’s failure to make planned development work for both neighborhood and developer; we agree. Many residents are open to development in and around the neighborhood, but seek an administration which more forcefully preserves, protects and enhances the owner-occupied residential character of New Chauncey.
Though it only emerged at the eleventh hour, one of the promising features of the Wang Hall process was the professionally mediated dialogue that emerged between the developer, Purdue Research Foundation, and the New Chauncey Neighborhood Association. Notably, this dialogue was instigated by the partners themselves, and not by the mayor or the city.
CHAUNC-PAC seeks a long-range vision for development and the fortification of institutions and relationships that serve to build a stronger neighborhood, such as the New Chauncey Housing Incorporated and an historic preservation commission. Without denying select accomplishments of the Dennis administration, we strongly assert that its passive and reactive approach to neighborhoods will neither stop nor reverse the trend away from owner occupancy in New Chauncey.
Mr. Dietrich and Mr. Thomas have records in favor of neighborhoods. Both candidates are in support of retaining strict parking ratios for new developments in and around New Chauncey. Additionally, Mr. Thomas views the recently approved Wang Hall project in the same way as CHAUNC-PAC: as a missed opportunity to plan comprehensively, strengthen relationships, and secure strong commitments from those who wish to profit from growth in our neighborhood.
CHAUNC-PAC solicited written responses from two candidates in the mayoral race and three candidates in the at-large city council race. It received responses from candidates Dennis, Polles, Thomas, and Dietrich. The endorsement committee considered both the responses and the public record in its deliberations.
Tom Mustillo, CHAUNC-PAC Chair