Proponent for the arts runs for City Commission

Andrew Hagberg

Photos courtesy of Creative Commons 

Betty Blondeau, advocate for the arts and supporter of sustainable development, entered the race for Decatur City Commission.

She joins candidates Tim Martin, Melissa Manrow and Kelly Walsh, who are all seeking to replace commissioner Fred Boykin who after 15 years of service decided not to run again.

So what does Blondeau hope to bring to Decatur? According to her campaign, it’s a passion for the arts and experience in city zoning problems.

She has experience in zoning and planning issues, serving on DeKalb’s Community Council, and was the leader of the effort to rewrite/update DeKalb’s zoning code. The Decatur native has been involved with many local associations benefiting the arts and hopes to bring the best for the CIty Schools of Decatur fine arts program.

“Betty was a high school English teacher before finding a career in fundraising as Director of Development at the Alliance Theatre and Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company,” her website says. “She remains active in the arts, attending theatre as often as possible. She is a mother and grandmother. In her free time she practices Tai Chi and Yoga, and enjoys membership in two book clubs.”

So what does this mean for Decatur High? If elected, Blondeau could bring more funding, support, and attention to the arts programs that so many Decatur High school students are involved in. This is good news for the band program, choir program, musical theatre program and many more.

Decatur’s young families keep this community thriving, and Blondeau knows the school system in Decatur is a major drawing card for growth in the city.

“Decatur schools remain at the center of a young family’s decision to choose Decatur as their home. I know that we must work effectively with the school board to assure that this amazing education system has the resources it needs to continue to provide the best learning environment for our children,” she said.

Decatur Square
Photo courtesy Creative Commons 

All athletic departments at Decatur are directly sponsored by the school, but for the musical productions, they operate on their own and with their own budget. Blondeau aims to focus on the arts and to bring more attention to the Decatur Fine Arts department, so that they get the same amount of attention. 

Blondeau is planning on meeting and listening to her supporters in the coming months and preparing to address their concerns at the commission table.

“The foundation of my service is listening,” Blondeau said. “I plan to solicit citizen opinions on issues at hand. I want to bring their voices and concerns to the front line, and I will listen and represent them at every turn.”