Jim Blickensdorf, owner of local restaurant Grazie Italiano, is running for the District 3 seat on the Bloomington City Council.
Allison Chopra is currently the representative for the district, which covers a large part of Bloomington’s northeast side.
Blickensdorf said he wanted to run because of the current situation in the north-east side of Bloomington. The area, Blickensdorf said, will be developing rapidly over the course of the next three to five years. The district includes the land where the new IU Health Bloomington Hospital will stand, College Mall and student and family housing.
“With all that development comes challenges — the increase in traffic and pollution and noise,” Blickensdorf said.
Blickensdorf, who has lived in District 3 for more than 25 years, said he is looking to make the new development sustainable in an economic, socially equitable and environmental manner.
Mike Satterfield, District 3 representative from 2008 to 2011, said the question for the representative for District 3 will always be how to manage growth.
“I trust Jim to manage that well,” Satterfield said. “He’s lived there. He’s seen it.”
Satterfield said he sees the new hospital as being important in the future of District 3 and thinks it will increase both population and traffic .
With Blickensdorf’s involvement in the city’s parking commission since 2017, Satterfield said he sees Blickensdorf not just as a business owner, but as someone who can think critically about the city’s problems.
“He’ll provide the adequate scrutiny to whatever plans come before him as a city council member,” Satterfield said.
As a local business owner, Blickensdorf said he has learned to consider many different kinds of needs.
“I try to listen with compassion and see the other side of the issue,” Blickensdorf said. “But I also listen critically. That’s what I’ve learned through business.”
Blickensdorf said he has been exposed to the social diversity of Bloomington.
“I’ve had the unique opportunity to meet every single type of person,” he said.
Blickensdorf said in a press release his campaign will focus on face-to-face meetings and availability through social media, texting, phone calls and email.
“Initiating open and ongoing communications with residents is critical for building trust and for progress on the issues that are most important to District 3,” Blickensdorf said in the press release.
He said he will go out into his community to listen to citizens’ concerns. His first meet-and-greet with District 3 residents will be 10:30 a.m. Jan. 26 at the Dimension Mill on North Madison Street.