Endorsing Demuzio

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Dear Editor:

Since Central Realty’s founding in 1996, we have never offered an endorsement in any election. We have deliberately avoided participation in local elections because we believed that regardless of who won a particular election, we would need to be able to work with all sides to the benefit of the community and our interests. Today, we are breaking our policy to endorse Deanna Demuzio’s campaign for re-election as mayor of Carlinville. This is not a decision we have made lightly, and I want to share with you why we offered our endorsement to Mayor Demuzio.

When we purchased Carlinville Plaza in 2006, we had no way of knowing what the ensuing 11 years would bring. The Great Recession certainly hampered our efforts, but the delay in redevelopment of the Plaza was not solely a result of national factors. Ultimately, we were not able to negotiate a redevelopment agreement with the city until 2013, which was necessary for us to begin large-scale redevelopment, and which would not have been possible without Mayor Demuzio’s leadership, vision and enthusiasm for the city of Carlinville.

Since 2013, we have invested nearly one million dollars in the redevelopment of the Plaza, most of which was spent with local businesses that provide local jobs. Beyond the dollars and cents, these efforts have led to stabilization of the property and the creation or expansion of over a dozen local businesses. We are also working diligently with the mayor to bring an upscale hotel back to Carlinville. The development of a new hotel in Carlinville will support local construction jobs, create permanent jobs for local residents and will mean more fuel, restaurant and retail purchases in the local economy. Put simply, none of this progress would have been possible without Mayor Demuzio’s leadership and cooperation.

Beyond the Plaza, there are many visible benefits of Mayor Demuzio’s leadership in Carlinville. The city is close to finding a new municipal water supply, which will benefit the city for decade to come. The city has a new Amtrak station which greets visitors and residents alike. The Tour de Milk will draw nearly 200 bicycle riders to Carlinville who patronize local businesses every year. The mayor’s leadership has led to a partnership between the city and several organizations to bring a Rural Retail conference to Carlinville this October. At this symposium, experts in retailing, real estate development and other arenas will offer their expertise on how to entice more growth to the city. These are all direct results of Mayor Demuzio’s stewardship of the city, and demonstrate the confidence that many businesses, including ours, have placed in her stable, focused leadership of the city.

Make no mistake, Central Realty remains as committed to Carlinville as we were when we purchased the Plaza in 2006. Next month’s election will not affect our commitment. We are offering this endorsement because we understand the positive impact that Mayor Demuzio’s leadership has had on the city, and we hope that the voters will allow her to serve the city as mayor for the next four years.

Sincerely,

Scott Stinson,

Central Realty, LLC