Recent Issue of “Urbana Reporter”

Posted 06 August 2006

Recently, an edition of the intermittently published and freely distributed tabloid, the “Urbana Reporter” appeared at various Urbana locations. Although ostensibly published to promote Urbana, it instead unwittingly parodies Urbana incompetence and racism.

One article, which interviews Urbana’s Community Development Department director, states “The City has worked … to reduce the number of Section 8 tenants at Sunnycrest II apartments from 40% to no more than 25%.” Why would the city want this, except to discriminate against minorities? Also, section 8 tenants, with rents partially government guaranteed, should provide a reliable income stream to enable the owners to maintain Sunnycrest II. Urbana’s City Code clearly prohibits housing discrimination based on source of income.

The article continues: “… we should see Menards and other stores open on route 130.” But why has Champaign-Savoy had Menards and other stores in both centralized and neighborhood shopping areas for two decades, while in Urbana such conveniences remain aspirations?

The answer lies in a second article, which interviews Urbana’s Chief Administrative Office (CAO) about his 25 years as an Urbana department head and CAO. Although unmentioned, these 25 years nearly perfectly corresponds with (a) Urbana’s gross stagnation, compared to Champaign-Savoy, in retail and other service growth that could attract families and (b)public relations mismanagement and numerous policy fiascos that have made “bozo” and Urbana almost synonymous.

Habitat For Humanity’s board recently terminated its executive director. If several of Habitat’s board members ran for Urbana’s City Council, Urbana would have a council capable of replacing executive leadership when needed.

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