Dem candidates for Bloomington mayor talk economic development with head of Cook Group

At a Wednesday morning forum, the three candidates for the Democratic Party’s nomination for Bloomington mayor talked with Cook Group president Pete Yonkman about the job of mayor, jobs in general, and economic development.

The forum was hosted by the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation at the Monroe Convention Center.

Seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for mayor of Bloomington are: Don Griffin, Susan Sandberg and Kerry Thomson. No Republican has declared a candidacy for mayor this year.

Not much new was revealed about where candidates stand on various policy issues. But the forum was more conversational in character than previous events, even if not exactly a free-for-all.

Yonkman asked all three candidates to tell him the headline of the news story about their first big economic development success.

Kerry Thomson:

Oh, I think that headline would be that the the Thomson administration has secured the most promising startup in the country, that has that has 20 new employees now with a growth trajectory of 300 in the next five years.

Susan Sandberg:

My headline would be that the Trades District is fully up and operating and to capacity and creating all kinds of great new jobs with great new wages to improve that energy. And that will not be my doing—that will be the doing of John Fernandez and Pat East with my cooperation!

Don Griffin:

Cook brings 5,000 more jobs…because everybody’s knocking on the door to come to Bloomington because it’s so awesome.

Thomson told Griffin his answer as “well played.” Yonkman joked he would have a hard time finding housing for those new employees.

For all that and more, here’s the event as captured with moving pictures and sound:

B Square video: April 19, 2023 BEDC mayoral forum