Deputy Mayor Mark Neal responds to common council tension

South Bend, Ind. There has been some tension in the South Bend Common Council recently and it has had some questioning whether they will be able to get down to business or if it will cause distractions.

Earlier this week, council president Oliver Davis pledged not to let that happen. Thursday on 16 Morning News, we asked Deputy Mayor Mark Neal what he thinks about the issue.

“There’s certainly important business before the common council that we look to get addressed this year,” Neal said. “I’m confident that they’re going to set aside their differences, resolve any issues, and get the residents' business done.”

Neal also said that residents have a right to expect respectful interactions among their elected officials whose shared commitment to serving the city's best interests should be their top priority.

Turning to the West Side Corridors Plan, Neal says there is a public hearing coming up to discuss a study on current and projected supply and demand for residential, commercial and industrial uses along the Lincoln Way West and Western Avenue corridors.

Last year, Mayor Pete Buttigieg set aside $2 million in the budget to develop a comprehensive master plan for the two corridors and the city has assembled an advisory committee. The upcoming public meeting will be on June 24 at the Charles Martin Youth Center in South Bend starting at 5:30 p.m.

In addition to that project, Neal says South Bend’s Jefferson Boulevard is being redone this summer to include new curbs, sidewalks, trees, and valley gutters, among other things.

“Smart Streets is trying to make sure we have equal access, safe access, for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and vehicles and to just make it a more friendly environment for people to spend time,” Neal said.

You can find more information about the Smart Streets initiative by clicking here.

This weekend the city will honor two active military members and veterans at the first-ever South Bend Country Festival. They were the winners of a contest to join Big & Rich on stage when they play at Four Winds Field on Saturday. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. and tickets cost $35 through Friday and you will get a voucher for a future Silver Hawks game. On Saturday, the ticket price moves to $45 and you won’t get the voucher. For more information, click here.

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